Rector’s Letter – October

Dear friends,

It was such a relief to learn that the new regulations announced this week allow us to continue to meet for worship in our church buildings. It would have been such a shame to have to stop after four Sundays, just as we’re getting into a routine and starting to master the art of livestreaming the services. It has been very encouraging to see so many of you venturing to church and to know that there’s a growing of you participating in the morning service from your homes, along with those who are continuing to use the Material for Worship. My thanks to all who have helped in so many different ways to make all of this possible.

I would have been disappointed to miss some of this month’s services, not least our Harvest Thanksgiving which this year falls on the feast of St Francis. The evening service on 4th October will be a reflection on St Francis and the natural world, while the morning service will be the climax of the Season of Creation. I’m also looking forward to the baptisms of the great-grandsons of Audrey and the late Canon John Symon who was Rector of St Mary’s over thirty years ago, on the afternoon of 25th October. On the first of next month, we hope to have special services for the festivals of All Saints and All Souls, and on Remembrance Sunday we will mark the 70th Anniversary of our memorial window for those members of St Mary’s who were lost in the Second World War. From the last week of October both red and white poppies will be available in the porch of the church with donations going to the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

This year’s Harvest celebration will be different in many ways. For one thing, we won’t be collecting items of food for our local charity, Start-up Stirling, but instead there will be an opportunity to give financial donations towards their Starter Packs which are provided to people who are entering into new tenancies, following homelessness or a crisis. A Starter Pack includes crockery and cutlery, pots and pans, cooking utensils, towels, cleaning products and basic kitchen cupboard items and can be supplemented with a kettle, toaster, microwave, towels, duvet, pillows and bed linen as required. To make a donation, visit

We will also support Christian Aid’s Autumn Appeal which aims to help communities living in poverty which are facing crisis due to Covid 19 and also Climate Change. Angela who lives with her daughters in Nicaragua belongs to one of these communities which has already been supported by Christian Aid. Her farm used to provide a good living, but the changing climate means that her coffee harvests are shrinking each year. Angela’s community have united, however, and together they have set up a local cooperative to share resources and support their livelihoods. Angela is starting to change from coffee to climate-resilient cocoa. With the help of Christian Aid’s partner Soppexcca, she has planted 700 cocoa plants. Now Angela has hope for the future. ‘The income from the cocoa crop is very important’, she said. ‘It means we can buy clothes, medicine and food’.
You can donate to the Christian Aid Appeal by visiting

At this difficult time for all of us, Christian Aid’s Autumn Appeal prayer challenges us to look beyond our own concerns to those of our global neighbours whom we are called to love. I hope you will join me in praying it during the month ahead.

Loving God.
Come now and make us
into a global neighbourhood
looking out for each other
through struggle and crisis,
reaching out to strangers
who become sisters and brothers,
shape us into a caring community,
strengthening each other
through every challenge,
standing together
until justice comes for all.
In your name we pray, Amen.

Please be assured of my prayers also for you and your families.
With love,