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Perth Food Bank – update

The Foodbank is still open, but with reduced hours – we are currently opening on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons (12 noon to 4p.m.)  for the collection of food parcels only.    We are  asking people not to bring donations to the Foodbank, but to use the collection points at the supermarkets instead.


We are working closely with the Council and our referral agencies, many of whom are holding emergency parcels to save  some clients having to come to the Foodbank.   And the Foodbank continues to concentrate on  supporting  those whose reasons for needing a food parcel are financial,  because of lack of money; other community groups we hope are mobilising to help vulnerable people who are self-isolating and cannot get to the shops, which is obviously a different category.  We are not delivering parcels.


It is fair to say that we have been quite challenged in recent weeks, as so many of our volunteers have been unable to continue; however, we do still  have a core group of volunteers as well as our two Coordinators, who are doing a sterling job in sorting out food donations and  packing parcels.   A number of people who find they have more time on their hands at the moment have offered to help, but to be honest, we cannot have a lot of people in the Foodbank  at any one time, especially with the need to physically distance from each other, so we are unable to take up many of these offers.


How can the churches support us?   Firstly, with prayer – for our staff, our volunteers and our clients.  Secondly, the collection boxes at the supermarkets are still there, and we definitely need to keep the donations coming in, since we are obviously in for the long haul.  Please, if you are communicating with your members, let them know that we are still accepting donations.  

You can keep up to date with what we need by visiting the website www.perthkinross.foodbank.org.uk  – at present, we are short of tinned potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, tinned vegetables, tinned tomatoes,  small cereal,  small bags of pasta, small bags of rice  – and of course, toilet rolls! The Foodbank van will be collecting from the supermarkets on a regular basis.


This is the situation today, Tuesday 24th March – – 

In brief – March 2020

World Day of Prayer services on Friday 6th March, at the Salvation Army at 11a.m. and Congregational Church at 7pm.

Friday 6th March, at the Baptist Church Tearfund’s  Ruth Valerio (author of our Lent book) will be speaking about her book “Saying yes to Life” – 7.30pm.

A reminder that the Methodist Church is hosting Lent lunches every Thursday during Lent – 12 – 1.30pm., and St John’s Episcopal Church has services at 7p.m. on Wednesday evenings, with meditative “dwelling in Scripture” followed by Compline. 

On Thursday evenings at 6.30pm. in Riverside Church, Mary O’Duffin, RE Advisor for the RC Diocese of Dunkeld, is hosting sessions on prayer.

Inspiration Orchestra has two concerts in St Matthew’s, on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th March at 7.30pm.

Our Lady of Lourdes  Church are putting on the play “The Servant King”  on Thursday 2nd April at 7pm. – all welcome.   ( A new car park is helping the parking situation!)

Saturday 4th April, at 2pm. Andrew Forbes, current organist at Glasgow Cathedral, is giving an organ recital in St John’s Kirk;  tickets £10, with all proceeds going to Christian Aid.

During Holy Week (Monday 6th – Friday 10th April) St Matthew’s is hosting  15 minute morning reflections, followed by fellowship breakfast.

PACT Good Friday Walk of Witness leaves St John’s Kirk at 10.30am on Friday 10th April.;  this  year it is being led by Rev Alan Anderson from the Methodists.   Easter Dawn service on Sunday 12th April at 7am. at Quarrymill, followed by breakfast in Scone Burnside Church Hall – the service this year will be led by Andrew and Kathryn Howe from the Salvation Army.

St John’s Episcopal Church hosts a Buggy Club for mothers and toddlers every Tuesday morning.  Numbers are currently low – please advertise and let young mums know about this opportunity.

Saturday 6th June –coffee morning at St Leonard’s in the Fields, which will include a display about the work of Crossreach (Church of Scotland’s Social Care) as it celebrates its 150th anniversary. 

Kinnoull Church  said farewell last Sunday  to its probationer minister Andrew Kimmitt – his contribution has been appreciated and we wish him well for his future in the church.

PACT AGM will be held on Tuesday 26th May at 7.30p.m. at Scone Church Burnside Hall. 

Lent Retreat led by Mary O’Duffin

Based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola but in an accessible and up to date form.

Dunkeld’s Diocese’s RC Religious Education Advisor leads this programme through Lent and into Easter 2020.

All churches are welcome for this scripture-based course.

DAILY PRAYER: A FREE book will be provided for people to pray with each day of Lent. This will include Scripture readings, meditations, pictures and full instructions. (Also available as an APP to download to your phone/tablet).

The series will take place in Thursdays and is hosted in Perth Riverside Church, Bute Drive, Perth, PH1 3BG

27th February; 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th March; and 2nd April and, after a break for Holy Week – for a final session on 14th April 2020

Please email Mary O’Duffin for more information.

Christian Unity Service

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held on Wednesday 19th February at 7.30pm in St John’s Episcopal Church in Princes Street. The service has been prepared by Christians Together in Malta, and has a focus on “unusual kindness”.

Christmas Celebration

The 15th-century St John’s Kirk, Perth was the beautiful setting for the 2019 Christmas Celebration, watched by viewers of BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland across midnight into Christmas morning. It was in 1490 that King James IV funded the start of the present building, but there has been worship on this site in the heart of the city of Perth for a thousand years. St John’s remains the focal point for significant city and county services and ceremonies.

Six well-known traditional carols, Once in Royal, Hark the Herald, O Come All Ye Faithful, See in Yonder Manger, As with Gladness and O Little Town of Bethlehem were sung by a large congregation gathered from all over Perthshire, accompanied by Alba Brass.

Other carols were sung by smaller choirs. Jambouree, a mixed children’s and adult choir, performed songs from Scotland and Malawi. Chansons, a Perth-based chamber choir, sang Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day and two other songs. And Caritas, a new choir formed at the suggestion of the Duchess of Cambridge which performs on significant national occasions, sang Torches by Jean Joubert and a new version of Silent Night by Paul Mealor, who has composed for the Cambridges’ wedding and for the Army Wives choir.

The traditional Biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus along with modern meditations were read by 13 pupils from nine Perth primary and senior schools.

The organist was Howard Duthie and the minister, the Rev John Murdoch.

Christmas Celebration


The 15th-century St John’s Kirk, Perth is the beautiful setting for this year’s Christmas Celebration, which takes viewers of BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland across midnight into Christmas morning. It was in 1490 that King James IV funded the start of the present building, but there has been worship on this site in the heart of the city of Perth for a thousand years. St John’s remains the focal point for significant city and county services and ceremonies.

Six well-known traditional carols, Once in Royal, Hark the Herald, O Come All Ye Faithful, See in Yonder Manger, As with Gladness and O Little Town of Bethlehem are sung by a large congregation gathered from all over Perthshire, accompanied by Alba Brass.

Other carols are sung by smaller choirs. Jambouree, a mixed children’s and adult choir, perform songs from Scotland and Malawi. Chansons, a Perth-based chamber choir, sing Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day and two other songs. And Caritas, a new choir formed at the suggestion of the Duchess of Cambridge to perform on significant national occasions, sing Torches by Jean Joubert and a new version of Silent Night by Paul Mealor, who has composed for the Cambridges’ wedding and for the Army Wives choir.

The traditional Biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus along with modern meditations are read by 13 pupils from nine Perth primary and senior schools.

The organist is Howard Duthie. The minister is Rev John Murdoch.

Watchnight Service Recording

This year’s Watchnight Service is called ‘Christmas Celebration’ and will be transmitted on BBC Scotland on Christmas Eve 2019. It is a music-based programme interspersed with relevant readings and links. This year we are recording in Perth at St John’s Kirk.  Half of the music items will be performance based from the local Jambouree choir, Chanson Chamber Choir and Paul Mealor’s Caritas Choir; the other half will be carols sung by the congregation. 

The congregation will be made up of people who regularly worship at St John’s Kirk together with members of congregations from surrounding churches, as well as singers from local Perthshire based choirs and schools and anyone else who wants to join in the fun and festive celebrations.

The aim is to absolutely fill the church with people, both non singers and singers, young and old, who want to be part of this programme for Christmas Eve.  We’d like to invite you to join with St John’s Kirk’s congregation and help us fill the church. If you sing in a choir, we would also like to invite SATB singers to sit in their appropriate ‘parts’ to augment the singing and give us the necessary variation – harmony, descants, men only, women only etc.

The recording will take place on Saturday 23rd November from 7pm – 10pm in St John’s Kirk, St John’s Place, Perth.  As in previous years this is a free of charge – ticketed event. Please ask those who wish to attend to put their name and a contact telephone number on the sign-up sheetso that we know exactly how many people have committed to come and we avoid overfilling the church or, the embarrassing situation of having empty seats.

The carols are: Once in royal David’s city, See amid the winter’s snow, Hark! the herald angels sing, Child in the manger, As with gladness men of old, and, O come, all ye faithful. The carols will be accompanied by organist Howard Duthie and Alba Brass whose arrangements are always uplifting.

There will be a rehearsal on the Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 5pm at St Matthew’s Church Main Hall, Tay Street with the programme conductor Susan Hamilton and organist Howard Duthie. Attendance at the rehearsal is welcomed but NOT compulsory.  

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All good wishes,

Susan Burgess

Assistant Producer, Tern Television Productions, 73, Crown Street, Aberdeen AB11 6EX

Telephone: 01224 252 306

Inside out

The guest speaker at this month’s meeting of Perth Action for Churches Together (PACT)) was Morag Sievewright, who spoke about Inside-Out  – an ecumenical initiative to help prisoners maintain a church connection when they leave prison;  we are looking for Christians who would be keen to form a group in Perth, which would receive prior training. 

More information will be sent out for dissemination in individual churches – PACT is keen to promote this, in conjunction with the Scottish Prison service and the Prison chaplains.