Join Scottish peace groups to ask your Holyrood candidates where they stand on issues of peace and real security.
Let’s mark the Global Days of Action on Military Spending by holding our candidates to account and ensure that any vote for them will support a more peaceful Scotland.
Invitations for this event have been sent to all major political parties standing for election in Scotland this May.
Want your candidate to attend? Email: email@example.com for a template to send your candidates and ask them to take part!
This husting has been organised by: Campaign Against Arms Trade, Pax Christi Scotland, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace & Justice (Scotland) and Trident Ploughshares.The Peace Manifesto sets out key war and peace issues and calls for nuclear disarmament, an end to Scottish government support for arms dealers, and and retraining workers from military industries for jobs that address the climate and ecological emergencies.
Help spread the word about the #PeaceManifesto by sharing it on social media. You’ll find it on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please write to your candidates and urge them to support the Manifesto for Peace, together we can build a Scotland that will be known for its contribution to peace and justice rather than for waging war.
(a) our Convener Graham thanks everyone for all the prayers and good wishes while he was off; he is making a good recovery, still has one minor op on his eye to come, so prayers will continue to be appreciated!
(b) Congratulations to Salvation Army Officers Kathryn and Andrew Howe on the birth of their daughter (Lily) on Sunday past; this is their first child, and all are doing well
(d) The Bield will re-open on 11th May, and looks forward to welcoming visitors. Marianne also announces:
The Retreat Association has been given a beautiful icon of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at The Well and it is touring different retreat centres. For this month we are hosting the icon at the Bield and offering some half-hour services around the icon. The remaining ones are on Saturday 17th April at 11am and Wednesday at 21st April 11am. To keep up with Covid precautions, we need to know numbers and names, so if folk are interested in coming along to one of the services, please write to Muriel on firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to walk in the walled garden and grounds in conjunction with the service.
(e) The Baptist Church are eagerly awaiting the arrival of thier new minister Rev Eder Ferraz Goncalves, who is originally from Brazil, and has been for the last few years at South Leith Baptist Church.
(f) The Shawl Ministry has distributed a fair number of shawls during lockdown, and have received a number of letters expressing appreciation of this thoughtfulness. For further info about the Shawl Ministry contact either Moira Laing or Mary Wright.
(g) St Ninian’s Cathedral, like many other of our member churches, is again open for Sunday worship – they are also open for private prayer, generally from 9.30 – 12.30 Monday to Thursday.
(h) Stella from the Society of Friends urged us all to be aware of the many resources available on line for use by churches and religious groups in the run up to COP21. I will also forward an e-mail re Hustings which Stella has asked me to send round all PACT churches.
In addition to the above, we heard that almost all of our churches have re-opened for public worship; many are also using streaming technology, newsletters and other ways of keeping in touch with congregations. The challenges of the restrictions (having to book beforehand, the ban on car-sharing, etc) were balanced against some of the advantages of the new technology which many churches have embraced (reaching a wider audience.) But we acknowledged that all churches will be re-evaluating how we do things as we move out of lockdown, looking to hold on to what has worked well, and developing new ways of doing mission.
Many thanks to everyone who was able to join us last night for the PACT Advent catch-up. We were joined by representatives from 14 different churches, as well as hearing from the Bield, the Shawl Ministry and Skinnergate.
Much of what was shared was about the various churches’ plans for Advent and Christmas services , some online and/or pre-recorded, some in churches and some ‘blended’ services – check out individual websites for more information. Churches have also been able to continue to support good causes, including – Poppy Scotland, Christian Aid, Crossreach, Blythswood, and Christian Rebuild ( a Congregational Church charity helping rebuilding in Beirut after the explosion.)
We were sorry to hear of the recent death of Rev Bruce Thomson, who had been such a supporter of local ecumenical activity, and the not so recent death (in April) of Monsignor Charles Hendry of St John the Baptist Church and Mary Magdalene Church. We were glad to hear that Rev John Murdoch is now out of hospital and recuperating at home – he hopes to resume duties at St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields at the end of January.
Other items shared:
(a) Jean Hendry said that Starter Packs continue to be busy and are appreciative of all donations. Jean is also involved with Perth CAB which is also being kept busy in these difficult times.
(b) Jenny Dawson reported that St John the Baptist RC Church has welcomed a new Nigerian priest Fr Jude Mukoro
(c) Rev Maudeen MacDougall of Scone and St Martin’s has raised £1600 through a sponsored weight loss and has published a Lockdown Recipe book, now available for sale, cost £7.50.
(d) Members of the Shawl ministry have been very busy over lockdown – 10 black bags full of knitting were delivered to the Blythswood collection, and donations have also been made to the Salvation Army, CATH, and others. They are also working with Rev Anne Stott and the latest initiative at Bertha Park.
(e) we heard more about the Bertha Park Project – retail premises have been bought by the Church of Scotland which will serve as a much needed community space; more can be seen at this link:
We were impressed to hear that Rev Anne Stott has delivered over 200 Advent calendars in the Bertha Park community
(f) Rev Sarah Lawson reported that the Harbour Counselling service has kept going all through lockdown, and the need for its work is great. It can be difficult when clients can’t meet face to face. She reminded us of the appeal for more Board members which had recently been circulated. She also spoke about Workplace Chaplaincy, and their aim to be more proactive in the town, especially with the challenges being faced by the retail sector at the moment.
(g) “Compassionate Christmas”, being spearheaded by Giraffe and supported by local organisations and churches, aims to feed 500 people over Christmas. St Matthew’s hopes to support this with a retiring collection after Communion in December. More details about the initiative can be found here:
(h) The Bield sadly has had to close again because of the current Covid situation, but they hope to re-open mid-January. The small-holding however has kept going!
(i) Letham St Mark’s Community Cafe – renamed LSM Connections – is now open three days a week, (Tues., Wed and Thurs) and is being well-used.
(j) The Salvation Army thanks all the churches who have donated to their Toy Appeal; the donations will be distributed to those referred by the Social Work department. The Salvation Army will be shortly re-advertising for a Community Manager – their advert will be circulated in due course.
(k) We welcomed Lis Burke who is now working at St Ninian’s Cathedral, where services have resumed. During Advent they are making use of their website and Facebook with daily prayers and an Advent challenge.
(l) Fraser Hunter told us about Skinnergate, which thankfully has escaped any Covid outbreak over the last 9 months. They are hopeful they can provide Christmas dinner this year – probably in three sittings to abide by the Covid rules. He was sad to report the death, after a long illness, of one of their long-serving staff members.
(m) Stella Cranwell, on behalf of the Prison Chaplain (Rev Margaret Shuttleworth) thanked those who had contributed toiletries for the prisoners – any further donations will be gratefully received by Stella. (Margaret has been added to our Corresponding members list, and would have joined us last night but had a previous Zoom engagement!)
(n) Wilma Coleman reported that the City Centre drop in centre based in the Giraffe cafe at Mill Street on Mondays and Thursday has on average 12 – 20 visitors each session, many of whom are regulars who value the chance to chat . They also come for food – there are many hungry people in Perth. The North Church volunteers are also involved with this enterprise.
(o) The North Church are hoping to have messages of hope and faith pinned to thier railings in Mill Street during Advent, there for anyone who wishes to pick one up and take home.
With warm best wishes for a meaningful Advent and a blessed Christmas when it comes.
The Annual Advent Parade and PACT Carol Service are cancelled this year, the Council will still be putting up the Nativity Scene outside St John’s Kirk.
Fraser Hunter reports that Skinnergate House has been busy; unusually there are 11 residents preparing to move into their own tenancies.
He also said that there is currently a real problem with unsafe drugs in the Tayside area, with deaths and overdoses increasing; prayer is requested.
Canon Mulholland, St John’s RC Church, Perth, writes – “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the sad news of the death of Monsignor Charles Hendry, parish priest of St Mary Magdalene’s, Craigie. Many words will be used in the coming days to describe his ministry. The memories we treasure, of a parish priest and pastor and teacher, of a friend and colleague and mentor, will form I am sure, a tribute to someone who gave so much to so many.”
“Everything Monsignor did as a priest – every Holy Mass celebrated, every sermon preached, every baby baptised, every couple married, every sick person anointed, every lonely person visited, every child affirmed and taught, every parishioner supported and upheld, every hospital ward attended, every deathbed sat beside, every soul commended to God, every mourning family comforted – every one of these things is nothing other than the love of God lived out in our world and in our lives, lived out in the ministry of the church which is the body of Christ, and through the Sacred order of the priesthood to which Monsignor Hendry was called sixty-five years ago.”
“As we celebrate God’s love in the life of our departed brother, we are marking the end of a life. But we are also celebrating the end of a life, not end in the sense of termination, but end in the sense of purpose or goal. Monsignor’s life was directed by, and directed towards, the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Easter faith which he proclaimed sustains and assures us that if there is an end of things, it is only the end, the goal, of the love which will not be contained and bursts the realms of emptiness and death.”
“I commend his grieving family and his sweet soul to your prayers.”
Although a Dundonian, baptised and brought up in the St Andrew’s Cathedral parish in Dundee, Mgr Hendry has served 45 of his 65 years as a priest in Perth, first at St John the Baptist’s and latterly as parish priest in St Mary Magdalene’s.
Just wanted to let you all know that I’m thinking and praying about you, the community of PACT, your family and friends over this unknown and uncertain times. I hope you are all keeping safe and well. It certainly has changed lots to our lives, yet at the heart of everything remains love, the love for each other and above all the love and peace of Christ. May this be your experience in the days and weeks that lie ahead. Please know that you are being thought of and prayed for today and may you feel and know that love deep within you.
The doors of the house where the disciples met were locked (John 20.19).
Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing in our sickness,
be joy in our sadness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
may we with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world,
For Jesus’ sake,
With my love and prayers,
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.