Christian Aid – Climate Justice Petition

John Hamilton, our Christian Aid representative, invites us to add our names to a Climate Justice petition organised by Christian Aid.

Coronavirus disrupted our lives in an unprecedented way. Now we face a choice – we can go back to business as usual, perpetuating the climate crisis and growing inequality.
Or we can take positive steps to build justice after the pandemic, and towards a healthier, safer future for everybody. This year the UK government has some crucial opportunities to do the right thing.

You are invited by Christian Aid to sign a petition to the Prime Minister to ensure that the UK fulfils its responsibilities and its promise to build back better.
Call on the PM to:

• Increase financial support to the world’s poorest countries and push for their debts to be cancelled
• Invest in a green recovery that leaves no-one behind
• Stop the expansion of fossil fuel energy and support clean energy.

Click here to add your name to the petition:

Climate Justice Petition 2021 – Christian Aid

Thank You from Aberlour

A thank you message from Aberlour…

Rector’s Letter – 10th February 2021

Dear friends,

Many of you are aware that almost every morning and evening for the last eleven months, I have walked from our home in Argyle Way to the church and back again, a distance of about a mile each way. This routine not only keeps me physically fit but also gives me the time and space I need to keep me well mentally and spiritually. I find that it is helpful as I walk to focus on whatever I can see and hear around me, from the spectacular views of the hills at the start of my journey to the call of the robin welcoming me at my destination .

I particularly enjoy looking for signs of the changing of the seasons, especially now that Spring is around the corner. Early in the new year, however, I had been concerned by the fact that the bank between the Police Station and the India Gate was covered with brambles and the remains of last year’s growth. How would the daffodils which had given me such delight last spring manage to grow and blossom? To my relief, one morning I came across a volunteer from Dunblane in Bloom strimming the debris and within days the green shoots were emerging from the cleared ground.

We are approaching a new season in the Church Year, a time perhaps to seek to clear away those things in our lives that are getting in the way of God’s love. Lent in Lockdown is an opportunity to turn inwards, to deal with any old hurts and fears and the feelings of grief, guilt, unworthiness or anger that accompany them. It’s the perfect time to make more space to allow Hope, Love and Joy to grow in our hearts and minds. We may not be able to meet together to receive a cross of ash on our foreheads this year, but we can take some time on Ash Wednesday to reflect on the meaning of that symbolic action and commit ourselves to allowing God to work in us this Lent, transforming us from the inside out. Readings and prayers will be sent to you next week to help you make the most of this opportunity.

I am looking forward to marking Shrove Tuesday with Young Church families at an online Mardi Gras party. Photos of church members or friends making or flipping pancakes would be welcome for next week’s newsletter…

With love to you all,
Nerys

(Photos courtesy of Dunblane In Bloom)

Preparing for Lent in Lockdown

Nerys writes:

It has become clear in the last few days that we will be starting our Lenten journey in Lockdown so what about doing something special this year? Ash Wedensday is on 17th February so you have a couple of weeks to look for something that would suit you. There are so many resources available that I thought I’d mention a few possibilities for you to explore.
Dunblane Churches Together is putting on weekly ecumenical study groups. For more information about ‘Opening the Scriptures: Setting our Hearts on Fire’ and to register interest, contact Anthony on lentgroups @ stmarysdunblane.org

If you enjoy reading, there are many books designed to guide you through the forty days of Lent or to help you focus on a particular theme or issue. This link will take you to a review from the Church Times of over a dozen of this year’s offerings. For those of you who enjoyed our Advent course Simply Wait, Moira Langston suggests The Way of Benedict: Eight Blessings for Lent by Laurentia Johns, a Benedictine nun at Stanbrook Abbey. Others who remember the study we did many years ago of the film Chocolat, might like Still Standing which is based on the Elton John movie Rocketman. If you have Lent books from past years you would like to recommend and/or lend to others, please get in touch so that the information can be included in next week’s newsletter.

There are also accompanied online retreats run by various organisations.

The Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow is offering Knowing Jesus, an opportunity to pray with Scripture, pictures and music on your own or to join in a weekly group meeting on line. Visit www.iscglasgow.co.uk/lent2021.html for more information. The BBC Radio 4 Daily Service will be taking up the themes every week.

The Bield Retreat Centre will also offer some material for reflection and companionship on the journey. Information about ‘Lent with the Bield’ can be found on Facebook and on www.bieldatblackruthven.org.uk

Finally, this might be an appropriate time to watch the acclaimed TV series ‘The Chosen’ based on the life of Christ. For more information and on opportunity to meet with others to reflect on it, please contact Liz on events @ stmarysdunblane.org

Rector’s Letter – 4th February 2021

Dear friends,

Jeanette and I have been overwhelmed this week by the response we’ve had to the video reflection for Candlemas which was shared with you and on the St Mary’s website and Facebook page. A number of you were in touch on Sunday to say how helpful you had found it and how much you had enjoyed the choice of songs and images. And then on Monday morning, out of the blue, I received a phone call from Lorna, a retired headteacher and Church of Scotland member in Edinburgh, who had stumbled upon the video by accident while searching for another St Mary’s church. She had been so blessed by the prayers and reflections that she just had to get in touch! She must have sent a link to Joyce Watson, the Episcopal priest on Iona and a friend of mine, because yesterday and email arrived with a request from Joyce for a copy of one of the images we had used. She loved how we had chosen portrayals of the scene in the Temple from different cultures but it was the contemporary Dutch picture by Jan van tHoff with the faces of Simeon and Anna lit by the light of Christ which had touched her. ‘A lovely picture to share, and probably to keep for myself as reminder of how precious old age is’, she wrote.

Today came another request for a copy of another picture. Peter Lee who had lived and worked in Africa in his youth wanted to know more about the image which depicts the characters in Luke’s story as African people. I had to admit to him that I had failed to find the name of the artist but promised to look again. I decided to investigate the term ‘Jesus Mafa’ which accompanied one copy of the image and found that Mafa is the name of an ethnic group in Northern Cameroon and surrounding countries. Further research led me to a series of more than 70 paintings and a fascinating story …

The Vie de Jesus Mafa collection is a response to the Gospel by a Christian community in the Cameroon. In the 1970s, a French Catholic missionary, François Vidil, worked with Mafa Christians to build a resource that would help them teach others about Jesus in a way that connected with their culture and way of life. As the local people acted out scenes from the Gospel set in their own environment, Vidil and his team would sketch and photograph them. These became the basis of a vast collection of paintings depicting almost every story in the four Gospels, made by a team of French artists and returned to the community. You can explore the collection by searching for Mafa Jesus Series Images on the internet.

I wonder if there is an image that has been helpful to you during this difficult year? You are welcome to share it with us by sending me a message on rector @ stmarysdunblane.org
Looking forward to hearing from you,

Nerys

Rector’s Letter – 30th January 2021

Dear Members of St Mary’s,

As someone who grew up on the coast in Wales where it is very unusual to have snow, I get excited when the weather turns wintry. I still miss the fun we had sledging, throwing snowballs and building snowmen when the children were little. I know that I will feel sad when the snow disappears but at this time of year it can also be exciting to see what has been growing under that white carpet. In the church grounds, the snowdrops are starting to appear and other spring flowers are putting up green shoots. Isn’t it amazing how these small plants are able to push their way through the frozen soil. All through the autumn and winter months they have been waiting underground in the dark, their roots reaching out into the soil to fill the bulbs with nutrients to give them the energy to grow the shoots that reach up towards the light. And now that Spring is just round the corner, here they are again, ready to produce their flowers. Many of you are having to wait in your homes until things get better. It’s not always easy, but like the spring flowers, we can make the most of it, allow God’s love to work within us and become a blessing for others.

Next Tuesday, 2nd February is Candlemas, an ancient festival marking the first day of Spring. It was a day when people brought the candles they would be using in their homes for the year to the church to be blessed. The story we read from the Bible on that day tells of Mary and Joseph taking the child Jesus to Jerusalem. In the temple that day were two elderly people who had been waiting all their lives for God to send a special person to bring the light of love into the world. Simeon recognised Jesus in the crowd and started praising God whilst Anna danced with joy. How did they know that this ordinary little baby with his ordinary mum and dad was the one promised by God? Luke’s Gospel doesn’t tell us but we know that every day for many, many years, these two had come to the temple to worship God and to pray.

We know that regular worship and prayer transforms us. In the words of one participant in our Exploring Worship sessions, when we worship and pray regularly, God’s love works away in us shaping us from the inside. I hope that you will manage to continue to meet with God during this second Lockdown. The Ministry Team will be sending out weekly Materials for Worship and also the occasional video with readings, reflections, prayers and songs. The livestreaming of services will resume once public services are allowed once more. In the meantime, here is some information about a number of online activities planned for the weeks ahead,

Young Church Candlemas Online Celebration, Tuesday 2nd February at 5 p.m.

Young Church Virtual Pancake Party, Tuesday 16th February at 5 p.m.
Please spread the word among young families you know. Contact Liz on events @ stmarysdunblane.org

Men’s Group Zoom Meeting, Saturday 13th February at 11 a.m. Contact Martin on mensgroup @ stmarysdunblane.org for more information

Ecumenical Lent Groups, ‘Opening the Scriptures: Setting our Hearts on Fire’. For more information and to register interest, contact Anthony on lentgroups @ stmarysdunblane.org

Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. You’ll be delighted to hear that my mother and father-in-law both received their first vaccinations on Saturday, the one in Aberystwyth and the other in Aboyne. What a coincidence!

I will continue to pray for you and look forward to seeing you back in church.

With love,
Nerys

Calling all Knitters…

Following the success of the Advent Angels (over a hundred were taken away from the porch of the church), what about knitting some Easter chicks?

For a pattern click here.

We are also invited to join other churches in Dunblane to provide knitted crosses for distribution during the weeks before Easter.

For a pattern click here.

Blythswood Care which sends Christmas Shoeboxes to Eastern Europe is appealing for knitters to make baby clothes, children’s hats (all ages), small blankets for babies and snoods for next year’s shoeboxes.

Please get in touch with Nerys on rector @ stmarysdunblane.org for more information about these projects.

Rector’s Letter – 6th January 2021

Dear friends,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, marking the coming of the Wise Men to the Christ-child following the star. You may wish to take some time today to read the Gospel passage from the second chapter of Matthew and to join with many Christians across the world in the ritual of chalking your front door and praying a blessing on your home and all those who will enter it during the year ahead. Here is a sheet you can download containing more information and a prayer.

You will have heard, no doubt, that churches are now closed for public worship and private prayer until the end of January. Our all-age Epiphany Celebration at 4 p.m. today has moved on-line. If you wish to join the nine families with children who intend to attend on Zoom at 4 p.m., please email Liz Owen on events@stmarysdunblane.org for the link. This Sunday, our ‘Poems and Prayers for Epiphany’, a reflective introduction to the new season, will be sent to you as a video and as written Materials for Worship.

During the weeks ahead, I will be celebrating the eucharist in the church every Sunday at 10.30 a.m. You are invited to join me at home in prayer and worship using the materials which will be sent out to you. The Provincial Eucharist will be broadcast at 11 a.m. every Sunday. A link can be found at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/ With the help of the Ministry Team, I am also hoping to put together videos of reflective services for Candlemas and Ash Wednesday.

In order to keep us in touch with each other, the congregational newsletter will resume next week. Feel free to send contributions to me at rector @ stmarysdunblane.org. Please don’t hesitate to phone me on 824225 if you are in need of support or prayer during this difficult time. I am never too busy for a chat! If I’m not able to answer, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I intend to be at the Rectory every day except Mondays.

During Advent, I discovered the art of Virginia Wieringa and have enjoyed meditating on her series of Advent banners, many of which were commissioned by churches in the States. She explains on her website Virginia Wieringa Fine Art that her work often reflects the mysteries she perceives in the world and that the Advent series was inspired by words by the German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Don’t search for answers now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Like the Wise Men, we as individuals and as a church are on an uncertain journey depending on God’s guidance. I invite you to join me in praying the Collect for today for ourselves, our country and our world:

Eternal God, who by a star led wise men to the worship of your Son, guide by your light the nations of the earth, that the whole world may know your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

with love to you all,
Nerys

St Mary’s Young Church Nativity

St Mary’s Young Church have made a Christmas Nativity video – click below to view it on our YouTube channel:

Advent and Christmas Events and Services at St Mary’s

You are welcome to join us for our Sunday services at 10:30am or 8pm in Advent and in the season of Christmas.

We are also hoping to hold two Christingle services at 4pm on Wednesday 23rd December and on Christmas Eve.

At 8pm on Christmas Eve there will be a candle-lit reflection on the wonder and mystery of Christmas and at 10:30am on Christmas morning an all-age celebration.

We will also be celebrating the arrival of the Wise Men at 4pm on 6th January with an all-age Epiphany celebration.

In order to attend any of these services you need to book by contacting Sue at services @ stmarysdunblane.org

You are welcome to walk the Advent Spiral on the Rectory Lawn at 5pm or 6pm any evening between 12th December and Christmas Eve. Invite another household (total of 6 adults and any number of children under 12.) Bring your own hot drinks, snacks rugs and torches. There will be sheltered seating.

Book by contacting Liz at events @ stmarysdunblane.org

It is also possible for individuals to walk the spiral during the day without booking.

In addition to walking the spiral you can

• follow the Nativity Trail at the front of the church (you will need a phone that reads QR codes and a torch for this)

• collect your knitted angel from the porch

• place a bauble on our outdoor Christmas tree

You are also invited to consider contributing to the St Mary’s Christmas Appeal for Aberlour Childcare Trust. Please put cash or cheques into an envelope through the Rectory door or get in touch with Alastair at treasurer @ stmarysdunblane.org to get bank details to set up a transfer.

Rector’s Letter – December 2020

Dear friends,

In recent years, the end of November has been for me a time of tension between the necessity to ‘get busy’ with preparations for Christmas and my desire to ‘go slow’ as we enter into the season of Advent. This year, the pressure for us as a church to jump straight into the celebrations is even greater as the opportunities for Christmas cheer are so scarce for young and old alike in these troubled times. Paradoxically, though, it is precisely because we’re in such difficult days that our need to keep Advent as a season of quiet, expectant waiting on God, is more important than ever. If our Christmas at St Mary’s is to be about the real, unconquerable light of God’s love shining into the real darkness of our broken world, then we need to prepare our hearts for its coming.

I am delighted that so many have expressed an interest in using the Simply Wait Advent resource by Pamela Hawkins, and I look forward to joining some of you on Zoom during the next few weeks for our Prayer Gatherings. It isn’t too late to order an electronic version or to ask for a print copy of the first section from me by emailing rector@stmarysdunblane.org. We meet on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 7.30 p.m. but you are welcome to work through the book by yourselves or with a friend if you prefer.

Another initiative born out of the Covid crisis is our Advent Spiral, an opportunity for two households to come together on the Rectory Lawn after dark to take turns to walk a path of evergreen boughs with a large candle at its centre. Each person walks slowly and quietly into the spiral carrying a lantern which they will light from the central candle. As they return, they will place it at the edge of the path, adding to the collective light. This was originally intended as an outreach activity for families with children, but seems to have aroused the interest of others within the congregation and beyond. Anyone is welcome to get in touch with Liz Owen on events @ stmarysdunblane.org or give me a phone on 824225 to book a slot at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. any evening from 12th December to Christmas Eve.

Advent has also become for me, since my appointment as diocesan chaplain to the Mothers’ Union a few years ago, a time to focus on what is being called the Shadow Pandemic. There has been a substantial global rise in gender-based violence during the last nine months. In Scotland, Women’s Aid has reported to Government its concern that for children and women experiencing domestic abuse, lockdown can mean spending extended periods of time at home with their abuser. Calls to Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline indicate that abusers are using measures imposed to combat the pandemic as a tool in their abuse, for example increasing their control of women’s movement, keeping them isolated, threatening to expose them to the virus, or discouraging women from seeking help by telling them that services are not operating or that the police will not respond. Leaving an abusive relationship does not mean the end of the abuse. Women who have left their abuser may feel increased fear because their abuser knows that they will be spending time at home, increasing the risk of stalking. For children experiencing domestic abuse, closure of schools has removed a safe space, the opportunity for specialised support, and respite.

This year the Mothers’ Union’s campaign to raise awareness of gender-based violence is centred on the unacceptable fact that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced domestic or sexual abuse. At St Mary’s, we will follow the MU’s Global Day of Action with a special Night Service on 6th December to lift our voices in prayer and protest. I hope that many of you will join with MU members across to world in our resolve not to be silent but ‘to speak out against the abuse of power, especially in our homes; to speak up for those who have been pushed down in any way; to speak to the needs of those who are suffering at the hands of another’.

In the meantime, there are preparations afoot for our Christmas celebrations at St Mary’s. The tree which this year will stand outside the church, has been ordered. The Posada will soon be on its way. Almost 100 angels for us to pass on to others with our love and prayers, have been knitted. A congregational card which you are welcome to sign, has been made and will soon appear in the porch. More than 30 of you are preparing to take part in our virtual Carol Service which will be available on DVD for everyone in the congregation to enjoy. Two Christingle services are being planned as well as a lovely Night Service reflection on ‘The Wonder and Mystery of Christmas’ and a Christmas morning celebration. To ensure a place at any of these services, please contact Sue on services @ stmarysdunblane.org

Finally, at our AGM, our Christmas Appeal for Aberlour Childcare Trust was launched. A recent report produced by the charity, based on information gathered from the recipients of its emergency grants which have supported 3,264 Scottish children since March, reveals a level of poverty that is ‘fundamental and absolute’. Most of the families who applied for a grant from Aberlour needed it to buy basic necessities: 6 in 10 families who applied could not afford to feed their children and 1 in 2 families could not afford to heat their homes. The organisation needs our support to help prevent thousands more families from falling into poverty due to the economic impact of the pandemic. You may contribute to our appeal by putting cash or a cheque in an envelope marked ‘Aberlour’ in the church plate or through the Rectory door or by emailing Alastair Christmas at treasurer@stmarysdunblane.org , for bank transfer details.

My prayer for all of us this week is that this year, the tension between the demands of Christmas and our longing to mark the season of Advent would energise and inspire us to travel with the Light-bearer and experience His peace, joy, hope and love.

Nerys

Messy Church – Through The Red Door

A very warm HELLO! And welcome to Messy Church at St. Mary’s, Dunblane.
We usually meet on the second Tuesday of the month during term time in the Hall.
However, in these strange times, we are connecting Through the Red Door of the Church. Every few weeks I will leave a sheet of activities in the porch of Church with a code to meet virtually at 5.30pm on a Tuesday.

Please take home the activity sheet and we can meet together online and share what we have got up to. You don’t need to have done any of the activities to join the call and equally, you can just do the activities and not join the online part.

Next online meet: Tuesday 24th November. 5.30-6pm Google Meet (please contact messychurch @ stmarysdunblane.org for the Google Meet code)
And then again on Tuesday 8th December. Same code.

This week we are going to look at Zacchaeus up the tree.

Have a look at this picture inspired by Luke Chapter 19 Verse 1-10

Story and Reflection:
Jesus is on his final journey to Jerusalem before the last supper and being sentenced to death. He is passing through a town called Jericho. He would have already upset the important people of the village by not stopping and accepting their hospitality. Instead he walks through and sees Zacchaeus up the tree.

Zacchaeus would have been hated by the crowd because he was the chief tax collector for the Romans. He would have been an outcast, both socially and from the Jewish religion.

But Zacchaeus has heard about Jesus and desperately wants to see him. He has run ahead and climbed a tree to get a good view. Running and climbing would not have been the way to behave for a man in his position – but he does it anyway.

And now Jesus is talking to HIM ! Inviting himself to HIS house. This would have made the crowd even more angry. And yet Jesus deflects their anger onto himself by recognising Zacchaeus as an important man in his life. Jesus calls him a ‘son of Abraham’ and says ‘For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.’

Questions:
How would you feel paying taxes?
What would it be like to be an outcast?
Who are the ‘sons of Abraham?’ – YOU are one! What does this mean for you?
Who are the lost? Have you ever felt lost? Jesus is there to find, notice and love you!

Activities:
Ask your parents to buy a bag of sweets. One of you should be the ‘tax collector.’ Decide how many sweets the rest of your family should pay. What are you going to do with the sweets you collect? How do your family behave when asked to pay your tax?
Swap around after a few goes. Does the new tax collector collect more or less taxes? How much is a fair tax? When does it feel too much? How did it feel to pay your taxes? What about collecting them?
Zacchaeus was not a popular man because he took taxes from people to give to the Romans.

Craft project – Use materials around the house to recreate the scene. You could use lego, newspaper or bricks.

Expandable paper trees – use this video to help you. You can use newspaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cVMM_8__aA

Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to be as excited about you as Zacchaeus was. Help me to run ahead and be ready to welcome you into my life. Help me to feel that you notice me and know me. Help me to know I am loved.

Song: Father Abraham https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ki010aqy4o

Christmas Posada 2020

What is a Posada?

Las Posadas is the word for ‘inn’ and is a Mexican tradition of recreating the evening where Mary and Joseph were desperately trying to find a room for the night before Jesus was born. During Advent we prepare for the coming of The King and decide if we have room in our hearts for his arrival and good news. At St. Mary’s we have a tradition of our own Las Posadas where we recreate the journey Mary and Joseph completed to Bethlehem. In the past we have had nativity figures in a box to pass from one house to another. Mary and Joseph would stay the night and we would reflect on letting the Holy family into our lives. This year we need to do it differently – we can’t share one nativity set, but we can get involved and prepare for Jesus’ birth by connecting with each other and making room in our lives for him.

Posada 2020

This year we will have a light that passes from one household to another. Each household will receive a prayer to use and a chocolate advent calendar which could be taken along to the meeting and opened together.

For more details please download our Posada 2020 information Sheet

Rector’s Letter – 14th October 2020

Calm us, Lord, as you calmed the storm;
still us, Lord, keep us from harm.
Let all the tumult within us cease,
enfold us, Lord, in your peace.

Dear friends,

This little prayer inspired by St Patrick, has regularly come unbidden into my mind during the last few weeks as I have prayed for others and for myself. I have heard several of you say that you are finding the new regulations more difficult to cope with than Lockdown and the swift spread of the virus more frightening than the first wave. At a time like this when we are coming to the edge of our own resources, it’s good to know that we can call out to God who will give us the courage, the peace and the hope we need.

Please continue to pray for those who are unwell at this time, those facing tests and those undergoing treatment, and for those recently bereaved.

My thanks go to all who helped make the church look so colourful and the porch so inviting for the Harvest Thanksgiving Service. We are now entering into the Season of Remembrance as we come towards the end of the Church Year. At 8pm on 1st November there will be a special All Souls evening service to remember and give thanks for loved ones who have died. Please send me the names of those you wish to be remembered either by phoning or e-mailing or by posting a slip into the box in the porch from 25th October. There will be candles lit in memory of them around the church and their names will be read out during the service. I am hoping that this service will be live-streamed and the readings and prayers sent to everybody so that you can all join in if you wish.

It was lovely to be involved in St Mary’s School Harvest Celebrations last week. Although I am not allowed in the school building under current restrictions, I have been taking part in their weekly assembly by means of short videos which are shown to each class and also sent out to the families. For the end of term, I was invited to work with the teacher of Primary 3 to 5 to plan a virtual Harvest Service which comprised of a series of short videos prepared by the children and myself of thanksgiving prayers, a drama about a hospitable hedgehog, a reflection on the Feeding of the Five Thousand and a blessing which the children signed rather than sung. I have also been supporting Primary 6-7 whose topic for this term was Slavery. The pupils were interested to find out about our historical links to the slave trade. Some of their work will soon be displayed in the church porch and I hope to reflect on it in the morning service on 25th October.

The Parent Council have had to look for innovative ways of fundraising for the school this year. One of their inspired ideas is to produce and sell a Christmas Cake Kit and encourage everyone to make it on Stir up Sunday, 22nd November. I was delighted to be asked to produce an information sheet to explain the origins of Stir up Sunday and write a special prayer to be said by families as they come together to make their cake. You can order for yourself or for family or friends, a gift box containing all the dry and wet ingredients for a rich fruit cake (except eggs and butter), a recipe and the information sheet , cost £20, by emailing fundraisingstmarys @ gmail.com, by contacting Klara on 07843 060 677 or by leaving your details on a slip in the box in the church porch before 25th October. Every member of the St Mary’s community is invited to join in with the stirring and the baking.

Finally, please pray for Junior and Xander, the great grandchildren of Audrey and the late Canon John Symon, who will be baptised on the afternoon of 25th October. The service at 2pm is open to all. If you wish to attend this or any other service, please contact Sue Lockwood on services @ stmarysdunblane.org or by phoning 824004.

Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. Please be assured of my prayers for you. Feel free to phone me for a chat. I am never too busy to spend time with you.

With love,
Nerys

Blythswood Care Shoe Box Appeal 2020

Once again this year, the St Mary’s community (church and school) have
contributed to the Blythswood Care Shoebox Appeal. Here are the boxes, full
of Christmas gifts for children and adults living in poverty, being blessed
before they starting on the first part of their long journey.