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10 November 2020Reopening buildings (updated)

We are delighted to announce that we have received approval to reopen our church buildings for worship. For the time being, we plan to have only one service a month in each sanctuary: Craigie on Sunday 6 December and Moncreiffe on Sunday 20 December. Both services will be at 11:00 and will last 30–40 minutes.

Numbers will be strictly limited to comply with government guidelines. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be in place.

Both churches will be deep cleaned by a professional cleaning company prior to reopening. The congregation must wear masks and will not be allowed to sing. Pew cushions and Bibles will be removed; you may bring your own cushions and Bibles as long as you take them away with you.

We look forward to welcoming members of our congregation who are comfortable coming back to worship. For all those who are not, we shall continue to make services available online.

UPDATE: To help you judge if you should attend, click here for the Church of Scotland's guidance on reopening church buildings and go to Appendix 4 (p. 50) for an assessment 'tool'.

20 October 2020Shoebox appeal

We usually collect shoeboxes for the Blythswood appeal. We can't do that this year, but you can still help.

You can drop off a full shoe box, or gifts to go in one (e.g. hats, scarves, gloves, underwear, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush or sweets) at Perth Baptist Church, Friday 6th November at 10:00–12:00, 2:00–4:00 and 6:00–7:00, and Saturday 7th at 10:00–12:00 and 2:00–4:00.

Blythswood is looking for volunteers to help during the sort, 16th to 19th November at Perth Baptist Church. Shifts and work stations are arranged to minimise time indoors and allow social distancing and cleaning. Volunteers are also needed for cleaning.

To volunteer, or for further details, please contact Karen at blythswoodperth@btinternet.com.

You can also donate money through Virgin Money Giving at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=PerthBlythswood&pageUrl=1

08 October 2020Churches together for charity

As part of the Perth City Churches working together initiative, Mary Wright of St Leonard's Church has asked usto join together in supporting the Church of Scotland charity, CrossReach, which would welcome our support in these difficult times.

Many of us will be sending calendars to family and friends at this time of year and she has offered to take orders (thereby saving postage charges) for CrossReach's calendar, priced at £5. The calendar features a series of stunning pictures of Scotland's scenery at its very best. The months of the year and days are in Gaelic and English. Size is 295mm × 210mm and it comes complete with envelope. She will collect the money – cash if possible – when she delivers them. The calendar can be viewed on the CrossReach website: crossreach.org.uk 

Orders must be placed by 31 October 2020.   

If you would like to order a calendar/calendars please email Mary (mary_wright27@btinternet.com) with your requirements, and your name, address and contact phone number, and say that you are from Craigie & Moncreiffe Church.

25 September 2020Fridge funding fillip for Food Share

The Perth South Community Food Share hub has secured funding for a new display fridge. The Food Share hub, which operates out of the Moncreiffe Community Hall, has been growing from strength to strength following an initial pilot over the summer.

Liz Barrett said “We set this up in July, based on Food Shares supported by Letham4All in other parts of the city. Letham4all have been brilliant. Our aim is to reduce food waste and offer food and other items at low or no cost.”

The project has since met great support from residents and volunteers in Moncreiffe, Friarton and Craigie. Liz added “We’ve had a tremendous response. Over 100 people have signed up, with many regulars and a great team of volunteers keen to continue this initiative. It’s also been really good to have donations of rhubarb, plums and apples from local residents and South Perth Community Garden.”

Initially the Food Share got support from the Mustard Seed Café, who lent a fridge freezer to help Liz and her team get the project off the ground. Liz Barrett said “We’re delighted that our Food Share has been awarded funding from the COVID-19 Supporting Communities Fund. We’d have struggled without the Mustard Seed’s help. The display fridge is great, people can see what’s inside without having to open the door which means that chilled goods are kept fresher.”

South Perth Food Share is open to everyone (it isn’t a foodbank) and usually has chilled foods, delicious meals made by the Mustard Seed Café or Giraffe, fresh fruit & veg, bakery, and assorted staples.  It’s open Thursdays and Saturdays, 11am to 1pm.

If you could help the Food Shares, especially by driving to collect supplies in your car from time to time, or would like to donate spare tinned food or garden produce, please come along or let Liz know at liz4perthsouth@gmail.comor by phoning 571527.

Photo: volunteers Liz Barrett. Jo Sharp and Lorna Johnson with the new fridge

22 September 2020Community Food Share

Following a successful pilot, the South Perth Community Food Share at Moncreiffe Community Centre will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Please continue to support the Food Share by using it, volunteering (they especially need drivers with a car to be able to collect supplies), and making donations of spare food and garden produce. 

21 September 2020PACT latest

A number of initiatives to highlight from the PACT meeting of 16 September 2020:

(a)  Wilma Coleman has been involved with the City Centre Community Hub working with Giraffe and the North Church, based in the cafe at Mill Street. A number of those who have dropped in have been asking where they might go to pray, either alone or with someone; we identified St John's Episcopal in Princes Street, which is open from 10.30 to 12 noon each Tuesday morning; St John's RC in Melville Street is open from Tuesday to Friday for Mass from 10 to 10.30 a.m., the Bield  Chapel is open – it would be advisable for individuals to phone the Bield beforehand (01738 583238) so they can be prepared to meet them – and St John's Kirk is open for silent prayer from Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (it can accommodate a maximum of 8 at any one time, entrance is by the south door, and all social distancing, track and trace, hand sanitising, etc. are being strictly adhered to).

(b)  Jean Hendry mentioned that Starter Packs is still open and responding to referrals; donations of household goods (excluding furniture) can be handed in to their unit (22) at Friarton on a Wednesday morning from 10 to 12 noon;   donations will be quarantined then sorted by the volunteers on a Friday morning. Jean specifically asks that donations are not handed in on a Friday, to avoid confusion.

(c)  Moira Laing reminded us that the Prayer Shawl ministry continues, and there are a number of shawls available, which they are keen to distribute. If any church knows of someone who would appreciate a shawl, please contact either Moira or Mary Wright – the shawls have been kept safely and have been quarantined!

(d)  Stella Cranwell has been chatting to the new chaplain at Perth Prison, Rev. Margaret Shuttleworth, who tells her that she is desperately short of toiletries for prisoners who arrive with nothing. Could we appeal to our church members to donate items like shower gel, toothpaste and deodorant? Such donations must be in plastic bottles and sprays are not acceptable. If you can help or wish to donate, please contact Stella.

If you want to get in touch with any of the above people, please ask us for contact details.

16 September 2020Coronavirus risk assessment

The Kirk Session has decided to carry out a risk assessment of reopening the church buildings for worship.

This does not mean that we are going to reopen soon. It means that we are making preparations to inform our decision. If we conclude that we can ensure the safety of worshippers, we will need to send our plan to Presbytery for approval. Only when we and they are satisfied that it is safe will we reopen.

We want to resume public worship, but we are well aware that infection rates are rising and many of our congregation are particularly vulnerable. We will let you know when there is any progress to report.

26 August 2020Baby loss remembrance and support service

Saying Goodbye, part of the Mariposa Trust, is coming to Perth in September with a brand new baby loss support remembrance and support service. It is for anyone who has either personally lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years, or been affected by a family member's or friend's loss.

Services will be in St Ninian's Cathedral at 3–3:30 and 3:45–4:15 pm on Sunday 6 September. Numbers strictly limited, so please book at https://www.sayinggoodbye.org/sgscot20-booking-page/

More details at www.sayinggoodbye.org

13 August 2020Week of prayer

The Moderator invites us all to join in a week of prayer from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 August. There will be a reflection on Facebook and on the Church of Scotland website each morning and a live gathering on Zoom each evening. If you can't use Zoom on a computer, you can dial in on your phone. See here for more details.

05 July 2020Continuing closure of the premises

The Kirk Session has had a Zoom meeting to discuss the possibility of reopening the church buildings. It decided to wait until we can guarantee everyone's safety. Currently we would not be allowed to have any singing or let people use the Bibles or hymn books. We would also have to deep clean the premises before and after every time they were open, as well as providing hand sanitiser and installing a one-way system.

We look forward to worshipping together again when it is possible. Until then, remember that the church buildings may be closed but the Church is open for business.

16 June 2020Moderator of the General Assembly 2021

The Committee to Nominate the Moderator is now ready to receive recommendations for the person who will be nominated as Moderator of the General Assembly in May 2021. The person elected will serve until the opening day of the 2022 Assembly.

Any member of the Church of Scotland can recommend a minister, elder or deacon (i.e. a member of the diaconate) for consideration by the Committee using the Recommendation Form. Completed Forms should be returned to Susan Taylor at staylor@churchofscotland.org.uk by Friday 7th August 2020. The consent of the person being recommended needs to be obtained before the Form is submitted. The Committee asks that there is only one Form submitted for each recommendee.

As well as chairing the General Assembly the Moderator acts as an ambassador for the Church of Scotland at home and abroad. You can read more about the duties of the Moderator here.

The Moderator of the General Assembly is a full-time role and he or she is provided with a flat in Edinburgh during their time of service. Every effort is made to ensure that they are not out of pocket by giving time to this task.

Please give this request your prayerful consideration. Do you know someone who would have the gifts and experience to fulfil this calling? If you do, download the Form and make a recommendation.

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