Home > ‘The Bell’

 November 2018 Rector’s Letter

Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out. Isaiah 54: 2

Dear Christ Church family,

I’m writing this after a rollercoaster week.  At the beginning of last week Willie and I were told that the two little boys we were hoping to adopt might not be with us until after Christmas.  However, later in the week that changed, and we’ll meet them for the first time at the beginning of November!  We’re very excited – and on that note, we have really appreciated all the kind words and support we’ve received from our Christ Church family as we’ve been on this journey towards adoption.  This week we’ll meet with those involved with the boys’ care to agree a programme for transitioning to us.  This will mean that at some point in the next few weeks I’ll begin Adoption Leave.

I wanted to let you all know what that will mean in terms of arrangements for cover.  Firstly, I’ll still be the Rector (it won’t be like a vacancy), and I will be returning!  Secondly, in terms of services Rev. Ann has kindly offered her support, and we will have some guests in as well.  Also, following Bishop John’s suggestion, Willie will provide oversight as an Interim Locum while I’m on leave, attending Vestry meetings and also meetings of the Consultation Group with regard to our community engagement and our building.

I was thinking about all of this when these words from Isaiah popped into my head: ‘Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out.’ These words of God are spoken to Israel as a promise of blessing.   On a personal level that certainly resonates.  Our home is likely to become one big playroom – it will never look quite the same again once two little ones arrive, and will be all the happier for it!  But also I was thinking about Christ Church and ‘the site of our tent’.  In our future engagement with the wider community, and in terms of our own building, Isaiah’s words are pertinent.  They remind us to be increasingly open, generous, creative, and hopeful in our plans for the future and with others.  God is faithful, and we will be blessed in being a blessing to the wider community.

I will continue to keep you all updated in the pew sheets and via e-mail once I know more about dates for my leave.  I won’t be far away, and you will never be far away from my thoughts and prayers.

With love, Sarah


A long remembered Christmas

In November 1966 my parents and I moved into the home where Dad still lives. Then, as now, one of their next door neighbours was a Hungarian lady (always known to me as Aunty Ilona), and her husband,   Uncle Patrick from Yorkshire. As I grew up I smelt the food and listened to loud discussions in this strange language, and was fascinated.     However, until I first visited Budapest a few years ago the description of Aunty Ilona’s nationality only connected with the food and the language. The only words I ever learnt, incidentally, were terms of affection she used to her husband and children. A month ago I visited my Dad and Aunty Ilona called me around for a coffee.  I found myself gripped with a need to understand where she came from, and how she arrived next door.  It must be the habit from 4 years of gathering stories for the history book, but I now find I want to know people’s stories, and so for about and hour I quizzed her about how she escaped with her brother and   sister, having to leave her parents and young brother behind. She later told Dad it was like being interviewed, but she hadn’t minded.  The reason why I’m telling you all this is because in the middle of the trauma (which has had a life long impact on her mental health), she told me a beautiful Christmas story.

Aunty Ilona spent Christmas 1956 in a huge hut in Austria which seems to have been a hub, where people waited to be dispersed across       Europe.  As the festive day approached the local people decided that they couldn’t let these refugees spend their first Christmas away from their homeland, in a huge dispersal hut. Each of the local people took a refugee, or 2, to their homes to join their family’s celebrations. That was 62 years ago, and talking about that act of kindness still made Aunty Ilona smile.  She said that even though Austrians and Hungarians had been part of the same empire, this was more than an expression of that. This was kindness that never lost its impact on her.

Times are different now.  The refugees we have in our town may not share our religious festivals, and anyway we may not feel able to open our homes in the same way. This is a different age with its own fears about how we should interact with strangers to keep ourselves safe.  However, as we look outwards as a church community, and join with other groups to share the love and compassion of our Lord, maybe we can pledge that we will go forward into 2019 praying for, and otherwise supporting, those strangers in our town who had to flee their homeland to escape the fear and persecution those in power, threatened. Let them ever remember the compassion that enveloped them in their time with us.



Thanks to all who joined in the Kelpies Canter in September, or sponsored Richard Dyer.  About 110 people participated this year, from 10 different churches. Between Christ Church and the Quakers, just under £500 was raised.


Prayer Diary November 2018

Thurs 1 Feast of All Saints/Revd. Rosie Addis, being licensed today as Associate Rector at St John’s, Princes Street, Edinburgh

Fri 2 Feast of All Souls/all those grieving a loved one

Sat 3 Marie Curie nurses

Sun 4 All those who worship in Christ Church today

Mon 5 Bishop John and all who work in the Diocesan office

Tues 6 The meeting of the Consultation Group this evening

Wed 7 Those who have a hearing impairment

Thurs 8 Families suffering poverty

Fri 9 The work of Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health (FDAMH)

Sat 10 Those who will come into Christ Church today

Sun 11 All those who have died in the service of others

Mon 12 Our Vestry meeting

Tues 13 The Provincial Personnel Committee, and the Diocesan Finance Committee, meeting today

Wed 14 Local government councillors and officers

Thurs 15 The work of Family Mediation

Fri 16 Those struggling with debt

Sat 17 Carers

Sun 18 Our AGM

Mon 19 Persecuted Christians

Tues 20 Those traumatised by flood, fire or earthquakes

Wed 21 All NHS workers

Thurs 22 Church organists and singers

Fri 23 Those who are sight impaired

Sat 24 Those who live and work in religious communities

Sun 25 Feast of Christ the King

Mon 26 All who struggle with their faith

Tues 27 The young people of 470 Squadron Air Cadets

Wed 28 The Edinburgh Diocese Clergy Conference

Thurs 29  The Diocese of Kinkiizi, Uganda

Fri  30 Feast of St Andrew/National Call to Prayer



Saturday 10th 2.00-4.00 pm Church open for Remembrance/Bill Mitchell signing copies of his book about the War Memorial Sarah Shaw

Sunday 11th 10.30 am Sung Eucharist with Act of Remembrance/laying of wreaths/Sunday Bairns Sarah Shaw

Sunday 11th 2.00-3.00 pm Stations of Remembrance Service followed by refreshments Sarah Shaw/Frank Murray

Sunday 18th 10.00 am Sung Eucharist followed by AGM (no 9.00 am service) Camayo Hyde

2.00-4.30pm Air Cadets Fundraising Afternoon Tea in the Hall


The Knitting Group will be meeting again on Wednesday 21st        November at 2.00pm in Margaret Aitken’s house.


AREA COUNCIL REPORT                                                    

  I attended the Area Council meeting on 3rd September in Linlithgow  – in the new Upper Room, along with Wendy Pemble and Rev Sarah Rev Sarah gave a brief overview of the General Synod. Those who attended the Will Graham concert shared their views and Rev Tim Tunley thanked those who attended and supported the Mission to Seafarers AGM. He also requested that we each propose MtSS for the Bishops Lent Appeal. The date of the 10th March was agreed for the next Big Sing and we agreed to support MtSS as the chosen charity. Revs Sarah and Willie Shaw reported on the Youth Camp at Glen Almond. Each charge then shared their reports on the past 3 months.

Camayo Hyde



In Today’s Context

I had HIV, and you visited me

I was black, and you stood with me

I was in prison, and you wrote to me

I was depressed, and you held me close

I was Puerto Rican, and you rescued me

I was homeless, and you shared your home

I was a refugee, and you welcomed me inside

I was LGBTQ+, and you invited me to the table

I was disabled, and you said that my life matters

I was a woman, and you told me that my voice matters

I was a divorcee, and you didn’t exclude me from fellowship

I was of a different faith, and you told me that Love breaks down walls

Steve Austin




Remembrance at Christ Church

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th November 2018

 To mark the centenary of the end of  World War One, Christ Church is planning a weekend of events to commemorate those who have died in war and to pray for peace.

Saturday 10th November from 2.00pm until 4.00pm     Church Open.

Come and view our unique War Memorial (the oak cabinet above the altar in the South Transcept, or, Lady Chapel); read about some of the men commemorated there; pray (prayer cards will be available); lay a memento at the Memorial in memory of a loved/remembered one, lost or injured because of war.

 Sunday 11th November at 10.30am Communion Service                With Act of Remembrance and laying of wreaths.

 Sunday 11th November at 3.00pm

A service of prayers, readings, silence and hymns, followed by refreshments

All Welcome     =============================



Teacher…………How old is your father?

Pupil…………….He is 6

Teacher…………What?  How is this possible?

Pupil…………….He only became a father when I was born



Put these events in order as they took place in Bible history.

  1. A) Solomon’s temple is built
  2. B) John the Baptist is born
  3. C) Noah builds an ark
  4. D) Jesus dies on Calvary and rises on the third day
  5. E) Abraham goes to the Promised Land
  6. F) The apostle John receives the visions of End Times
  7. G) Paul spreads the gospel during missionary trips
  8. H) Joseph is taken to Egypt
  9. I) King David rues in Jerusalem
  10. J) Gabriel brings a message to Mary
  11. K) Jesus teaches throughout Galilee and Judea
  12. L) The ten Commandments are given to Moses on Mount Sinai
  13. M) Jesus is baptised
  14. N)God places Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden



To My Christ Church Family and Beyond

Since Sandy died last month I have been overwhelmed by all your cards, letters, hugs and the many spoken words of sympathy.

Our daughters and I are so grateful for the love and concern and the support at Sandy’s funeral shown to us by so many people.

Thank you, all.

Sandie Bovaird



The Big Clean – October 6

 Many thanks to the team of vigorous vacuumers, pristine polishers and dutiful dusters for ensuring that our one hundred and fifty-four year-old building was looking at its best for the Dedication Festival. I understand that our old structure is now waiting, with enthusiastic anticipation, its pre-Christmas make-over.

Frank Murray

 Christ Church Address Book – please help

The Address Book for Christ Church is being updated.                  Copies of the book will be at the back of the church during              until 18th November.                                                                                        Please take a few moments to check your details are correct and make any changes – adding or deleting as appropriate.  Thank you!
The Christ Church AGM will held on  Sunday 18th November after morning worship.

There will only be one service that morning, at 10,00am

Business will include the appointment of two vestry members.      Suggested names should be sent to Camayo together with the names of Proposer, Seconder and confirmation that the person is willing to serve on Vestry.


Do you have a recipe you are prepared to share?

Send it to me  if you would like to see it in  THE BELL

ronniepeebles@hotmail.com   or  leave a note at church  or  text it to me on 07740 502083



  1. Who was the greatest male financier in the bible?
  2. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in



  1. Who was the greatest female financier in the bible?
  2. Pharoah’s daughter. She went down to the Nile and drew out a little prophet.


Guess Who in THE BELL last month?

It was, of course, Jack Scott



Don’t forget, most of us are eligible for a Flu Injection. Contact your doctor’s practice if you haven’t had a letter or a phone call about it.


Remember, Remember ! The next edition of THE BELL will be for December 2018 and January 2019 and items/articles should be sent to me by Sunday 25th November.

E-mail : ronniepeebles@hotmail.com                                                           Text : 07740 502083    or   leave a note at the church

                                                                           Ronnie Peebles

Canon Rodney Grant

Recently, I travelled to Slateford in Edinburgh to visit a dear friend, Canon Rodney Grant, with whom I have kept in touch since his time here at Christ Church.

Canon Grant was an inspiration to us all and to the Christian Faith. He is a humble and selfless person with a deep love of God and brought his own special qualities and ideas to our church family, which we eager to embrace.

Canon Grant celebrated the Eucharist with such meaning and possessed such an uplifting presence, he made me feel I had been sitting  at the table with Jesus.

Nothing gave Rodney greater joy than serving others, especially at a significant or difficult time in their lives.

Shortly after he arrived in Falkirk, my mother asked me if it was possible to arrange for her to be baptised. I think she felt St Peter wouldn’t let her through the Pearly gates if she wasn’t !  Once asked, our good Shepherd was delighted to welcome a new sheep to our little flock. I say sheep and not a lamb as my mother was 85 years old at the time !

In June that  same year, my younger brother died very suddenly. I don’t know how my mum would have coped with the grief at that time without the comfort and     support Rodney bestowed on us both.

Around six months later, Rodney returned to Edinburgh and St  Vincent’s and on   occasion, David and I would attend a service there to see him. When my mother died in 2010, she was 100 years old and Rodney insisted on attending her funeral even though his own health was beginning to fail at that time. Due to his failing health he was forced to give up his flat in Bruntsfield and now lives in a residential care home. During my recent visit I found him to be rather frail and he is on oxygen all the time but at 91 years of age he remains very bright and always happy to see people. If you are ever in  the Edinburgh area I am sure he would be glad of a short visit. Meanwhile, he sends his love to all our Christ Church family.

Rodney made a big impact on my life and on the life of many others, I’m sure.

Thank you for the opportunity to sing Canon Grant’s praises because you would never learn any of this from him.

                                                                                                          Sheena Wilson

Durham (in the early morning)

If you are an insomniac, if the 0542 from Grahamston arrives on time at Newcastle Central for the quick transfer to a First TransPennine Express Service and if you can negotiate the precipitous descent   and the steep climb across Durham you can be in the Quire of the  Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in time for Morning Prayer at 0845.

The current building dates from 1093 and replaces and earlier Saxon ‘White Church’.  It is home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert and its library holds copies of the Magna Carta.  Recently its Norman Architecture has been shrouded in scaffolding while major maintenance has been carried out.  However, you can grasp the magnificence of the edifice by viewing the 300,000 Lego Brick model. This was completed in 2016 thanks to 300,000 individual £1 donations and sits comfortably between the well-stocked shop and the café.

In 1923 the Medieval, Our Lady of Bolton, Chapel was renamed the Chapel of the Durham Light Infantry in honour of the local battalions.  During the Great War two hundred and seventy-three DLI soldiers lost their lives during the battle of the Somme in pursuit of the high ground or Butte at Warlencourt. Later, in 1917, three wooden crosses, in memory of the fallen were raised at that location. The largest was eventually lodged in the Cathedral.  Poignantly, the Chapel is home to the many Books of Remembrance relating to conflicts.

To mark the 1914-1918 struggle a Credo for the Centenary of the First World War has been created by the Cathedral Chapter.  A very helpful Cathedral guide arranged for a copy to be sent to me.  This Credo may form part of our afternoon service on the 11th.

The Cathedral maintains its strong links with, what was, a vibrant Mining Community.  The annual Miners’ Gala includes a parade and subsequent blessing of local banners within the Cathedral.  Music for the service and hymns is provided by local brass bands.  The mines may have closed but the locals maintain that strong sense of community and mutual support.

The Shrine of St Cuthbert is located behind the High Altar at the east end of the Cathedral.  Cuthbert (635-687) was Prior of Melrose and then of Lindisfarne.  He was responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout North-East England.  On his death his Lindisfarne grave became a place of pilgrimage.  Later his remains were housed in Chester Le-Street and in Ripon before their final transfer to the Cathedral.

My latest visit was during this hot and dry July.  Along with the superb offerings in the café a research visit to a local tavern averted (possible) dehydration.

Frank Murray

The Perks of Reaching 60, or, being over 70 and Heading Towards 80 !

1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run—anywhere.

4. People call at 8.00pm and ask “Did I wake you?”

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now won’t wear out.

8. You can eat supper at 5.00pm

9. You can live without sex, but, not your glasses.

10. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

11. You can’t remember who sent you this list.

12. And you notice the list is all in BIG PRINT for your convenience.

Send this to everyone you can remember right now!

Recipe of the Month

[Serves 6]

397gm Can of Carnation Condensed Milk

150ml (1/4 pt) Double Cream

Finely grated zest and juice of 4 large unwaxed lemons   (approx. 150ml)

1 tbsp fresh mint leaves; squeeze of lemon juice; 1tsp             granulated sugar; lemon zest; fine biscuits

Beat the cream until forming softly whipped peaks

Combine the lemon zest and juice with the condensed milk; the mixture should thicken

Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined

Spoon the lemon cream into 6 small dishes or wine glasses and chill until ready to serve

To serve :

Very finely chop the mint leaves and mix with a squeeze of lemon juice and the sugar; pound the mixture to a sauce with a  mortar and pestle

Add a teaspoonful of the sweet mint sauce to each dish and several curls of lemon zest and fine biscuits.



The solar calendar used in most of the world, sponsored by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 as a corrected version of the Julian calendar.

The revision of the Julian calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and still in force, whereby the ordinary year is made to consist of 365 days and a leap year occurs in every year whose number is divisible by four, except those centenary years, such as 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100 whose numbers are not divisible by 400.



 Tue 4 Dec Africa, Middle East
Fri 7 Dec Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Sat 8 Dec Caribbean, Central and South America
Mon 10 Dec Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
Fri 14 Dec Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA
Sat 15 Dec Finland, Sweden
Mon 17 Dec Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Tue 18 Dec Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

Two bags of unused medication  were recentlyretrieved from the home of a patient.

Total value £727. This includes 15 Ventolin inhalers, 10 GTN Sprays and nearly £200 worth of insulin….. all wasted !!!.

This is happening every day all over the country!                             The cost is inordinate !

Please only order the medication you need and always check your bag when collecting from the pharmacy.

Answers to Quiz, in order :

1 = N;  2 = C;  3 = E;  4 = H;  5 = L;   6 = I;   7 = A;   8 = J;

9 = B;   10 = M;   11 = K;   12 = D;   13 = G;   14 = F


The next edition of THE BELL  will be for two months

December 2018 and January 2019

Please send items to Ronnie Peebles by 25th November





SC : 017350





Rector : Rev’d Sarah Shaw  – presently on adoption leave.

Pastoral services in the meantime contact Rev’d  A Smith …01506 834361

Office : 55 Kerse Lane, Falkirk   FK1 1RX


Rector’s Warden       Margaret Briggs             01324 623285

People’s Warden      Lesley Leishman           01324 551340

Secretary                   Camayo Hyde             01324 717586

Treasurer                   Elaine McCaffery         01324  412082

Lay Rep                     Camayo Hyde            01324 717586

Alt Lay Rep                Wendy Pemble            01324 829805


Vestry Members


Sally Ibbitson                     01324 879589

Ronnie Peebles                 01324 623330

Kate Luke                          01324 635870

Wendy Pemble                  01324 829805

Nonee  Mathe           07815 801662

Frank Murray            01324 553913


www. christchurchfalkirk.org.uk

www.facebook.com/pages Christ-Church-Falkirk











Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function wp_parse_list() in /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php:485 Stack trace: #0 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php(395): WP_Comment_Query->get_comment_ids() #1 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php(346): WP_Comment_Query->get_comments() #2 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php(303): WP_Comment_Query->query(Array) #3 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/comment-template.php(1418): WP_Comment_Query->__construct(Array) #4 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-content/themes/charitas-lite/content-page.php(37): comments_template('/comments.php', true) #5 /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/ in /storage/content/04/1007104/christchurchfalkirk.org.uk/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 485