God's bountifulness towards humankind was celebrated at several services in Cheviot Churches during October. On the 21st we had a Joint Harvest Communion Service at Yetholm, led by Ian Clark. Then, on the 28th, we had a joint service at Morebattle, led by Liz Findlay. This was followed by a Harvest Lunch in the Morebattle Institute - many thanks to those (shown below) who toiled away behind the scenes in the kitchen to provide the much appreciated food!
Cheviot Churches again had a stall of Yetholm's Border Shepherds' Show, on the first Saturday in October. We sold homemade jams & pickles and handed out leaflets about upcoming Harvest services. Many thanks to Diane Gittus (above, in blue, with Trish Gentry), who was largely responsible for organising the stall - Diane also won first prize in the Sponge Cake catagory in the Industrial Tent and her prizewinning cake was duly appreciated by the congregation after the service in Yetholm on the following day!
Saturday 1st of September saw a group (+ five dogs) from Cheviot Churches striding out on a sponsored walk. It was meant to be 8 miles long, but turned out to be more like 10 ... not that anyone minded. Thanks especially to Simon Oldham (in the orange flourescent vest) who organised the event and who gave us a guided tour of the interesting trees along the route (Simon is a forester) - and also thanks to Neil & Barbara Thomson of Caverton Mill farm who hosted us at the start and end of the walk (delicious cakes!). Photo shows some of the participants on the hills above Morebattle - with one of the many wonderful panoramas that we were priveleged to experience en route in the background. So far the walk has raised £1,100 - an amazing amount - thanks to all who contributed.
Cheviot Churches will be holding a Sponsored Walk on Saturday, 1st September, 2018. Detail below -
Location: Caverton Mill Farm, TD5 8EE
Distance: Main circular route: 8 miles, (shorter routes available).
Come and join us for a walk that’s suitable for all ages and abilities. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead. We plan to raise some funds for Cheviot Churches, to enjoy fellowship together and to celebrate the wonderful scenery around us.
Start and finish location: Caverton Mill Farm by kind permission of Neil and Barbara Thomson. Car parking available but please call if you need a lift to get there.
We’ll walk a circular route along public roads and local paths for approximately 8 miles finishing back at Caverton Mill for a cup of tea. Please bring your own picnic lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided at Caverton.
What to bring:
Suitable footwear and clothing. Picnic lunch and any snacks and drinks you want for the walk.
Donation request: £5/adult (children free) plus any sponsorship you can get. Sponsor forms are available at Yetholm and Morebattle churches as well as the village shops. You can also download a Pdf of the sponsor form HERE.
Please let us know if you’re coming along (not essential): Put your name on the attendance list when you collect a sponsor form or contact Simon Oldham (contact details below).
Further information from Simon Oldham
firstname.lastname@example.org 07778 772351
During this interregnum period our services have been led by a variety of people, usually from within the congregation, but on Sunday June Sunday 24th June worship was led by the Rev Jan Løkkeborg (above), from Sula Free Church in western Norway. Jan was leading a party of pilgrims along St Cuthbert's Way and the theme of the service was - of course - pilgrimage. We are very grateful to Jan for his message. Despite the failure of a local taxi firm to get some of the pilgrims from their accommodation in Kelso to the church on time it was a wonderful experience - and we look forward to seeing them again next year.
Sunday 10th June saw a packed church for the Kirkin' of the Bari Gadgi (Tom Grindell) and the Bari Manushi (Natasha Gray), Yetholm's Principals 2018. The service was led by Una Stewart, who made a welcome return to Yetholm for this special service. It was wonderful to see so many old friends, including several previous Yetholm Principals - as well as family members and Principals from other Border communities. It was also a chance for Cheviot Churches to present Una with a gift in appreciation of her time with us as locum minister. After the service the chairs were cleared away and everyone stayed for a buffet and chat. Thanks to everyone who made this service possible.
Sadly, the service on Sunday the 15th April was the last in which Una Stewart led us as our locum minister. She has been with us for 18 months and has been much appreciated by everyone in our community. She now feels the time has come to move on ... We wish Una every happiness in her retirement. The picture shows Carol Butler presenting Una with a bouquet of flowers at the end of the service in Yetholm.
Reflecting on her time with us, Una says:
I accepted the offer to be locum to Cheviot Churches because I had such warm and happy memories of the people and places from the time of my Student Attachment all those years ago. I was delighted to discover that as I remembered people/faces, so there seemed to be many who remembered me, not to mention one or two who even remembered my then dog!
It has been a time I will hold dear in my heart for the fun, laughter, teasing and good nature which I found. There was a willingness to be open to something different and a ready response. I found a depth of faith, trust in God and a warmth and friendship for one another and for those who came along to worship with us as pilgrims, holidaymakers, hikers.
Each Church within the group has its own identity and ethos reflecting something of the breadth of our faith, yet an increasing openness to one another which bodes so well for the future. An exciting time as you look for the one God has already chosen to come as Minister.
I intend slipping in at the back, in true Presbyterian fashion!, every so often as I feel I now have friends in the congregations and do not want to lose touch. Who knows at some point you may even see me walking part of one of the 'Ways' with a new four footed companion - biscuits always welcome if you do see us!
God's blessing on you all.
Sadly - for us - the Rev Michael Scoular, our interim moderator, is leaving parish ministry to take up a full-time post as chaplain at the Borders General Hospital. Thank you Michael for your help in this time of transition. This means we will need to look for another interim moderator. Life goes on, though ... planning permission has been granted for the new manse in Town Yetholm - an archictects drawing of the new building can be seen above.
The 2018 Ecumenical Lent course will commence on Wednesday morning the 21st February from 10.15 - 12 noon, and run for 5 weeks. We are very grateful to Rob & Lesley Dick who have invited us to meet at Otterburn again this year. We will be following the 5 session York course for Lent 2018 "On the Third Day " The Resurrection then and now. The course booklet this year has been written by Bishop John Pritchard and featuring on audio: Prof. Tom Wright, Paul Vallely, Revd Ruth Gee and Bishop Libby Lane.
There is a course booklet available for £4.00 including postage and I will be pleased to get them for the group. Please let Arthur Bates know as soon as possible if you want one. We look forward to another engaging series of studies on our journey through Lent 2018.
Session 1 - Have I got news for you! WEDNESDAY 21st February 2018
2 - So What? The Implications of the Resurrection WEDNESDAY 28th February
3 - Let Him Easter in us WEDNESDAY 7th March
4 - Celebrating and praying Easter WEDNESDAY 14th March
5 - A risen Church WEDNESDAY 21st March
Yetholm church was packed on the evening of the 17th December for a concert by the Yetholm Village Choir, ably assisted by the Yetholm Colliery Band, both ensembles directed by Geoffrey Emerson. Music ranged from selections from Handel's Messiah to Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride - the latter accompanied by some nifty percussion playing from Catherine Fish, who also read a selection of seasonal poems, along with Bible readings by our own Arthur Bates. It was great to see the church being used and enjoyed like this by everyone in the village - we look forward to more concerts in the future.