Moderator to host church-wide Pentecost service

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair

Congregations across Scotland will be joining together—remotely—for a special Pentecost service on 31 May.

Rt Rev Martin Fair will be hosting the service which will include worship, prayers, music, a sermon, Bible readings, and will close with the Moderator’s wife Mrs Elaine Fair singing The Blessing.

The Moderator is encouraging congregations and people of faith across Scotland, and beyond, to join together in worship as a whole church.

“Pentecost Sunday is an opportunity to rejoice in the birth of the church and to celebrate our togetherness as a church family,” Dr Fair said.

“It was the coming of the Spirit upon those first disciples that brought the church to life, with power and passion – and the same Spirit unites us still.”

“Even though we cannot be together in person, we can be together in spirit. We can share in the same worship, pray together using the same words, be inspired together by the same Bible verses and affirm our unity as the body of Christ here on earth.

“Ordinarily, the worship of the Church is offered locally, rightly so. But it seems to me that in these present circumstances there is merit in giving over one Sunday to come together.”

The Moderator will open the service and invite you to worship. Others taking part will include: Rev Fran Henderson, minister in Shetland; Rev William Boyle of Port Glasgow, New Parish Church; Ann Lyall, DCS from Glasgow; and Rev Ruth Morrison, of Clydebank Waterfront.

The musical offerings will feature hymns and songs from across Scotland including:

  • Rev Jonathan Fleming of St. John’s Largs and Cumbrae and his family
  • the worship team at Fullarton Parish Church
  • junior choir members from Aberfeldy
  • the worship team at Chryston Church of Scotland

The service will be recorded in advance and will be available for viewing on the church website and Facebook page at 10am on Sunday 31 May. It will be fully captioned and will include BSL captioning.

Sermon – waiting is a ‘spiritual discipline

Waiting is a “spiritual discipline” that highlights our dependency on God, the Moderator of the General Assembly has said.

Waiting – a good time filler is to spend it in prayer.

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair said people must trust in Him if anything “worthwhile” is to flow from activity.

The minister of St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath, Angus ;has written a sermon that contemplates the period between Ascension and Pentecost.

Dr Fair suggested that moments spent waiting ought to be used profitably, pointing out that the disciples filled time in prayer.

Praying for the nation

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair gives thanks to God for protecting and shielding us and providing strength to men and women on the front line battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister of St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath, Angus said: “Living God, renew us we pray and renew the life of the world.”

We pray:

Living God and gracious Father,
Protect and shield us.
Living God, protect and shield
All whom we love,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Living God, your Son now sits in your presence
And shares in your glory and honour.
We thank you for the promise
That his presence shall be renewed for us,
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Living God, we thank you that Jesus prayed for us
And that he continues to intercede for us.
We thank you that he continues to pray
For us and for our protection,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Living God, we pray for the life of the world
We thankyou for all those who,in these days,
Strive to protect and shield us.
Renew them in heart and soul, andmind and strength,Through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Living God, renew us we pray and renew the life of the world.
For you so lovedthe world thatyou gave your Son
That we might share in the life of the world to come.
Hear our prayer, now and always,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

New Kelso Baptist Church minister

Rob and Fiona Jones

Here is Rob Jones the new Baptist pastor for the  Kelso area, pictured with his wife Fiona (and his boys hidden behind). 

‘I am keen on the church going forth, and reaching people outside of conventional boundaries. As such, I am also a Workplace Chaplain, and hope to offer my personal support to small businesses in the coming weeks and months at this difficult time for us all. When I am not pastoring my interests include all kinds of cycling, wild camping, good live music, and messing about with old computers. Prior to becoming a pastor I was a design engineer for 15 years, so I still try and keep a few interesting projects going. My wife Fiona is a part-time primary school teacher, she enjoys feeding the 5000, and creative writing (check out her writers page on Facebook ‘Fiona M Jones’). Michael is at Heriot Watt having just completed his first year of a Maths & Physics Degree, and Benjy is entering 6th year at High school, hoping to get into vet school. We look forward to the end of lock down and meeting some of you soon!’

Rob is going to be inducted by Zoom into Kelso Baptist Church on Saturday the 30th of May. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Kelso and working alongside them to build God’s Kingdom.

Tayside minister takes up role as Moderator of the General Assembly

A Tayside minister has been officially installed as the new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, who will represent the Kirk at home and abroad for the next 12 months, described the role as an “enormous honour”.

Rt Rev Martin Fair
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair and his wife Elaine and Very Rev Colin Sinclair and his wife Ruth.

A special ceremony was held at the General Assembly Hall in Edinburgh this morning and streamed live online to enable people across Scotland and beyond to share in the happy occasion. Watch the service of installation now.

The service was held on the day that the annual gathering should have opened but was cancelled for the first time in 330 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Fair, 56, will continue to serve as the minister of St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath and undertake Moderatorial duties when required until further notice.

He said: “I’m not sure I’ve ever felt a greater weight of responsibility but neither have I ever felt more supported, practically and by the prayers of God’s people.”

Key workers valued

Dr Fair succeeded Very Rev Colin Sinclair and was inaugurated in front of a small group of people including his wife, Elaine.

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair is the first Moderator from Arbroath.

The minister, who grew up in Thornliebank on the southside of Glasgow, said he recognised that many people were suffering due to the pandemic and every life lost speaks of struggle and tragedy.

“Let me assure the nation that the Church of Scotland, with our partner churches, will continue to pray for and support those who are most acutely affected,” he added.

“And the same commitment I make to those who, 75 years after VE Day, find themselves on this new frontline – we value you deeply.”

The service was opened by Mr Sinclair and included hymns, prayers, readings, a Benediction and followed strict social distancing guidelines to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19.

It was broadcast live on the Church of Scotland website and Facebook page and included video messages from the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, former Moderator, Very Rev Jimmy Simpson, Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, convener of the Assembly Trustees, Dr Fair’s sons and Joan Hainsworth, deputy session clerk of St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath.

Challenges and opportunities

Ms Sturgeon said: “I want to sincerely thank Very Rev Colin Sinclair for his work over the past year and particularly the last few difficult months caused by the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“His continued efforts to support the community, even as we stay apart, are hugely appreciated.

“I also want to send my very best wishes to the Right Rev Dr Martin Fair on his appointment as Moderator.

“At this challenging time, the Church continues to provide support and guidance to people across our country – through virtual services, pastoral duties, and charitable work in our communities.

“I’m hugely grateful to everyone involved and I look forward to working with the new Moderator, in tackling the challenges, and also seizing the opportunities, that lie ahead.”

Dr Martin Fair
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair has served St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath since 1992.

Those present in the hall included Mr Sinclair’s wife Ruth, audio visual techniciansand Rev Dr George Whyte, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly who ensured correct process was followed and gave a Bible reading.

Dr Fair received a letter expressing best wishes from the Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, who was meant to be Lord High Commissioner at the General Assembly, his grandmother’s representative.

Moderator Martin Fair
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair is married to Elaine and they have three sons, Callum, Andrew and Fraser.

The Moderator’s chaplains, Rev Gregor McIntyre and Rev Catherine Beattie and Mr Sinclair’s chaplains, Rev Andrew Anderson and Rev Tim Sinclair, recited prayers via video conferencing.

Same as always God

Dr Fair, who has served St Andrew’s Parish Church since 1992 and will wear the Moderator’s ring and chain of office during official duties, said the pandemic had forced the Kirk to re-evaluate because church buildings were closed and ministers across the country were spreading the Gospel message online.

“We find ourselves in uncharted territory, having to re-imagine church,” he added.

“We may not have a blueprint but this calling has always been about a willingness to venture beyond the familiar and comfortable.

“Jesus didn’t give much away when he called those four fishermen.

“He called them and sent them with no terms and conditions, no detailed plan, radical or otherwise.

“Though every circumstance change, God’s love remains.

“And from love flows peace.

“‘The storms of life may come and go but the peace of God you will know.’”

Fair Martin Moderator
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair is installed as the Kirk’s ambassador at home and abroad for the next 12 months. 

Dr Fair said circumstances change but he was called to serve the “same as always God”.

The video introducing the service, which will be available to watch on the Church’s YouTube channel, was narrated by Susan Pym, Vice-Convener of the Assembly Business Committee, and the British Sign Language interpreter was Rev Rosie Addis.

Good conversation

Dr Fair is the first Moderator from Arbroath and is serving during the 700th anniversary year of the Declaration of Arbroath.

A special celebration of the life of the Church of Scotland in all its richness and fullness is being streamed online tomorrow.

The digital version of Heart and Soul, which will run for just over two hours from 2pm via the Church website and Facebook page, features an eclectic mix of worship, music, stories and good conversation with a host of guests.

Watch Heart and Soul online here.

Thy Kingdom Come invites us to pray from Ascension to Pentecost

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair is encouraging everyone to join in prayer from Ascension Day on 21 May to Pentecost on Sunday 31 May through the ecumenical prayer movement Thy Kingdom Come.

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair pictured during Thy Kingdom Come in 2019

In a letter mailed to congregations across Scotland the Moderator says, ” If there is one thing that is needed at this time, alongside the care we can offer, it is united global prayer.”

Since it began in 2015, more than two million Christians in 90% of countries worldwide and from 65 different denominations and traditions have taken part in the global prayer event.

Read the Moderator’s letter

Dear Friends,

With so much of the world “on hold” it would be easy to think that the prayer initiative; Thy Kingdom Come is another casualty. Not at all! If there is one thing that is needed at this time, alongside the care we can offer, it is united global prayer. Social distancing has actually brought us closer together as we recognise our common humanity and the challenges we must face together.

The Church of Scotland is delighted to be part of Thy Kingdom Come in 2020 while recognising that it needs to take a new approach because of Covid 19. In the light of this, the Thy Kingdom Come website has been updated and adapted for our new situation:

One of the Key themes for Thy Kingdom Come 2020 is prayer and care. As we are praying for those we love to come to know the hope and love of Christ, we also are encouraging all to see how they can show God’s love towards them by caring for them. The website suggests practical ways to show Prayer and Care.

Alongside this, there is a very helpful resource “Thy Kingdom Come – five ways to get involved” which is easily adapted for congregations in lockdown. It also includes many other resources which can be downloaded to use at home.

Whether you use the Family Prayer Adventure Map or the 11 day Prayer Journal, the same creativity congregations have employed to set up online worship and find new ways for undertaking pastoral care can equally be employed to stimulate united prayer. You can pray together at set times or set up a continuous virtual prayer event. There is a wealth of practical accessible ideas for all.

Let us join together with Christians across the country and around the world for Thy Kingdom Come 2020.


Rt Rev Colin Sinclair.

In 2019 the Moderator took part in Thy Kingdom Come’s Pentecost event in Trafalgar Square, London. This year the new Moderator will be contributing to a video launching Thy Kingdom Come, which will be available on 21 May.

Kelso Community Council

Kelso Resilience Group

If you are in the vulnerable category for COVID-19 and have no family or friends who can support you, then please contact us to use our volunteers to help you with prescriptions and dog walking.

You can contact us on 07385250507 Monday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm.

Please only send text messages if you have speech difficulties. If you can’t get through either call us back or call 0300 100 1800.

For anyone requiring food that doesn’t have family or friends to help them then please call 0300 100 1800.

Kelso Resilience Group only covers the Kelso Community Council area which is the town of Kelso and Springwood Vilage.

Anyone in surrounding villages can contact their resilience groups or call 0300 100 1800.

Thank you to all our volunteers who continue to support us and thank you to the community for using our services responsibly so we can focus on those most in need of our assistance.