All of Cheviot Churches are open during daylight hours and a look at out visitors books shows a steady stream of folks calling in, many of whom are walking the St Cuthbert's Way. In July Yetholm, for example, had visitors from Denmark, Sweden, Paris, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand and Australia - as well as many from all over the UK. On August 3rd/4th we were visited by our friends from Sula Frikirke in Norway, who have been visiting us for the past few years. On Saturday evening the group of sixteen pilgrims joined us for a meal in Yetholm kirk, then on Sunday Yetholm hosted a joint service, with the sermon being given by Rev Jan Løkkeborg. The service was also attended by a lone pilgrim from Pennysylvannia USA, who found herself an honourary Norwegian for the day! We live in a relatively remote parish and these personal relationships with the wider church are much appreciated.
At a church meeting after the service on July 7th the congregation of Cheviot Churches voted to accept the Rev Colin Johnston as our new minister. Subject to ratification by Jedburgh Presbytery Colin will be inducted to the charge on Friday 30th August at a service at Morebattle church at 7pm - everyone is invited to come along and join the celebration. Colin has spent most of his ministerial life working in Africa, latterly in Egypt - as can be seen in the above photo. A flavour of his life in Egypt can be experienced by looking at the blog he wrote while in Egypt - HERE. Life in the Cheviots will be somewhat cooler, but we hope Colin will find us a warm-hearted community when he settles in to the new manse and begins leading us in worship.
On the last Saturday of June 11 members and friends of Cheviot Churches set off for Holy Island. Having the St. Cuthbert’s centre for the day as the tide fenced us in we were able to fully enjoy the amenities and joy of being there as the sun shone, but a breeze kept the temperature at a reasonable level. After a short act of worship folk were free to enjoy the island, most of us meeting back for lunch and later for tea and our closing worship.
We have had two baptisms in Yetholm recently. On the 19th of May there was a huge turnout for the christening of Maisie Ivy Merida Freedland-Cook (above) while a couple of weeks later, on the 2nd June, Elspeth Celia Morven Smith was baptised (aka 'Elsie' - below). Babies seem to be given multiple names these days! We are delighted to welcome these two new members of the church family.
Sunday 26th of May saw Hownam kirk packed for our Harvest of the Lambs service. Led by Liz Findlay - shown above, welcoming people before worship - the service saw of good number of hill-farmers from the Bowmont and Kale Water valleys joining with us to celebrate God's bountifulness. This year there were no live sheep in the church - we had to make do with a couple of plastic ones! - but all the window spaces were decorated with knitted woolen items. For those who came along and are wondering which two words Liz avoided mentioning the answer is ...' mint sauce'.
Easter greetings to distant friends, who weren't able to be with us at Easter. The weather was glorious and we had some heart-felt worship together. On Maundy Thursday there was a communion service at Linton, lead by Liz Findlay & the Rev Hamish Christie-Johnston, most of whose ministry was spent in Australia and who officiated wearing a stole presented by aboriginal Christians - we felt a very real link here in rural Roxburghshire with the Christian community on the far side of the world. On Good Friday the quiet lane outside Hoselaw Chapel was lined with unaccustomed cars as people came and went to the three-hour service on meditation (below). On Sunday there was a lively Easter communion service at Yetholm, led by the Rev Ian Clark. Hallelujah - Christ is Risen!
The 2019 Ecumenical Lent course will commence on Wednesday morning the 13th March from 10.15 - 12 noon, and run for 5 weeks. We will be following the 5 session York course for Lent 2019 "Daring to see God now". The course booklet this year has been written by Bishop Nick Baines and is available for £4.00 including postage. Please send a message to us via the Contact page if you would like to buy a booklet. We look forward to another engaging series of studies on our journey together through Lent 2019.
Venues for 2019
Wednesday 13th March - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm. Arthur & Kathleen 01583 420259.
Wednesday 20th March - Tower Cottages, Eckford,TD5 8LG. Dot & Tony Elliot 01890 883934.
Wednesday 27th March - Crooks House, Coldstream. Shelagh Townsend-Rose,TD12 4LR 01890 883934 *
Wednesday 3rd April - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm.
Wednesday 10th April - 4 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm.
On the 6th February the fortnightly Quiz Night at the Plough Hotel in Town Yetholm was in aid of Cheviot Churches. There was a good turn-out by church members and we formed several teams, none of which actually won, though we did do well in the final theological round ... £138 was raised for the church, so the treasurer left in a happy mood.
Cheviot Churches has six new members - Ann and John Stobart from Town Yetholm, Bridget and Simon Fraser from Corbet Tower, Morebattle - and, above, Margaret and Michael Rustad. This might come as surprise to many who worship with us and to whom Margaret and Michael are two of the most stalwart members of of our community, but although they have been here for almost forty years they have never been official members. This is partly because they spend half of each year living on Michael's farm in Norway, spending the winter months in the (relative) warmth of Scotland. Whatever the case, it's great that they are now bona fide members!
As we near Christmas the candles on the Advent wreath are gradually lit ... and after that 2019 approaches. With the sale of the old manse we can look forward to steaming ahead with acquiring a new one - and then a new minister!
The Ecumenical Bible Study group is also at a point of transition. Leslie and Rob Dick (below) are leaving Otterburn farm and moving into Kelso. Which means, unfortunately, that after 23 years (!) the group will no longer have the privilege of meeting in their large and beautiful house. We all joined together for a final Christmeal there early in December. We are hugely grateful for Lelsie and Rob's unstinting hospitality. Arrangements, though, for continuing to meet have been made - and we look forward to Rob and Leslie joing us as guests, rather than hosts, in the future.