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Annual Review July 2013

For the past few years now, The Church of Scotland has produced an ‘Annual Review’ of the life and work of its kirks nationally and internationally.

This review describes vividly the way in which the Church seeks to be the Body of Christ and its rich diversity is reflected in the stories told within.

“The review allows its readers to take some pride in the achievements of congregations all over Scotland and beyond. It also allows readers the opportunity to reflect on a changing church in a changing society.” Right Reverend John Christie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

From the Scot’s Kirk in London opening its doors as a night shelter to the homeless for 10 weeks in the winter to the tiny church in Luss, Loch Lomond celebrating 1500 years since the founding of the church there in 510 AD.

From a city centre church in Kilmarnock, fast becoming a vibrant place for community and worship with the appointing of an associate minister who is running a NiteClub for under 18’s and a series of successful band nights, to the presentation of long service certificates to ordinary members of the church in Ferintosh who quietly and unobtrusively make their faith and work in the church part of their everyday life.

In amongst all these stories is Oxnam Kirk. Somehow or another, Oxnam managed to find its way into the Annual Review and proudly takes its place with the best of them. It is good for us to see ourselves as a tiny part of a greater whole. We are simply co-workers with a mighty gathering of disciples who work to be salt and light in their communities.

The review is available in the Kirk vestry. Please help yourself and prepare to be inspired!


Just a small reminder that the pipes under the pews are hot, if the heating is on, please be careful!

Presbytery Presentation – 11 September 2013

The following is a short presentation to the presbytery at the meeting in Hawick on wed. Sept 11th. when Oxnam was given Guardianship status & gives a resume of Oxnam church Activities.

My name is Alan Strickland a member of the Oxnam Kirk congregation where I have been attending services at Oxnam for a number years.

This evening I am delighted that the Presbytery has agreed to allow Oxnam Kirk to become a Guardianship.

As the Kirk is very well integrated with the local community of Oxnam and the surrounding district.

This has been proven over the years by the activities that take place in conjunction with the community, some of which I would like to list.

  • A Sunday School attracting young mums and their children
  • A small gardening project involving the children and members of the congregation
  • A coffee morning each Wednesday when the local mobile library attends the village
  • The formation of a singing group aptly named Oxnam Valley Voices which have given concerts in the Kirk and other local events
  • Monthly film nights held in the local village hall run by members of the congregation
  • This summer a walking group has been formed with walks taking place during the summer months and last one is to take place this coming Sunday from Kelso to Jedburgh
  • Then only this last weekend we had our own Flower Festival!

I am sure you will agree with me that with the well-attended services of Oxnam and the aforementioned activities the Kirk is a thriving community in its ascendency.

Therefore I would like to thank you for giving Oxnam Kirk the opportunity to become a Guardian after many years of just a Vacancy.

WMD Thomson’s last address at Oxnam, 31 August 2003

Finally, I should like to say how much I love this place, where I have lived and ministered for over fifty years; the river, the sky, the scudding clouds as they chase their shadows at midnight across my lawns, the always voices of the birds, pigeons and the calling of rooks and crows, and this small white church, this kirk on the hill. And the enormous loyalty and good nature and forbearance of my friends, my most true friends, the people of this place; their great natural abilities, their outspokenness, their down-to-earthness, their strong commonsense, their countryman’s cheerfulness and their quiet observant kind neighbourliness. I have loved it since the first day I saw it and its primroses in the damp orchard grass. I love it now, and I shall love it always.

From WMDT’s last address at Oxnam Sunday 31st August 2003

Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1700. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world.

Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Archives of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there). In his entry for the Statistical Account of Scotland (compiled 1790s, see the Statistics section of the Roxburghshire page for more details) the Rev. John Hunter made the following comment about deficiencies in the registration of births in Oxnam in the 18th century: “The parish register was accurately kept, from 1700 to 1710, during which, the births amounted to 398, annual average 40 nearly. Since that period, the register has not been so accurate; occasioned, chiefly, by the neglect of parents to save a very trifling expence. Within the last 10 years, the annual average of births has been about 15, of which only 10 are registered.” Civil Registration Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the General Register Office for Scotland website.