Newsletter Items

Letter from Alan Livingstone


Meadowside, Methven, Perth

March 2019


Dear Friends,

How are you?

I hope those who are well will continue to be so and those who aren’t anticipate improvement and peace.

I often refer to the writings of Paul the Apostle, but allow me to quote the words of St. John.

He wrote one of the shortest books in the entire Bible, namely 3 John. It took the form of a letter he addressed to his good friend Gaius.

His opening remark is pertinent and encouraging even now – “I pray that you may enjoy good health, and that all may go well with you, just as you are progressing spiritually.”

What better prayer for all of us as we move forward as a church and as individually, members of it.

May God bless you and may you be a blessing to each other.

Regards and blessings,






Tuesday, 12th February 2019 :  Singalong with Burns – Marguerite and the Drama Club

We are so fortunate to have such a talented group in our midst with our own Drama Club.  Marguerite prepared a wonderful programme as shown below.  To begin with she  gave a very interesting talk in praise of Burns and reminding us of his younger days and then starting off the programme by singing the song I’m o’er Young tae Marry Yet with everyone joining in the chorus; we then sang Green Grow the Rashes’O;   Evelyn reciting – The Deil’s Awa’ wi’ the Exciseman;  everyone singing Ye Banks and Braes;   Phyllis reciting her Sodger Laddie; everyone singing Comin’ through the Rye;  Alex reading Holy Willie’s Prayer;  everyone singing John Anderson my Jo;  Shirley singing Whistle an’ I’ll come tae Ye My Lad;  Everyone singing  Ca; the  Yowes;  Irene reciting O’ a’ the Airts the Wind can Blaw;  everyone singing Duncan Gray;  and to round off the musical part of the afternoon we sang the  ‘The Star o’ Rabbie Burns;  although not written by Burns it seemed  an appropriate finish.  Graeme was then piped in with the Haggis (a wee dumpling) and Marguerite gave the Address.  Allan said the Selkirk Grace and we all settled down to our Scottish Fayre of Oatcakes and Cheese, Shortbread and Cloutie Dumpling.  Thanks to our Committee for providing an excellent tea.  It was so nice to have Mary McMichael with us and hopefully she will be able to join us at some of our other meetings.

A very big thank you to Marguerite, Evelyn, Irene, Phyllis,  Shirley, Marie, Alex, Alexander and accompanist Paul for giving us a most enjoyable afternoon.


Tuesday, 26th February  -  Sitting Exercises  :  Marguerite

Once again we had Marguerite with us to take us through our exercises.  Sitting comfortably in our chairs which were formed in a circle so we could all see each other and Marguerite.  We started off with foot and leg exercises  moving on to arms and shoulders and this was all done to a marvellous selection of music such as Abba’s Money, Money, Money’, Winifred Atwell at the piano, Is this the way to Amarillo, Tom Jones’ Delilah and finishing up with the Macarena.  Because of the choice of music it was so easy to keep time and make the exercises easier. Half way through we had a short session throwing large plastic balls to each other.  That wasn’t as easy as we thought but it was a lot of fun.  At the end of it all we were more than ready for our cup of tea.  All of us thoroughly enjoyed the class and the music but there were one or two who would have preferred a gentler pace.  However maybe next year Marguerite can give us a mixture of both.  Thank you Marguerite for a ‘swinging’ afternoon.

Wednesday. 13th March  -  Visit to Muirhead Church – Makin’ Muisic – Graeme Tarbet

 An excellent turn out of members and friends for this visit to hear Graeme Makin’ Music and also nice to have Mary McMichael back with us again. As you can see from the following programme Graeme prepared a wide variety of music with added notes of some of the composers for our information.



TRINITY FANFARE – IAN TRACEY  -   Professor Ian Tracey is Organist Titular of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and when appointed organist there in 1980 he was the youngest cathedral organist in Britain.  This short fanfare is his first composition. The association between Liverpool Cathedral and Graeme is that Graeme is a sponsor/adopter of four of the largest pipes in the Cathedral.


CONCLUDING VOLUNTARY – NIGEL OGDEN   -  Nigel started playing the organ at the age of 12, having studied piano for a number of years.  His father was a Church Organist, so he had plenty of opportunity to find out about and discover the instrument for himself.  It was family trips to Blackpool to see Reginald Dixon at the Wurlitzer in Blackpool Tower Ballroom that really got him hooked on the beauty of the instrument.  After training as a School teacher, he then got involved in the music business, later opening his own electronic organ business in Sale, Cheshire.  He presented the programme “The Organist Entertains” from `1980 until January 2018.

BROTHER JAMES’ AIR – JAMES LEITH BAIN  -  James Leith MacBeth Bain (1860-1925) was a Scottish Hymn-writer, religious Minister and author who became known to his peers as Brother James.  He was born at his parents’ house on Inverness Road, Pitlochry on 21st November 1860.  When he was aged 10 years he was a scholar living with his parents and siblings at 1 Oakfield Terrace, Pitlochry.  According to a young friend of his youth in Oakfield Terrace John Smeaton Smith (Vice President of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir) James had been a Pupil Teacher in a Pitlochry School and thereafter attended the Edinburgh Free Church College and the Edinburgh Established Church College with a view to becoming a Minister.  During this time he preached in Argyllshire as well as Pitlochry and Blair Atholl.  James’ Ministry took him to Liverpool over the next decade before going to London to work.  Mr Smith also recalls the following:  Once when he was fishing in the Tummel, his cast caught in a branch.  He climbed a tree to dislodge it, the branch accidentally broke.  Annoyed he said to his friend ‘I have just lost a real good friend, many a fine cast have I found on that self-same branch’.  Later in life when John  Smeaton Smith enquired of a lady who had lived next door to him on Oakfield Terrace as to whether she knew James to be musical, he was told that she did not think he played an instrument, but ‘he was aye hummin’.  This last remark makes his composition of ‘Brother James’s Air’ a tune sung frequently with The Lord’s my Shepherd all the more remarkable, but may explain the tune’s  beautiful simplicity.









For 25 years , from 1955 until 1980, Dr Noel Rawsthorne was master of the mightiest Mersey sound of them all, as organist of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral thereafter  City Organist at St George’s Hall Liverpool until 1994.  His concerts and recordings  influenced generations of musicians and he enriched the repertoire of organists and choirs everywhere through many compositions of distinctive  style.

The first is a short piece simply called Interlude 31.  The second is his Celtic Lament written especially for Gordon Stewart who has been Borough Organist of Kirklees for over 20 years.  Gordon was born in Dundee, the son of the late Rev James Stewart who was Minister of St Matthew’s Church , Broughty Ferry Road, Dundee.  Here is an interesting connection , Gordon’s piano teacher was Kathleen Blackwood who lived two doors away from Muirhead Church.  Sadly Noel Rawsthorne passed away on 28th January this year.



Gordon Young was born in Mcpherson, Kansas and was an American organist and composer of both organ and choral works.  He received 18 consecutive composition Annual Awards.  His total works total 800 and a number of his Church Anthems such as his ‘Now We Sing Joyfully unto God’ and his organ compositions such as ‘Prelude in Classic Style’ have become standard repertoire.  He died on 2nd October 1998.

Thank you once again Graeme for another excellent Organ recital. 




Tuesday    9th April:    Music and Films  -  Alistair Fiddes

Saturday    27th April :   COFFEE  MORNING :  Donations for the Tombola Stall would                                                                                                   be gratefully accepted.

Tuesday     7th May  :    SUMMER  OUTING  -  As our High Tea was so successful last year if everyone was agreeable should we do the same this year with perhaps maybe a change of venue.  Suggestions welcome. 


Nancy Jack




                                A Smile


One Sunday a lady fell asleep in church.                    

Pointing to the man sitting next to her the                    

Minister said from the pulpit “please wake                  

that lady up.”   The man replied, “sorry                        

Minister you put her to sleep – you wake                    

her up.”                                     




The World Day of Prayer was held on Friday 1st March this year and was written by the Christian ladies of Slovenia whose theme was “Come – Everything is Ready”.  Asking the question who would we invite to our table?


Unlike last year, when we were hit by “The beast from the East”, we were blessed with a dry and sunny afternoon which lifted everyone’s spirits.


The City Centre Service was held in St. Andrew's Parish Church on the Friday afternoon with an attendance of around 50 people, 7 being gentlemen.   As it had been many years since we held the Service in St. Andrews Church we very much appreciated the warm welcome we were given and are delighted that we now have a representative from this Church on our Committee.   The Service was attended by around 50 people, 7 being gentlemen, who were all welcomed with an Order of Service and a red carnation as a gift as suggested in the booklet.   There were 7 ladies leading the Service and the Minister, Rev. Caroline Taylor, welcomed us all to the Church and, meaningfully, read the meditation.   After the Service we retired to the hall where everyone enjoyed a welcome cuppa, goodies and all important social time.


The Dundee District Committee AGM was held on Friday 8th  March where we heard reports from all the Services held throughout Dundee and rural areas and, after all the collections were gathered in and expenses paid out, we were able to send £839 to the Scottish Committee.   Although my term of Office as Chairperson was over, as with many Committees no replacement was found so I have agreed to do another year.


Upcoming News:   Although this date seems a very long way off, as you can imagine, there is a huge amount of preparation and organising ongoing. 


The World Day of Prayer International Meeting will be held in Scotland in June 2022.   This is a huge honour for Scotland to host this Meeting bringing ladies from all over the World together in our Country and, of course, does not come cheaply.   The Scottish Committee Office Bearers have asked that each District/area throughout Scotland attempt to raise funds for this cause.   I will keep you informed of any further news on this matter as and when decisions are made.


Mary Wightman




This special Service saw our congregation swell to 51 with 4 guest children. Delightfully Baby Eureka Moyo made her very first visit to us with her parents and behaved impeccably – how thrilled we were to have her in our midst. This heart-warming and individual Service, conducted and organised by Alan, was greatly appreciated by everyone present. This success will be well worth repeating as is suggested for the end of a month. Representatives of the CLC Bookshop in Dundee manned a stall in our church hall and this was well received for

perusal during the convivial refreshments afterwards. Our organist Prof. Norman Beedie ensured his superb mastery of the organ provided the congregation with professionally splendid music to encourage the singing of all of us. There were many happy smiles as the congregation dispersed, many of whom were en route to Mother`s Day celebrations.



Bridge Drive


There will be a Sandwich Lunch and Bridge Drive in aid of the Organ Fund in the Hall on Monday 12th August at 12.30pm costing £40 per table. To book contact Hazel on 01382 533689. Please spread the word!


Volunteers to help on the day to serve the food and tea/coffee and to sell raffle tickets would be greatly appreciated. If you can help in any way, please speak to Ann or Hazel.



           For various reasons it has been well over

                              a year since we last held a Beetle Drive.

                              This is an event when all ages can meet

                              for an evening of socialising, fun, laughter

                              and a whole lot of `cheating` whilst

                              raising funds for the Church.   The extra

                              bonus, of course, is the cuppa and goodies

                              provided at the interval.

                              Please come along and join us on FRIDAY

                              7TH JUNE at 7.00p.m. and bring a friend(s)

                              to join in the fun.


                               Mary Wightman

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