Past Parish Pages
You can read any of the previous Parish Pages by clicking on the links below. These will open a pdf file in a new window. Just close that window to come back to this page!
Parish Page – November 2017
From the Session Clerk
We were very sad to say goodbye to Col. Colin Hogg as Session Clerk after our Annual General Meeting on 2nd April. Although he and Cynthia are now worshipping at Bowden Church we do hope to see them back at Oxnam now and then. Colin joined us for our Service of Remembrance on November 5th – it wouldn’t be the same without him!
While we are on the subject of Remembrance you may have noticed the tray of poppy crosses in front of the communion table in the kirk. Each of these crosses represents one of the young men from the Oxnam Valley killed during WW1. On the Sunday nearest to the date when each soldier died we take time to remember him and a new cross is added.
In May the Heritage Lottery Fund press office contacted me because they had funded an RNIB Scotland project to research the lives of visually impaired people during Edwardian and Victorian times and one of the people the project researched was John Richardson, a blind man who was born in Oxnam in 1852. They wanted to take some photos of the researcher who wrote about John’s story at Oxnam church to be used on their website and social media. I met with the photographer and researcher Victoria Ross, who is herself partially sighted, at the Kirk. It was fascinating to hear about her research. You can find out more about the life of John Richardson later in this Parish Page.
James Davidson, one of the original breeders of the Dandie Dinmont terriers is buried in Oxnam graveyard and in June, as part of a Dandie Dinmont Weekend Gathering in the Borders, we welcomed some of his descendants along with members of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club and their dogs for a short service, led by Marion, around his grave – more on that later too!
As part of their Speak Out initiative, members of the Church of Scotland Church and Society Council staff have been out and about meeting reps from churches all over Scotland to hear just what is going on in the real world outside ‘121’. In August Marion and I met with David Bradwell from the Church and Society Council. David was very interested to hear about the things Oxnam Kirk has initiated in the community and the local events it takes an active part in – church and community working together. One event we were delighted to be part of was the Oxnam Fête and Scarecrow Competition. What a fabulous day everyone had – many thanks to the Village Hall Committee and friends for all their hard work!
Autumn has been a busy time.
On the 1st Sunday of October we discovered how pain and suffering can change people’s lives in a thought provoking Worship Group service. Our interim moderator, Rev. Robin McHaffie, led the Harvest Thanksgiving Service when we were delighted to welcome along the family and friends of Lewis Simpson who joined us for his baptism. As usual the church had been beautifully decorated by Beryl Barbour and her team. A huge thank you to them. This year’s Harvest Supper held in the village hall on 6th October was a great success. A big thank you to all who provided the delicious food and helped on the night. ‘Loose Canon’ provided great entertainment throughout the evening. Special thanks go to Francis Armstrong for organising us all! Then on the 21st October Oxnam Kirk had its first Messy Church in the Village Hall. What is Messy Church? A church for adults and children to enjoy together. It’s all-age. It’s fun, with themed stories, songs, games and activities Full report follows.
The search for a minister for the linked charge of Oxnam and Kelso Country Churches continues. The nomination committee has explored all the avenues open to it with no success so far. Luckily for us Marion is happy to continue as our locum minister for the foreseeable future!
There are changes in the Presbytery. We have a new clerk, Rev Lisa- Jane Rankine, Rev Alistair Cook is a new minister in Hawick, Rev Alexander Young has accepted the charge to Kelso Old and Sprouston, Rev Charles Finnie is our new Moderator of Jedburgh Presbytery. There are of course still 4 vacancies at Cheviot, Ancrum, Jedburgh, and Kelso Country Churches with Oxnam.
Rev Douglas Nicol is Safeguarding Contact for the Presbytery and Mrs Esther Bailey is Safeguarding Trainer.
Ministry and Mission : Leading Worship Course – these courses have been well attended and will aid in leading worship in our churches.
Buildings — , Presbytery Planning is looking at the future of our Church Buildings, whether they are essential, probable, disposable. What they are really saying is that – do we have too many buildings? Can we afford to keep all the buildings, and can we manage to be more effective with fewer, more efficient, and more suitable buildings .
It will take lots of discussion.