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.
Usually services are held every Sunday in both places, Kirk of St Bride at 9:30 am and Arngask at 11:00 am except for the last Sunday in the month when a joint Service will be held at 11:00 am, alternating between the two churches. We are delighted to announce that from 16 December we will be able to use the Kirk of St Bride again in Abernethy. 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
Very soon and God willing, I will be inducted into the parish of Abernethy and Dron and Arngask as your new minister. This will happen just in time for the Church to celebrate Advent, a period when we all reflect and think about the significance of Christmas. It is a time of waiting and expectation and it marks the start of a new year in the life of the Church – a very appropriate time for any clergy-person to take up a new charge. I don’t know about you, but since I was a wee boy, I was intrigued (if not slightly obsessed) with presents that arrived early for Christmas. Before the big day, I would weigh them up, examine their shape and feel them through the wrapping paper, to try to determine exactly what surprise (or otherwise) might be awaiting me. And I would look at them intensely, in the hope that I might see through the packaging and gain an insight into what lay beneath. To save you having to do that with me, I thought I might let you know something about Stan - the man that is your new minister.
Stan was brought up in Garelochhead, on the West Coast of Scotland and attended secondary school in Helensburgh. He worked for eight years with Boots the Chemists Ltd. in Dumbarton, before training for the Church of Scotland ministry and returning to academia to study divinity at Edinburgh University. His practical training in parishes within the Capital was followed by ordination in 1990 by the Presbytery of Melrose and Peebles. His first joint parish, in which he served for eight years, was Stow: St.Mary of Wedale and Heriot in Selkirkshire. He joined the Royal Navy as a Church of Scotland Chaplain in 2000 and served in the Chaplaincy Service for sixteen years. During this time, when he wasn’t at sea, he lived with his family in either Devon or Cornwall. Having retired from the Senior Service in September 2016, Stan has worked for two years in the linked parishes of Muirkirk and Old Cumnock Trinity in the Presbytery of Ayr as their locum minister. These parishes, with their industrious coal mining heritage, links to Rabbie Burns and with proud connections to Scotland’s covenanting past, have provided him with a welcome, fulfilling and happy return to the fold of parish ministry, North of the Border.
He is married to Aileen, an Occupational Therapist, who currently works in their adopted home town of Tavistock in Devon, but who will soon retire in the Spring and subsequently join Stan in the manse. They have two grown up children: Naomi and Reuben. His interests include growing vegetables and plants and he would like to find a greenhouse in which to grow tomatoes again. His other hobbies include cycling and walking and occasional activities encompass cooking, entertaining, music and playing Mah Jong.
As presents go, I hope that I won’t be too disappointing when you uncover the reality for yourself. For my part, I am very excited to be starting a new ministry and serving and leading the people of the church and parish in this special place. And, as we look ahead to the birth of the Christ-child, it is perhaps good to reflect on the fact that his incarnation brought hope and light and new life into our dark world: a better present that any of us could have ever expected or indeed, wished for.
Looking forward to getting to know you all and wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
Order of Service for Sunday 16th December
Welcome and Call to Worship
Hymn 290: The race that long in darkness pined (St.Magnus/Notts.)
Prayer and the Lord's Prayer
Childrens Address - 3rd Candle
Abernethy - Sunday Club Nativity Play: “Christmas – Expect the Unexpected!”
Hymn 312: Away in a manger
Isaiah 40: 1 - 11
Mark 1: 1 - 8
Hymn 334: On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
Offering and Dedication
Hymn 356: Meekness and majesty
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn 283: The voice of God goes out to all the world (Woodlands)
A letter from our Mission partners in Czech Republic is available by following this link.
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.