Welcome to Abernethy and Dron and Arngask Parish
Welcome to our Web site. We are a parish in beautiful south Perthshire. Two buildings serve to accommodate the people of the parish: Kirk of St Bride in Abernethy and Arngask Church in Glenfarg.
Services are held every Sunday in both places, Arngask at 9:30 am and Kirk of St Bride at 11:00 am except for (usually) the last Sunday in the month when a joint Service will be held at 11:00 am, alternating between the two churches. You will be welcome to join us in praise at either place for worship. See here for information prior to any Sunday for any special Service time.
From the Manse
As I write this, the endless problems of Brexit continue and the postponement of the event has done nothing to alleviate people’s anxieties. Regardless of our political views, it is true that Scotland has always looked outwards towards Europe and the world and Edinburgh has aye been a very cosmopolitan place. Scots have generally welcomed others and historically, in turn, have populated the furthest reaches of our globe. But having said that, we are always rather wary of folk that we don’t recognise and they arouse in us a feeling of suspicion which is hard to ignore.
In my last parish, on one Sunday, the congregation had an unexpected visit from a very smart unknown man in a dark suit. He stuck out like a sore thumb because he chose to sit alone in a pew in which no-one ever sat and in a remote part of the kirk that hadn’t seen a worshipper since the place was built. Despite me making a big thing of welcoming him, he sat quietly, head down and throughout the service he seemed to be scribbling notes in a little book. At the end, before I could even shake hands with him at the door and quiz him about his identity, he shot off like greased lightning.
The next weekend, all became perfectly (and slightly frighteningly) clear. It turned out that he was a part-time journalist for The Scotsman newspaper snooping in on our worship incognito and he wrote an article about the church service which was published the following Saturday. I received four stars for my sermon, which I thought was OK and he described me as “gorgeous” which I wasn’t so sure about! So he was forgiven for the initial consternation he caused. Just as well everyone had been nice to him and had given him a warm welcome. It just goes to show that we never can tell who the stranger in our midst might be.
The Bible is full of instances where the stranger or visitor is made welcome. A very deeply held middle eastern trait even to this day. And so, in this respect, Islamic and Jewish cultures are quite similar to our own Scottish characteristic of extending hospitality. We read in our Christian scriptures of this hospitality often being followed by wonderful and unexpected things. And we know that Jesus himself put into practice the advice we find in the Book of Leviticus (a book not always regarded as politically correct in so many ways):
“count him as one of your own countrymen and love him as yourself for you were once strangers yourselves”.
Whatever the realities of Brexit, the last thing we should do as Christian people or indeed Scottish folk of any religion or none, is to become xenophobic because we never have been like that. Shady men in black suits, unknown strangers and unexpected visitors should be welcomed as indeed should all who draw near to our fellowship this Summer regardless of where they might come from.
Whether you intend to stay at home or go away over the holiday period, I wish you all a very happy time. And whilst I cannot promise a four star sermon every Sunday, there are always plenty of room in the kirk pews for visitors. And whether you ever drop in or not, I really do hope that, in your journeying, you receive some four star sunshine.
Sincerely, (Rev) Stan.
Order of Service for Sunday 23 June
Welcome and Call to Worship
Hymn 485: Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Prayers of Approach and Confession and Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 225: Summer suns are glowing
I Kings 19: 1 - 12
Luke 8: 26 - 39
Hymn 609: Come, living Lord when least
Offering and Prayer of Dedication
Hymn 606: Lord you sometimes speak in wonders
Prayer of Intercession
Hymn 251: I, the Lord of sea and sky
General Assembly 2019
Decisions taken at the 2019 General Assembly have the potential to reshape the Church of Scotland at every level. To help Church members and congregations engage with the reform process, Life and Work has released a four-page guide summarising the key decisions. It can be accessed from this link.
We have recently received from the National Records of Scotland a complete catalogue of the records they hold for the parish, the earliest dating back to 1689. This document can be accessed from here. Please note that this list will not be automatically updated therefore it is correct as of the compiled date noted.
The Auld Kirk
A document has recently come to light written by Ian MacDonald some time around the middle of the 20th Century detailing some of the history of the old Arngask Church (over the other side of the motorway). For those interested in the history of the area, this document can be accessed from here.