IN CHOIRS AND PLACES WHERE THEY SING .....

In choirs and places where they sing…

Hello everyone, I’m delighted to be with you every Sunday playing the organ. It’s an honour and a privilege. As you probably know I’ve been asked if there is any possibility of resurrecting the church choir and I’m glad to say I’m very happy to try!

The choir would support the hymn singing and (hopefully) provide the odd anthem during the service. The possibilities are endless. If the choir became big enough we might also have a go at and giving a concert! We have already have recruited ten folk who are willing to give it a go. You don’t need to read music and I’d be happy to help with singing.

Singing is a joy for life. The benefits are amazing. It exercises the brain, improves the breathing and posture and eases muscle tension. It helps to sustain a healthy immune system, it bonds large groups of people very quickly, breaks the ice and goes a long towards stopping the present disintegration of communities (on which subject, it is also cost-effective!). All the above has been scientifically proven, even dementia has been seen to be stemmed.

John Milton in his “On the morning of Christ’s nativity” wrote; “Say heavenly muse, shall not thy sacred vein afford a present to the infant God? Hast thou no verse, no hymn or solemn strain to welcome him to this new abode?”

Well, I really hope we could have that hymn ready on Christmas morning! But you need to stifle that reaction (especially in men) that says “It’s not for me”. Come along and see, and be carried along on the wings of song. It is the most marvelous feeling and offers you a fantastic way to be a really useful member of your church.

There would be necessarily another point in the week when the choir would meet to rehearse and I’ll be calling the singers together to discuss how and when this might best be fixed.

The music I would wish to work on will certainly include works of a more “Classical” nature but that doesn’t mean dull – quite the opposite! The Praise band does a great job at the earlier service with its guitars and drums but there is a huge and varied world of church music that is waiting to be discovered and enjoyed and which is presently the well-loved, staple diet of good church choirs country-wide.

The fine Scottish Bass Bill McCue with whom I worked on a couple of occasions at Scottish opera used to have a BBC Scotland programme called “It’s a fine thing to sing!” He was right!

Do speak to me after the church service anytime. We can work things out in complete confidence and secrecy if you like!
I look forward to welcoming you to give it a go!

Geoff Davidson
Organist

BLYTHSWOOD CARE SHOEBOX APPEAL 2018 - 25TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR

Bring Happiness to someone in need this Christmas!

It is time once again to think about filling shoeboxes.

Last year Blythswood Care delivered 115932 shoeboxes to people in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Last year we contributed almost 100 of these boxes. This is only possible through the generosity and kindness of people like you.

Everyday things that we take for granted can often be luxuries for people in desperate poverty, so please take a leaflet and fill a shoebox. Give hope to someone in need this Christmas.

Leaflets are available in the vestibule of the Church, in the Church Hall or from Cavers and Co. Please note that this year Blythswood are collecting shoeboxes earlier than usual in the south of Scotland, so please have your shoeboxes ready by the end of October.

Boxes can be handed in to Cavers and Co. 40/42 St Mary Street, Kirkcudbright or at any Church service before 31st October.. We have a supply of empty boxes at Cavers and Co, so please pick one up from there if necessary.
 

GEOFF DAVIDSON - OUR NEW ORGANIST

We are delighted to welcome Geoff as the recently appointed organist at Kirkcudbright Parish Church. Geoff was born in Dumfries and went to school there. He started playing the organ at the age of 15 at Lincluden Church and later at St Georges Dumfries. After studying at Royal Scottish Academy of Music he entered teaching before becoming a staff member of the BBC Singers. As a singer he has toured worldwide with some of the world’s great conductors. He has himself conducted numerous choirs and orchestras, both professional and amateur. He has written his own orchestral pieces as well as operas and musicals. Over the years he has kept up his organ skills, until recently playing for the 6 parish churches near his home in Norfolk! Since retiring to New Galloway in 2017 Geoff has been ‘relief’ organist for Kells, Balmaclellan and Carsphairn churches and undoubtedly their loss is Kirkcudbright’s gain.
 

IVOR WADDELL - OUR NEW SESSION CLERK

I look forward to taking up the position of Session Clerk and being able to serve the congregation in this capacity. Although I know many in the congregation quite well, there will also be some who do not know me so let me give a brief self introduction.

I am not a “native” of Kirkcudbright, but have lived here for 31 years and consider it home. I was born in India where my parents were educational missionaries. We left when I was 2 years old and as a child I lived mostly in the east of Scotland. I went to secondary school and university in Edinburgh where I studied History and completed my teacher training.

I worked briefly as a tax officer at Centre 1, East Kilbride before taking up my first teaching post at Dalry Secondary, teaching History, Latin and German. I moved to Dumfries Academy and while there met my wife, Helen, who was also a teacher, at Dumfries High School. In 1986, I was appointed as Principal Teacher of History and Social Subjects at Kirkcudbright Academy and

I taught there until my retirement in 2011. During the mid 1990s, following an inspection by HMI. I served the school in the capacity of Assistant Head Teacher for 2 years with the responsibility of carrying out recommendations of the inspectorate. Since retiring, I have continued doing supply teaching at Kirkcudbright Academy and Douglas Ewart High School. Hel-en and I have 4 sons – one in London, 2 in Edinburgh and one in Kirkcudbright. My main inter-ests, beyond work, family and church are football (we have season tickets at Easter Road!), curling and golf. While I love the companionship and camaraderie of the EGGS (Elderly Gentlemen Golfers Society) my golf remains infuriatingly inconsistent and my handicap refuses to move in a downward trajectory! I am also a member of the Rotary Club, the Burns Club and Kirkcudbright Parish Players.

Finally, I hope that having served as an elder since 1997 and served in the role of Clerk to the Board and Presbytery Elder, I can put this experience to good use as your Session Clerk. I am honoured to have been asked to take on this role and ask only for your patience while I get to grips with the job.
 

FRENDZ CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING SERVICE

In the prayers a couple of months ago, the newsletter mention was made of “Frendz” so here is a brief introduction to the service.

Frendz began in 2009 as a crisis pregnancy service following prayer and extensive training through Care Confidential for its volunteer counsellors. In 2008 we completed an 80 hour course in Crisis Pregnancy and that was followed by a 50 hour course. This was The Journey and it was a Post-Abortion Training Programme.

Troqueer Church in Dumfries allowed us to renovate boiler and store rooms in its Church Hall ground floor. These premises at 24 Church Street were transformed into a counselling room, an office and a welcoming reception area with its own entrance.

Over the years we have run a phone counselling service as well as meeting up with clients, had further training sessions and taken part in fund -raising activities. We see women and their partners who are facing an unplanned pregnancy, helping them to think through the available options in a structured way. We run a 10-week programme for those who have had a termination and are struggling with their emotions and would appreciate a safe, confidential space to talk it through with someone who is trained.

At a prayer and planning day at Barcaple a couple of years ago it was decided to widen the charity’s remit.  

Our Constitution now states that we will provide ‘Within a Christian ethos, the advancement of health and wellbeing through provision of counselling, advice and assistance to those who are suffering from any physical or mental illness; experiencing mental health issues, distress or poverty.’ 

This means that we aim to improve the overall health and emotional wellbeing of clients. The clients we will see for counselling on other issues e.g. anxiety, depression, self -harm, trauma, could be anyone 16 years and over. We are able to refer to other agencies who might help with e.g. baby equipment, relationship problems.

If you are interested in being a counsellor or are already one and looking to use the skills God has given you, do contact Frendz. Or if like me, you are more of a talker than a listener, you can help in other ways. I can give you more information.

The counsellors are motivated to care by their faith but you do not need to be of any faith to access Frendz. If you need to talk that is what Frendz is for.

There is a mobile phone with answering machine which is checked every day. Find Frendz at www.frendz.org.uk or on Facebook. Tel: 07961865720 Email: frendzdumfries@gmail.com

Frendz is an affiliate member of the Association of Christian Counsellors.

Katherine Naylor