Special meeting of the Kirk Session
There will be an extra meeting of the Kirk Session on Thursday, 15th September at 7.30pm in the Crypt. This is to discuss a Presbytery paper linked with the revising of the Presbytery Plan, asking us to think about our place and mission within our parish community.
Ordination and Admission of Elders
On Sunday 3rd July the church celebrated the ordination of John Leckie and the admission of Elaine and Matthew Downs and Alison Ireland to serve on the Kirk Session. We are delighted to have them ‘on board’ and look forward to their participation in the services and meetings, and their assistance in the pastoral care of church families.
News from the Kirk Session meeting on 7th February
The Kirk Session has appointed Mr. A. Hunter as its new Session Clerk. This comes after a period of prayer and careful consideration. Mr Hunter will be assisted in his responsibilities by our Depute Clerk, Mr I. Black, who has worked hard on our behalf in the five months since the death of Mrs Taylor. The office-bearers and congregation have pulled together so well in the difficult months that now lie behind us, and we look forward to continuing our service of Christ in this place.
The Kirk Session received a report from the Liaison Committee, who had met with a representative from Presbytery. Discussions had taken place about some of the practicalities surrounding the upcoming linkage of Kirn with St. John’s and Sandbank. The linkage will take effect from 3rd May, and it is intended that the first Sunday Service of the Linked Charge will be a united service in St. John’s Church. A date has still to be fixed by Presbytery for the formal service of Linkage.
A report was received on a Youth Camp being organised by one of the Presbytery Youth Ministers. This will take place in August. The camp is being named EXP11. More details will be available as the planning progresses.
The Communion Roll was attested as at 31st December as 325 members.
The Stated Annual Meeting of the Congregation will take place after the Service on 27th March.
Minister’s Annual Report for Kirn Parish Church for 2010 given at the Stated Annual Meeting on 27 March, 2011
The annual Statistical Return for 2010 required by the Church of Scotland has been submitted to Presbytery, showing that our membership stands at 325. We lost 8 members by death, including our Session Clerk, Mrs Moira Taylor. The church’s appreciation of her service over the years has been recorded in the Session Minutes. The whole community’s appreciation was shown by the church being filled to overflowing for her funeral service. We still miss her greatly. Her untimely death stopped us in our stride for some time, but as she would have wanted, we have set our hearts and minds to the work that lies ahead.
In 2010 the congregation supported each other through the difficulties and disappointments that came our way. Many people gave generously of their time and talents in the various fundraising events and projects organised by the Session and Board, and for all your efforts I thank you. We continue to work towards the building of a new Church Centre on Hunter Street, and we have been pursuing contractors for quotations for repairs to our Church Tower/Roof.
We have enjoyed Spring and Christmas Fairs, Strawberry Teas, a barbecue and a Ceilidh. We have filled smartie tubes with 20 pences and bagged 5 pences for both our own and overseas charitable projects. We have organised a Car Boot and Table Sale, and cleared out a lot of ‘junk’ from the storage areas of the Centre! We have opened the Crypt and ‘run’ two stalls at the Kirn Gala. We have sung carols in a local Nursing Home and hope to extend this to more regular services to encourage the residents with the old familiar hymns and tunes. We have continued our commitment to Christian Aid, the Raven Trust in Malawi and Starter Packs. We have held joint services with our neighbouring churches and the three sets of elders from Kirn, St. John’s and Sandbank have shared in conference.
It has been a busy year, and there will be no let up in 2011! We still have much work to do in connection with our buildings. As the year progresses we hope to receive planning permission for the new Church Centre, and to that end we will continue our fundraising efforts! I would like to record here my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your dedicated service in the church and community in so many ways, and for your caring support of each other which has been so encouraging to experience.
Although much will remain the same as we move towards the linkage of Kirn with Sandbank and St. John’s, we acknowledge that there will be some changes. The Charge will be called Central Cowal. The three congregations will retain their own names, buildings and traditions, but there will be opportunities to worship together and enjoy fellowship with each other and explore what it means to be sister congregations. The whole Charge will be the responsibility of myself as Parish Minister supported by Glenda as our Deaconess. In real terms that will mean that where there were three full-time servants of God, there will in future be only two. I will keep the Kirk Session and the congregation informed as we move towards May. To assist with our inter-congregational planning and communication I have three diaries – one for each church – in which all meetings, events and preaching plans for the three churches will be recorded. The Kirk Session has appointed Alex Hunter as our new Session Clerk, and he will serve with our Depute Clerk, Treasurer and Clerk to the Board on the Liaison Committee.
With the goodwill of our three congregations we will be into the flow of linkage life before too long! May God bless us all as we journey through 2011. Sarah Nicol.
Session Report For Stated Annual General Meeting
Monday 2nd March, 2009
Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was standing here giving you our last report and yet another year has passed. A year of great change for us all but a year filled with promise of the time to come.
Firstly the year just finished. On my statistical return to Presbytery on December the 31st I reported that we have three hundred and forty eight members on our Congregational Roll. Since then I am pleased to advise you we have added four new members. In May one hundred and seven members attended Communion with that number rising to one hundred and thirty in November.
Back to April 2008. With the imminent retiral of our Minister, Reverend Grahame Henderson, the process of finding his replacement started. Reverend Frank Wyatt was appointed as our Interim Moderator and the task of finding volunteers to become members of the Nominating Committee began. Reverend Wyatt and Reverend R. Griffiths met with us to outline the procedures necessary to attest our Congregational Roll and to begin the search for our new Minister.
At the same time all this was going on the Committee were beavering away to make sure Grahame’s retiral was an event to remember!
In June Reverend Wyatt met with the Congregation and the process of finding our new Minster took a step further when members of the Congregation were elected to represent Kirn on the Nominating Committee. Those elected were – Messrs. Mosley, Neilson and Dr. Hamilton and the Mrs Ellis, Sutherland and Taylor. At a subsequent meeting of the whole Nominating Committee Caroline Sutherland was appointed as Convenor and Andrew Mosley agreed to act as Clerk.
June also saw Reverend Henderson presiding over his last Session Meeting when he thanked members of Session for their support over the past four years. He also asked that the Sacrament of Communion be included in his last Service on July 26th. This request was approved and the Clerk agreed to ensure as many Elders as possible would serve.
Also in June we joined with the Congregations of St. John’s and Sandbank and enjoyed an indoor Barbecue – a unique event enjoyed by all. The mini bus continued to prove very useful when it was used to transport the Sunday School and friends to Kelburn Country Park. Another great day.
July was a month of mixed emotions. The end of a Ministry is always worth marking in a special way and I think we did just that. The memory of our retiral do for Grahame and Kathleen will remain with us forever. Such a sense of fellowship, fun and laughter. Who will ever forget Grahame and his sombrero? There were so many people involved in making the night a success – it would be wrong to single any one person out. Our sincere thanks go to all who helped in any way.
In August Reverend Wyatt outlined just how he saw our new situation working. He advised Session that we were fortunate in that we have Glenda, our Deacon, in place. This would provide continuity until a new Minster is appointed. Glenda would attend to most of the pastoral matters of the Congregation and would lead worship every alternate week. We are also fortunate to have had the services of Dr. Hacking who has been very well received having inspired us with his thought provoking sermons.
At this time it was also decided to resurrect the Worship and Youth Committees. These groups have been meeting regularly with Glenda as Convenor.
October saw us joining again with St. John’s and Sandbank congregations in an act of Worship to celebrate Harvest. This was followed by a soup and sandwich lunch here in the Centre. Another successful venture with our future partners in what will be known as Central Cowal.
December arrived and the usual round of celebrations took place. The generosity of the Congregation was staggering at our Gift Service when donations of toys and toiletries were received and passed on to our local Women’s Refuge. These were much appreciated. We attended the annual Christingle Service held this year at St. John’s and our own Watchnight Service was well supported. We thank Frank for his conduct of Communion at the end of the year.
So 2008 passed and with it some sadness. We lost fifteen members to death and our thoughts and prayers are still with those who mourn the loss of a loved one.
At this time I wish to pay tribute to Joan Alexander, a long serving member of the Kirk Session. Joan loved life and had the most tremendous sense of fun as well as being a huge character. She led from the front – nothing was too much for Joan. She loved her Lord and served him so well here in Kirn. We will miss her.
At this point, before we move onto the new year, gratitude where it is due. Firstly to Grahame and Kathleen who have shared so much with us. Then to Frank who has guided us wisely to this point. He has always been here when we needed him – he must have driven many, many more miles than usual to be with us. To Donald Robison who has come up trumps as usual in what has been a very busy year. From finding a stool for Glenda to shifting bookshelves. All wee things that many of us aren’t aware of but done by him without complaint. At least I don’t think so. I imagine that wee black book grows by the week! Our thanks also to the Sunday School staff who are so committed to our growing group of youngsters. My personal thanks to members of Session who carry out their duties without complaint and who put up with me . Only two amendments this year!
Last but not least thanks must go to Glenda. She has been a true rock over the past few months often under very difficult circumstances. She has moved us ahead, ready for our new challenge, while continuing to help us build those all important relationships with our future Central Cowal partners. As Frank told us at our first Session Meeting, “Remember you have Glenda.” How true that has been.
So to the New Year. January arrived and with it the news that Reverend Sarah Nicol was to be invited to preach as sole Nominee. At this point I feel I have to point out the wonderful commitment and drive shown by Andrew Mosley and Caroline Sutherland. I think I can say in all honesty that we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now without the dedication shown by them – all this under wise guidance from Frank.
Reverend Sarah Nicol preached in Kirn on the 9th of February and, after the Congregational vote, was elected to the vacant charge of Kirn in deferred linkage with St. John’s and Sandbank. Sarah, Stuart and Deborah are in the process of packing up in Edinburgh and are looking forward to being among us for the next chapter of our life here in Kirn. Her Induction will take place in the Church on Saturday the 18th of April followed by her first service on Sunday the 19th.
So the year ahead is full of new beginnings. Exciting times lie ahead. Sarah comes to a happy Congregation. A Congregation who work together to further God’s work here in this place.