Print out the Bulletin in PDF format


Copy for inclusion to be handed in to the Manse as soon as possible.

Page Index

- Diary Dates
- West Church
- Badguish
- Shoe Box
- Property
- Malawi Sale
- Worship
- Life and Work
- Minister
- Congrats.
- Life & Work
- Refreshments
- Fairtrade
- Christian Aid
- Social Com.
- Coffee & Chat
- New elders
- Duties
- New elders
- Register
- Communion
- BBs
- Choir

Previous Issues


The Bulletin

September 2007

Diary Dates

7.30 pm Choir Practice in the Old Church Hall
10.00 am Children's Sunday Club in the Old Church & Stables

Sunday 2nd
MORNING SERVICE 10.00 am Old Church
EVENING SERVICE 6.00 pm West Church

Saturday 8th
Ekwendeni Hospital Cake & Candy Sale 11 am – 3 pm Old Hall

Sunday 9th
MORNING SERVICE 10.00 am Old Church
EVENING SERVICE 6.00 pm West Church

Monday 10th
Guild Committee 7.30 pm The Manse

Sunday 16th
MORNING SERVICE 10.00 am Old Church
Service conducted by the Mrs Vera Lumsden, Portsoy
Cruden Churches Walk Sands of Forvie
EVENING SERVICE 6.00 pm West Church conducted by Elders (Mary Bratton, Kate Clark, Jack Young)

Sunday 23rd
MORNING SERVICE 10.00 am Old Church
EVENING SERVICE 6.00 pm West Church

Monday 24th
Guild 7.30 pm Old Hall

Sunday 30th
MORNING SERVICE 10.00 am Old Church
Sacrament of Holy Communion
EVENING SERVICE 6.00 pm West Church

From 12 to 21 September, during the absence of the Minister, pastoral duties will be undertaken by the Rev Allan Fawkes (phone 01779 841814)

From 2nd September until Christmas, the hymnbook used in the Old Church will be CH4. On those same Sundays, Combined Mission Praise will be used for our evening services in the West Church.


Cruden Parish Church Property Committee


This report is a result of the Annual Visitation round the properties conducted by the Committee on 5 May 2007 and summarises the conclusions of the Committee as confirmed after its full discussion on
5 July.

The Objective
The Kirk Session has previously agreed to meet the costs of repairing the West Church. To implement this decision requires us to have the funding assured before we start.

The Committee feel strongly that there should be one clear objective.

•  If the Church is to be used then it must be restored to a condition inside and out which shows quite clearly that we are proud to use and maintain the building.

•  If we invite anyone into the building, as we do in theory every time we hold a service in it, we would want that person to conclude from the building that Cruden Church is proud to use it.

•  Anything less than this would reflect badly on Cruden Parish Church and would lead people to rightly question whether the Property Committee was doing its job properly,

The Extent of the Problem
•  The plaster cracks inside the Church continue to worsen. The cracks are to be found right round the building. THE SAFETY CONCERN MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND GREAT CARE EXERCISED. The Committee believes that the extent of the problem is such that the only satisfactory solution would be an extensive if not total replastering of the interior. Subsequent redecoration would be required.

•  Before any interior work is commenced extensive work would be required to the ridging and roof slates.

•  The kitchen would have to be upgraded to meet current hygiene standards.

•  Disability provision to meet the requirements of the 1995 Disability Act. This would include a ramped access, a disabled toilet and a loop induction system.

•  Ventilation problems at the back of the church continue. This will be helped but not solved by use of a dehumidifier.

•  Vandalism continues to be a problem. A broken window at the back has been repaired but now there is damage to air vents low down on the east wall and further damage to the noticeboard. These might be minor matters but they all add up to a serious ongoing and costly problem.

The Committee concludes that to produce a building to be proud to use will require many thousands of pounds to be raised.

Unfortunately it has been found out that there is unlikely to be significant monies available through the Landfall Tax Scheme. There remains the money to be obtained from selling the piece of ground for which we have now established ownership. We should be able to raise a significant amount from this source. The Committee is not aware of any other possible sources.

Other Property Concerns
The Committee, on behalf of the Kirk Session, has a duty of oversight of ALL our buildings and therefore must consider any one of them in the context of all our property. The Committee is aware of the needs of the Old Church properties and some of the possible cost involved.

  1. Having been firstly advised that the Old Church vestry would need reslated at a cost of approximately £20,000, further investigation has resulted in repairs being effected but we have been told that the roof would need reslated in the not too distant future.
  2. However the Stables roof has lost slates recently because of nail rot. We are advised that the roof should be reslated as a matter of urgency. Further opinions are being sought but if the work has to be done, which seems very likely, one estimate already received is for £10,500.
  3. The Old Church Hall is a nineteenth century building hardly changed and urgently requires being brought up to modern hygiene standards with further disability provision. This, we should assume, might cost several thousand pounds.
  4. No doubt there will be other problems at the Old Church over the next few years which will require to be dealt with.

These matters could certainly be coped with by any monies available from any sale of ground if not spent elsewhere. The Committee believes that upkeep of the West Church fell behind when resources were stretched while undertaking the Old Church renovation in 2002. The Committee is extremely concerned that if we go ahead to bring the West Church up to scratch, resources will not at the same time allow ourselves to maintain the Old Church properties as we should. So a backlog will build up there and the cycle will continue.

While it is not the concern of the Committee to look at the Stewardship angle of property expenditure, as concerned members of the Kirk Session the Committee does feel that the Stewardship context cannot be ignored. Put bluntly the questions is “Is it acceptable Christian Stewardship for anything from £70,000 to £100,000 to be spent on a building basically used for evening services for only a handful of people, many of whom have already attended morning worship?” What is the reality of the situation? The Committee wonders whether the Session is intending to keep a building open only for the sake of keeping it open, not because we need it or can afford it?

Future generations
The Committee has also considered that church numbers are going down and previously good givers are no longer with us and this process will continue to adversely affect our financial position. In 10 or 20 or 30 years time there may be fewer members whose generosity, even at its maximum, would find it even more difficult to maintain two church buildings. We find it difficult enough at this time! If one generation cannot bring itself about to take a difficult decision, all we are doing is passing the buck for what is inevitable to our successors. Will they thank us for that? Will we feel easy at knowing that we have burdened the next generation with a decision that we should have made for ourselves?

After very careful consideration the Committee would summarise its views as follows.

•  The Committee is determined that any building we have should be in a condition that makes us proud of it.

•  The Old Church properties must not be allowed to deteriorate because we are spending all our money at the West.

•  Quite simply, now and not just in the future, we cannot afford to maintain two church buildings.

•  We are not acting as responsible Christians if we spend large amounts on a building we hardly use and therefore do not really need.

•  We do not feel it is right to pass the responsibility for a difficult decision on to the next generation if the facts now are such that the decision requires to be taken.

•  A church should not be kept open for the sake of keeping it open.

The Property Committee unanimously recommends that the Kirk Session resolves to close the West Church with a final evening service on 30 December.


At its meeting on the 20 August 2007, the Kirk Session

  1. agreed to proceed to take a decision on the future of Cruden West Church
  2. accepting the argument put forward in the Property Committee Report, agreed that the West Church should be closed.
  3. by one vote rejected an amendment that it be closed immediately and agreed that it be closed at the end of this year.

The Kirk Session also accepted that it was one of the saddest meetings that had ever been held for none of the elders took any pleasure in closing a building that had played a major part in the life of many members.




August 17-19 Badaguish Weekend

Our first walk of the weekend was along the shores of Loch Morlich. This was just a short walk on Friday but we enjoyed it as the weather was very much in our favour and the peace and quiet was something to be appreciated.

On Saturday it rained the whole day, not unexpected considering this summer's weather. We separated into two groups. One group went walking part of the way along the edge of Loch Morlich, returning to their starting point through a wood. The other group made for the Glenmore Visitors' Centre and came across some people re-enacting a battle which involved a local Worthy called John Roy Stuart who became so famous in his day that the author Robert L. Stevenson based some of his adventures in his book 'Kidnapped'. The walking group were also lucky enough to witness some of these activities. Due to the bad weather conditions, the walking group returned to our base at Badaguish while the other group found their way to Newtonmore to visit the Countryside Museum, bit of a soggy experience!

Sunday proved to be a better day for exploring the local area. After a short time of worship led by Shonah Taylor, we again split into two groups. One group did a lower level more comfortable walk, while the other group set out on a longer walk. I had a bit of a 'Senior Moment' and opted to join the second group which found me not just walking farther than the others but doing a bit of mountaineering as well. However we all survived and felt the better of our walk????? Later that afternoon we went to the Jack Drake tearooms which we had visited last year and once again saw the birds and squirrels which are delight to watch. While we were there we sampled the delicious cream cakes. Our annual treat was a visit into Aviemore for our evening meal.

Despite the weather everyone agreed we had enjoyed the Badaguish experience and each other's company. Hopefully we will repeat it again next year.

Jenny McGarrol

The final two Church Walks for this year are

  • 16 September Sands of Forvie
  • 14 October Udny





It is that time of year again when Cruden Church is asked to support the Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal. Last year we surpassed ourselves, as usual so let us hope we can at least match the 77 boxes we sent in November 2006.

Boxes should be handed in to:

  • Cruden Bay Mrs Jenny McGarrol, 3 Ward Street (812408)
  • Hatton Mrs Jean Beedie, 37 Manse Road (841370)

Boxes may also be taken to the Old or West Churches on Sunday mornings and evenings respectively. If you are unable to fill your own shoebox but would like to donate items, please bring them to the church and place in the boxes provided.

Please note that the boxes should be handed in by the END OF OCTOBER.





In spite of the wet, cold weather we had in July, a small number of willing helpers came along to the Old Church properties to get some DIY work done.

The railings have again been re-painted (this seems to be a job like the Forth Road Bridge); the entrance and toilet area in the Stables have been re-decorated; the windows at the Stables have been repaired and re-painted as have some in the Hall and at the Church.

I thank those members who were willing to give of their time and effort.

Robert Esson, Property Convenor.





On Saturday September 8 there will be a Cake and Candy Sale in the Old Church Hall to raise funds for Ekwendeni Hospital. Produce and second-hand books will also be for sale. Soup and pancakes, tea and coffee will be served and the Sale will be from 11 am until 3 pm. Donations to the stalls, raffle prizes and offers for help on the day will be gratefully accepted.

It is hoped that this new venture will gain the generous support of the congregation and as a result we will be able to send a worthwhile donation to Malawi. Tickets £1. If transport is required please contact Beatrice Fawkes, Betty Forrester, Annette Garden or Marilyn Samways.




From September through to December we shall be learning what God has to say to us through the ancient hymns of His people, the Psalms.

    Happy are those who reject the advice of evil men, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everthing they do.
    (Psalm 1:1-3)

  • September 2: Psalm 1
  • September 9: Psalm 8
  • September 16: PULPIT SUPPLY
  • September 23: Psalm 19
  • September 30: Psalm 23

Once again we are looking for volunteers to do the bible readins on Sunday mornings. New volunteers always welcome. Volunteering sheet is in the Welcome Area of the Old Church.





Saturday night at the Kirk This month's cover story features an Ayrshire church keeping youngsters off the street with a Saturday night project.

Pulpit Reflections Richard Ellis who has been involved in assessing ministers' communication skills for over 20 years reflects on the thousands of sermons he has heard during the course of his work.

A champion for Christianity Oxford University Professor Alister McGrath, author of The Dawkins Delusion is profiled this month. He is one of the biggest critics of the atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

‘Let the children come to me' A survey among Kirk congregations reveals an almost equal divide on the issue of children at Communion. While some congregations encourage the participation of children there are many who felt strongly that children should neither participate nor be present at Communion.

Hope in a scary world The Rev Jock Stein commends the thoughts of Calvin and Knox to ‘to help you live a contented and positive life in troubled times!'

A measure of spirituality The Very Rev Dr James Simpson explains why actions in our lives speak louder than theology.

The Last Word Following a recent edict from the Vatican defining ‘proper' churches, Muriel Armstrong examines the Roman Catholic Church's view of other Christian denominations.

And more…. Comment, book reviews, travel, finance, lively letters, news from far and near, monthly prayer, prize crosswords…. all for £1.60!

If you would like to read Life & Work, the magazine of the Church of Scotland,
contact Isobel Young on 812360

Life and Work Website



FROM THE MINISTER 22 August 2007

Dear Friends

You will probably have read the earlier pages in this Bulletin outlining the report brought by the Property Committee to the Kirk Session meeting on 20 August and of the decision taken by the Kirk Session, with the greatest of reluctance, that at the end of the year the West Church be no longer used. This was a decision not taken by the heart but by the head – not emotionally but after considering the situation rationally.
It was with heavy hearts that this decision was reached for it is one of the most difficult decisions that can be taken in church life because of the important part the building has played in many members' lives. The fact is, however, that we have been using it for a number of years recently despite the advice of the General Assembly regarding the costly use by a congregation of two church buildings. That was why we could not expect any financial help from the Church of Scotland to restore the building. Nostalgia and fond memories do not pay bills.

Why was the decision taken?
If you are still asking that then all I can say is please read the Property Committee report again. That makes it quite clear why the Committee recommended what they did and we can assume that is what the Kirk Session accepted by agreeing their decision overwhelmingly.
So no one need ask why but everyone can feel sad that an important chapter in the life of the Christian Church in Cruden has closed.
We shall be reverting to the situation, prior to the Disruption of 1843 when there was only one Presbyterian church in the parish. In a sense we are demonstrating the restoration of Presbyterian unity as we return to the single focus of the Old Parish Church. Of course, in the towns and cities of our land many churches that were built as a result of disruption have already been closed for with unity there was no longer need for them all.
So thousands of people have gone down this road before us and felt the pain of losing something important to them

A building not a church
For long I never thought the church would close before the end of my ministry here and I will have many fond memories of many things that have taken place in the West Church over the last 30 years. But I was increasingly doubtful that the West Church would have continued beyond a vacancy, leaving my successor to deal with a difficult situation which he or she would prefer not to have at the beginning of a ministry.
A very important point was made in the Session discussion and it is one we should all remember. The decision means a building has been closed but not a church. Cruden Parish Church remains alive and well and I am confident that we will recover from the blow to our morale by the closure.
I want all our members, and particularly those with close attachment to the West Church, to know how seriously the Session took their decision making responsibility. It is always easier to decide to do we would like to do but on this occasion the Session decided to do what they considered best for the future of Cruden Church.
I would ask you to remember in your prayers

  • those elders who discovered how uncomfortable it can be when what they might like to see happen conflicts what what they feel is right
  • those who feel the natural sadness of losing a building important to their past
  • the Kirk Session in making future decisions about the church. All that has been decided so far is that it will no longer be used after December. What will be done thereafter with the building has not as yet been considered. Further difficult decisions lie ahead.

Looking ahead
It just so happened that at the same meeting when it was decided that a chapter of the past be soon closed, other topics helped us look to our future.
We are grateful to one of our new members, the Rev Fred Coutts, Senior Chaplain at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, for all the work he has put in to our new web-site. Cruden Church is moving with the times! And the Session were pleased to agree to proceed with the ordination of new elders on the last Sunday of August. You will find more information of that on another page.

Your friend and minister

Rodger Neilson





to Mr Joe Nicolson who will be celebrating his 80th Birthday this month.

The minister would welcome, in writing please, any news for this feature in the Bulletin. He feels that it should not simply be a list of anniversaries and birthdays.





In June the group enjoyed a night out at Salvatore's and now we are looking forward to the first meeting of the Autumn.

Our numbers increased in the last session and we already have a number of DVDs we are planning to watch but more members are always welcome, so if you enjoyed the meetings in the past, or feel you would be interested in learning and discussing through this medium please come along to join us at Marilyn Samway's home, 2/3 Main Street Cruden Bay at 7 30 pm on Monday 10 September.

Annette Garden.





Thank you to all who have been willing to help serve teas/coffees following the morning services over the months. More volunteers would be welcome. Please get in touch with me if you would be willing to help out. Mary Esson



Cruden Parish Church is now registered as a Fairtrade Church hence the certificates in the Old Church welcome area and hall.



Christian Aid Week in Cruden Parish £2698

This year we have been able to send off a total of £2698.09 for Christian Aid Week in Cruden Parish for 2007. Given that there were several of the usual helpers away on the Holy Land trip, this amount was better than had been anticipated. This comes from a very successful Buttery Morning held in the Public Hall Hatton, a Christian Aid Lunch which followed a morning service at the Old Church Cruden and the House to House collection which took place within the Cruden Parish.

This year over 35 collectors (again some new people were involved, thank you for volunteering) from the Cruden Parish area took part in the House to House collection which covers from Longhaven to Whinnyfold, the villages of Cruden Bay and Hatton with the rural areas well covered also. The time and effort given for the House to House collection is very much appreciated.

A most sincere thank you goes to all who so generously gave to the weekend events, also those who filled the envelopes.

Mary Esson




Details have not yet been finalised but it is hoped that before September is over an enjoyable Country and Western Night will be held. Tickets will cost £5 and a raffle will be held. Those coming are asked to provide their own refreshments (drinks and nibbles). Look out for further details!

Cruden Church Social Committee would like to organise a trip to the pantomime. It will probably be on Saturday 8 December, a matinee performance of Snow White at the Arts Centre in Aberdeen. The tickets are not available yet but will cost no more than £10. Transport will be arranged (cars or a bus). In order to gauge interest you are asked to add your name to the sheets on the church notice boards.



Cruden Church Coffee and Chat

RESTARTING Sept 5th (with homemade pancakes)

in Old Hall on Wednesdays

at 10.30 am to 12 noon


2007 Sep 5 Oct 3 Nov 7 Dec 5

2008 Feb 6 Mar 5 Apr 2

Everyone will be most welcome. If you require transport please contact Beatrice Fawkes – (841814) .



The Kirk Session agreed to invite onto the Session

Mrs Karla Buswell, 20 Manse Terrace, Boddam

Mrs Beatrice Fawkes, 3 Northfield Gardens, Hatton

Mrs Katherine Hyman, 27 Main Street, Cruden Bay

Miss Judith Taylor, 3 St Olave Place, Cruden Bay

and all 4 have agreed. They will be ordained as elders of the Church of Scotland at a service on 28 August.



10.00 am OLD CHURCH






2 Sept

Helen Fowlie
Margaret Mitchell

Mary Esson
Norma Forman

Katherine Hyman
Maureen Reid
Helen Smith
S or C Skinner

9 Sept

Helen Fowlie
Margaret Mitchell

Anne McNaughton

Jessie MacDonald
Sharon Rennie

Brenda Cadger
Marie Forsyth
Joyce Fowlie
Karla Buswell

16 Sept

Margaret Jamieson
Beatrice Fawkes

Pat Donaldson

Fiona Stephen
Iris Durno

Katherine Hyman
Maureen Reid
Helen Smith

S or C Skinner

23 Sept

Margaret Jamieson
Beatrice Fawkes

Marilyn Samways

Marilyn Samways
Alison Neilson

Brenda Cadger
Marie Forsyth
Joyce Fowlie
Karla Buswell

30 Sept

Wallace Donaldson
Kate Clark

Marilyn Samways

Liz Carnie
Kathleen Craig

Katherine Hyman
Maureen Reid
Helen Smith
S or C Skinner

7 Oct

Peter Slamaker
Shonah Taylor

Margaret Jamieson
Irene Will

14 Oct

Peter Slamaker
Shonah Taylor

Marina Bruce

Mary Bratton
Betty Forester

21 Oct

Helen Smith
Irene Will

Mary Esson

Margaret Adams
Lewis McKechnie

28 Oct

Helen Smith
Irene Will

Norma Forman

Dorothy Cruickshank
Elma Cumming








Rosemary Reid

Anne Smith


Rosemary Reid



Betty Morris

Betty Morris


Betty Morris



Margaret Adams

Rosemary Reid






Aileen Milne



Aileen Milne

Joyce Willox


Alison Neilson



Alison Neilson

Joyce Willox





*denotes member

Mr Robert Smart, Meadowvale, Ellon.

Rev & Mrs Fred Coutts, Ladebank, Hatton.


Holy Communion

30 September Old Church 10.00 am

Duty Elders Mary Bratton, Betty Forrester, Helen Fowlie, Betty May, John Lamb, Jim MacDonald, Sandy Smith, Jack Young, Sandy Beedie, Anne McNaughton



The Boys' Brigade Company begins its new session in Cruden Bay School on 5 September. PLEASE NOTE the session will continue only if there is further adult help . Further details are available from Colin Skinner (812692).




Practices have resumed on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm in the Old Church Hall. The Choir would be delighted if anyone wanted to join them to practice the hymns for Sunday and some of the special anthems that occasionally enhance our worship.


Rev Rodger Neilson
Telephone 01779 841229

Session Clerk
Sandy Beedie

Rosemary Pittendrigh

District Elders
Betty Forrester, Margaret Jamieson

Rural Robert Esson, Robert Petticrew

Peterhead Sandy Smith

Cruden Bay Jack Young, Kate Clark Betty May

Church Officer
David Singleton

Bond Treasurer
Muriel Cantlay

WFO Treasurer
Annette Garden

Roll Keeper
Mary McNaughtan

Presbytery Elder
Sandy Beedie

Child Protection Co-ordinator
Kathleen Craig

Life & Work
Isobel Young

Christian Aid
Mary Esson

Junior Church
Katherine Hyman

Adrian Smith

Muriel Cantlay

Betty Forrester

Cleaning Co-ordinator
Beatrice Fawkes

West Church Teas
Betty Morris

Old Church Teas
Mary Esson

Church Walks
Robert Petticrew

Transport Co-ordinators
(Hatton) Sandy Beedie
(Cruden Bay) Rosemary Pittendrigh

Press Officer Beatrice Fawkes

Missionary Partner Correspondent
Betty May

Committee Conveners

Finance Rosemary Pittendrigh

Property Robert Esson

Social Muriel Cantlay

Education & Worship John Lamb

Membership Kathleen Craig

Outreach Wilma Moir

District Elders Betty May