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Newsletter from Gary Brough, Mission Partner Posted on 07 Dec 2018  |  Full Presbytery

​Gary Brough - Malawi

December 2018

Resource and Mobilisation & Communications Manager

CCAP Synod of Livingstonia

Church & Society Programme

PO Box 112

Mzuzu, Malawi.

Hello friends.

Welcome to the first of our Partner Plan letters and thank you for your interest and prayers as our family gets ready to make Malawi our home for the next three years.

I travelled to Mzuzu in the middle of November. I’m spending just over a month here settling into my new role and making preparations for returning with the family in the New Year.

I’ve been missing the family at home in Lenzie. My wife, Jacqueline has been holding down the fort, looking after the children, packing up the house and continuing at work. She’s amazing. Jacqueline has been working as a pensions consultant since we married in 2006, she’s open to see what God has in store for her in Malawi though her immediate priority will be the girls.

Eilidh (5) is excited about the move though I’ve had to reassure her there will be no crocodiles or lions in the garden. She started school in Scotland just this year, so this will be a big change for her. Morven (1) is oblivious to what’s going on and will hopefully continue to smile through everything!

I am working for the Church and Society Programme

(CSP) in the Synod of Livingstonia. Their work includes insuring access to justice, tackling gender based violence, bringing an end to child marriage among many other things.

As Resource Mobilisation and Communications Manager, my role is to help the programme to expand its human rights, justice and democracy projects by sharing the impact of the programme and attracting new funding.

It’s very early days for me in the role, it has been good to be here in person to meet colleagues, build relationships and learn more about the current work of CSP. In particular, it has been good to be working alongside Linus Malu (photo), a lawyer and fellow Church of Scotland Mission Partner.

Almost every day brings a reminder of why this work is so important. Newspapers and radio broadcasts include stories of rights abuses on a daily basis


CSP run a one stop legal centre for victims of gender based violence. I met one of the paralegals who’d come from her day working there and she told me of some of the cases she had dealt with that day. I say cases, but that’s too administrative. These were women and girls who have suffered violent physical and sexual abuse. Most of which occurred in their own homes. One woman had to be directed for medical attention because she arrived with a serious head wound. She also shared the story of a girl not much older than my own daughter. Violence against women and girls is a harsh and all too present reality around the world, but feels particularly close here.

It’s a challenging time for CSP to maintain the funding for the vital programmes. Just for example,the fuel prices have risen sharply over the last month to about £1 a litre and that’s a real challenge for an organisation that serves such remote communities. We must decide day by day which journeys are essential.

This also adds to the challenges of setting up home for the family. Thankfully, though I’ve had a very warm welcome from new colleagues who have been quick to offer help and advice as I start to settle in.

“Pachoko, pachoko.” – Little by little or slowly, slowly – is a very appropriate local phrase for the process of getting things done. I’m learning to be patient, slowly! Weekly planning has been replaced with vague aspirations in the morning of what I might achieve that day.

That said, we now have a house and most of the basics in place. It’s a lovely peaceful spot with lots of garden space for the children to explore. Avocados, peaches and papayas grow in the garden – though there’s a monkey that helps himself to breakfast each day.

Eilidh has a place at Mzuzu International Academy which I was able to visit, see her classroom and meet herteacher. Just being around has meant I’ve met people who have come here to serve from all over. This should be a great experience for all of us but particularly for the girls.

As I write we’re making preparations for a group of visitors from the Church of Scotland who are coming to do some training with the legal team here and I go from visitor to host. I’ll return to Lilongwe with them and then home to Scotland next weekend.

This is going to be quite a Christmas for us! Thanks again for your interest and prayers. I pray you enjoy a blessed Christmas celebrating the one who brings ‘life and light to all mankind’.

Every blessing

Gary, Jacqueline, Eilidh and Morven x

Please pray:

‐ For a smooth transition to life in Malawi. That we’ll each adjust to our new life here, particularly the girls.

‐ For new friendships and working relationships, that they would be forged well and quickly.

‐ For the work of CSP and for resources to help it continue to grow its work and meet the needs of those who need it most.

ANNIVERSARY SERVICE AT MONCREIFF Posted on 19 Nov 2018  |  Full Presbytery

The Moderator of the Presbytery of Hamilton, the Rev. Kevin Mackenzie, accompanied by the Presbytery Clerk, the Rev. Dr Gordon A McCracken, yesterday attended a Thanksgiving Service to mark the 60th Anniversary of the re-location of the congregation of Moncreiff​ Parish Church to the Calderwood area of East Kilbride: as also the 175th Anniversary of the formation of the Free Church in East Kilbride Village in 1843, which in time took the name Moncreiff after its first minister, the Rev. Sir Henry Moncreiff, who left the Auld Kirk at the Disruption along with half his elders.

The service was led by the present Minister of the congregation, the Rev. Neil Buchanan, assisted by the Moderator and several members of the congregation. Mr Buchanan spoke eloquently and fittingly in recognition of the mission of the congregation over the past years, and presented a challenge to the congregation to continue its mission in a changing environment, stressing the importance of continuing fellowship and service, and meaningful worship. A ‘birthday cake’ was “mixed” for the benefit of the children, and in “true Blue Peter style” one prepared earlier was produced for their consumption.

After the service fellowship continued in the form of a buffet lunch, which was enjoyed by the congregation and many visitors, including the local Councillors and Linda Fabiani, MSP.

Ending of World War One Commemoration Posted on 30 Oct 2018

At the request of the Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, Lady Susan Haughey CBE, a special Interdenominational Civic Commemoration to mark the ending of World War One will be held within Bothwell Parish Church. The commemoration starts at 5.00pm on Saturday, 10 November 2018 and is open to the public.

The event will be supported by the church Choir led by its organist and director of music, Peter Shepherd. Music will feature Taverner’s: ‘Mother of God, here I stand’; Blatchley’s: ‘For the Fallen’; and Elgar’s: ‘They are at rest’. A wreath will be laid by the Lady Haughey, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant and an Act of Commitment will be held.

Over the past four years, Remembrance has been observed at the church of Lanarkshire men whose lives were sacrificed or injured during the conflict. It is intended that following this year’s Remembrance Weekend, an ongoing display will be created within the church so that those who died or were injured, and their families, will be commemorated into the future.

Remembrance Concert Posted on 30 Oct 2018

A special Concert to Mark the Ending of World War One and the Hundredth Anniversary of the Armistice will be held on Remembrance Sunday evening at Bothwell Parish Church.

The event begins at 7.30pm.

The Academy of Sacred Music will premiere a new work specially composed for the event.

‘A Soldier’s Requiem’ is set to the war poems of Siegfried Sassoon with sections of the Requiem Mass. The piece will be sung by members of the Academy with string quartet

Other music will be by Taverner, Parry and Finzi.

The concert is open to the public. Entry is £7.50.

Centenary of the Armistice Posted on 25 Oct 2018

In Hamilton the commemorations to mark the Centenary of the Armistice begin on Saturday 3 November at 11.00am at the Top Cross (the top of Quarry Street) with the Garden of Remembrance service.

On the evening of Sunday 4th November the Festival of Remembrance is being held in Hamilton Town House, commencing at 5.00pm. This is an annual event, which is organised by the Hamilton Branch of the Royal British Legion and is supported by South Lanarkshire Council. This year, in a new development, North Lanarkshire Council is also involved. Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire, Lady Susan Haughey CBE, will represent the Queen, and the Provosts of North and South Lanarkshire will also be present.

On Sunday 11th there will be the usual parade and service at the cenotaph in Bothwell Road, starting at 3.00pm. The commemorations conclude on Monday 12th with a service at 11.00am at the VC Memorial at the Bottom Cross.

Commemorations in North Lanarkshire on Sunday 11th

Service and Parade 11.00am at the War Memorial in Coatbridge

Service and Parade 3.00pm at the Cenotaph in the Duchess of Hamilton Park, Motherwell

All of these services, which are ecumenical, and are conducted by members of the local clergy, involve young people from the schools, as well as ex-service personnel and members of the Royal British Legion.

Across the Presbytery there will be other Acts of Remembrance and commemorations, on Sunday 11th and on other days, and the support of congregations and members of the public is greatly appreciated.

Finally can I commend to everyone the Poppy Appeal which is vital to the care and well-being of so many of our ex-servicemen and women.

Rev John M A Thomson

Champion for the Presbytery of Hamilton

Presbytery Mission Partner Posted on 03 Oct 2018

Gary Brough is a new mission partner in Malawi and will travel there with his wife, Jacqueline, and two young daughters later this year.

Gary will be supporting the work of Livingstonia Synod’s Church and Society Programme as Communications and Resource Mobilisation Manager.

Gary is originally from Kirkcudbright where he came to faith in Jesus as part of the congregation of Kirkcudbright Parish Church. A visiting Church of Scotland summer mission (impact) team played a significant role in that with Gary joining teams in Kirkcudbright, Blairgowrie, Auchterarder and Fort Augustus in the years that followed.

Gary moved to Glasgow to attend Strathclyde University. Being part of the CU there saw Gary’s faith continue to mature. It’s also where he met his wife, Jacqueline, originally from Dunblane.

After a number of years there, attending The Christian Centre, Apostolic church, they moved to Lenzie. They have been members at Kirkintilloch Baptist Church for the last 6 years where Gary is an Elder overseeing the world mission committee and Jacqueline is involved in the worship team where she plays piano.

Around the same time Gary started working at EMMS International as Communications manager - a Christian International healthcare charity working in Malawi, Nepal, India and Zambia. Spending time travelling to visit partners in these countries - including in Livingstonia Synod.

Jacqueline will leave her role as a pensions consultant and together with Gary and their daughters Eilidh (5) and Morven (1), the family are excited about this next stage in God’s plan for them.

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