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A letter from Presbytery’s Mission Partner - Gary Brough Posted on 26 Jan 2021

Dear Friends,

I’m very happy to be writing to you from Malawi and our home in Mzuzu. The uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic meant we returned to Scotland at the end of March. We had hoped to return to Malawi sooner, but we’re grateful to be here now.

We’re currently self-isolating at home. This isn’t obligatory in Malawi, however, with new variants ofthe virus spreading widely, it is the right thing to do. With temperatures around 25 degrees and a garden to enjoy, it isn’t really a hardship. It is also giving us time to adjust to being back and recover from the last-minute preparations and taxing journey.

When we arrived back in Scotland lockdown had just been implemented. Raising kids between cultures meant we wondered if the girls would be overwhelmed by the comforts of home. The gradual easing of restrictions meant the pace of our return to the familiar things of home was being decided by the government. That probably made the cultural adjustment easier on all of us. We were able to safely see many of our friends and family during our time in the UK and we’re grateful for that. Sadly, with the last-minute changes to Christmas travel rules, we were unable to see Jacqueline’s parents before we returned to Malawi.

Eilidh attended school in Edinburgh after the summer and Morven stayed home with us. As furlough ended, I began to do whatever remote work was possible. We enjoyed some virtual deputation activities during this time also but look forward to being able to see people face to face at some point in the future. Jacqueline and I both appreciated being able to keep our hand in with activities back in Malawi.

Jacqueline had been working with a friend here on the publication of a training programme to prevent lower back injury in rural communities. The manual is now finished and is being used by a number of organisations to help their local communities. Now that we’re back, Jacqueline is looking forward to seeing what comes next for this and other ministries in which she has been involved.

The journey home was fraught with potential hurdles. Flights were cancelled and rescheduled twice in the week running up to our departure. With the UK re-entering lockdown on the morning we left we weren’t fully convinced that we’d make it all the way here. We did and we truly see God’s hand of protection throughout for us and our luggage! Flights and airports were busy, despite the restrictions, with many fraught-looking travelers. While the news has focused on holiday travel, I expect there were many people in a similar situation to us – trying to get back to wherever they were before the pandemic made travel so difficult.

After a drop in recorded COVID-19 cases in Malawi for a number of months, the country is now experiencing a higher rate of transmission than it has at any other point in the pandemic. This is most likely linked to the South African variant. People have been very relaxed about the virus, it is not the greatest threat to many people’s wellbeing when employment is low, food is expensive and other diseases present a more imminent threat. With numbers rising, the government are bringing in stricter controls though most activities, including schools, will continue.

Malawians are sadly all too used to hardships in life. It may be that they are better prepared for the long-journey out of this pandemic than many of us are.

We pray for you also and the churches and communities we represent. As it’s often been said, we’re all in the same storm but we’re not in the same boat. We’re grateful for your interest, prayer and support amid the challenges we all face just now.

Please pray

- Give thanks for a peaceful time in Malawi following the presidential election rerun. Pray for the new government as it seeks to meet the high expectations of Malawians.

- For Malawi’s protection from COVID-19 and in particular an end to it.

- We give thanks that we are back in Malawi and that the children are adjusting well so far.

- For our return to work and school.

- For the adjustment between the restrictions of life in the UK and the freedoms in Malawi.

- For awareness of the concerns of others when we are so used to COVID-19 being the ruling issue.

Every blessing,

Gary, Jacqueline, Eilidh and Morven

+265 (0) 99 355 3929 (WhatsApp)


Drama Kirk - Paul – A Man Changed Forever Posted on 18 Jan 2021

Drama Kirk’s lockdown bible studies continue in 2021 with a closer look at the man who did so much to shape the Christian church – the Apostle Paul. A series of seven studies is planned, taking us from Saul’s childhood, through his conversion and into the missionary trips and letters that comprised his ministry.

The studies commence with “Saul the Persecutor” on
Tuesday 26 January at 7pm on

Through scripture readings, prayer, poetry and drama we will
bring some of Paul’s early years to life and consider the following questions –

  • Who was Saul?
  • Where do we first meet him in the bible?
  • How did the early Christian react to him?

You may find it helpful to read Acts 7:54 – 8:4 in advance of the study.


Motherwell: Crosshill linked with Motherwell: St Margaret’s (currently in vacancy).

Due to the imminent retiral of our Parish Assistant, we are seeking to engage a Locum. The anticipated duties will involve two weekdays plus one or two services
on a Sunday and will commence early in 2021. The specific duties will continue to be under review due to the current COVID restrictions. The Locum will work as part of a team ministry, as an OLM is currently deployed to the linked parishes by Hamilton Presbytery. In the first instance enquiries should be made to the Interim Moderator, Rev. Anne Paton, 01355 220732 or

Applications including a CV should be submitted by the closing date of 30 November 2020.

Current Vacancies for Ministers (Charges with permission to Call) Nov 2020 Posted on 05 Nov 2020

Current Vacancies for Ministers (Charges with permission to Call) Nov 2020

Dates stated are those on which latest permission to call was granted. The Right to Call lapses after two years from the initial date of permission unless an extension is granted by the Presbytery.

Chapelhall linked with Kirk o’ Shotts (3 February 2020 – 1 year extension)
[Unrestricted]: Interim Moderator Rev. Margaret Currie

Hamilton: South linked with Quarter (3 December 2019) [5-Year Reviewable Tenure]:

Interim Moderator – Rev. Ecilo Selemani

Shotts: Calderhead Erskine (4 February 2020 – 1 year extension)

[Unrestricted]: Interim Moderator – Rev. Iain C Murdoch (retired)

ANOTHER OLM ORDAINED Posted on 04 Nov 2020

On Tuesday 3 November 2020, the Presbytery of Hamilton again met for the joyful duty of Ordaining its third OLM (Ordained Local Minister) in the space of 7 weeks. The Ordination was of Lorna Fyfe, who had previously been a Reader of the Church of Scotland, and remained so whilst undertaking training as an OLM.

A member of the congregation of Hamilton: St John’s, and under the supervision of Hamilton Presbytery, she nevertheless undertook her Probationary Period in the neighbouring Presbytery of Glasgow with the Rev. Alastair Duncan at St George’s Tron Church.

At the service of Ordination and Introduction, the Rev. Alastair Duncan conducted the early part of worship and preached a fine sermon on our calling in the midst of a “wilderness” uncertainty, reminding all that as we journey with Jesus so we find our fulfilment in Him, and service to Him, having come through a metaphorical ‘Jordan’.

The Moderator of Presbytery, the Rev. Maxine Buck, led representatives of the Presbytery in the act of Ordaining Lorna to this non-stipendiary Ministry of Word and Sacrament, and also, on behalf of the Presbytery, ‘Introduced’ her to the Coatbridge Churches amongst whom she will work.

Coatbridge currently has only two incumbent ministers across seven congregations in five ‘charges’, and although there are two locums also working in the area, neither of these are able to undertake a Sacramental Ministry; and so Lorna’s role will be vital in support a wider ministry in the area as the local churches, in conjunction with the Presbytery’s Planning and Implementation Committee, try to work out an arrangement that will best serve Coatbridge going forward.

Although working across the ‘cluster’ Lorna will, in the first instance, be under the direction of the Rev. Fiona Nicolson, Minister at Coatbridge: New St Andrew’s, who has also recently been appointed as Interim Moderator at Coatbridge: Calder linked with Coatbridge: Old Monkland Parish Churches.

To facilitate streaming the service on-line, the service was held in the nearby Airdrie: The New Wellwynd Parish Church, and thanks was extended to the Minister and office-bearers for making the church and their streaming service available for use by the Presbytery.

At the close of the service the Presbytery adjourned to next meet on 1 December 2020 for an on-line celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and thereafter for Ordinary Business.

ORDINATION OF LORNA FYFE Posted on 03 Nov 2020

A Service of Ordination of Ms Lorna Fyfe to the Ordained Local Ministry, and her introduction to the Coatbridge Attestation Area will take place on Tuesday 3 November 2020, commencing at 7.00pm.

The Moderator, the Rev. Maxine Buck, will preside, and the preacher is the Rev. Alastair Duncan, Minister at St. George’s Tron Church in Glasgow, with whom Lorna spent her probationary year.

The service will also feature solos by Miss Ciara Harvey.

The service can be accessed (see links below) live via Facebook and the Web-pages of Airdrie: The New Wellwynd Parish Church, where the service will take place to facilitate live streaming.


On-line Web

The Church of Scotland Presbytery of Hamilton is a charity registered in Scotland No: SC048680.