The Manse of St John’s Kirk and St Leonard’s in the Fields

The Week of Easter : April 2020

Dear friends

There is nothing quite like it in all the world and, as some of you reading this may well recall, even in World War II you were not prohibited from visiting family and friends; many though, as we recall with poignancy, were abroad and absent from home, separated from the ones they loved for six years– indeed many were separated for ever.

My good friend Dennis from Ulva, Mull, would often tell me in his gentle Mulloch way, with his beautifully pronounced English -a second language to his Gaelic - In the 1940s I was a guest in a land controlled by a dictator for five years: in other words Dennis was a prisoner of war for almost the entire war. Separation is a very difficult concept. Enforced isolation is very hard – and in that regard we think of the many elderly throughout our country at this difficult time. Yet, we know that the best is around the corner, the best is yet to be; so we are called to exercise one of the gifts of God’s Holy Spirit: patience : as we remember St Paul’s words and his Letters to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians Colossians Thessalonians and to individuals: The hallmark was Paul’s utter conviction that they were not alone; by Grace we are saved and are called to serve, love and worship.

Take heart, dear friends!

We await a new beginning but while we wait we trust, and while we trust, we pray, and while we pray we listen and as we listen we hear in a myriad of ways God at the heart of life: the heartbeat at our arrival our departure: For God will befriend us on each newborn day, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his Berlin prison cell in January 1945.

Easter celebrations – Milan Cathedral, international Services online, Services live streamed and recorded, YouTube clips, silence in a garden, a cellist, a piper, an oboeist, a trumpeter on Thursday nights throughout our country, an Easter egg hunt in a garden near you – prayer, fellowship online with family by zoom or other machinations,

Easter can never be cancelled
said Her Majesty the Queen on Easter Day.

We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song!

Christianity and Easter are words which are never separate. Christians are the pilgrim people, travelling in faith, always on the move, never static. The church is ever ready to respond in love, because you are doing that in different ways.

For those able to view our online Services, I hope you will have felt, particularly in Holy Week, a connection with those last days of Jesus and then on Easter Day a great sense of international fellowship as the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury and many other Christian leaders spoke of our living faith.

Each Sunday we shall continue with Morning Service from the Manse until ‘normal service’ resumes in Church, whenever that is to be. In addition, Alex our Associate Minister, will write a mid week letter each Wednesday and this can be viewed on both church websites, drawing our church families even more closely together- linking the world with our two Congregations.

May you be encouraged, strengthened and blessed as we go forward together into an unknown future – except that we have a victorious faith which tells us we are never alone and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Please never hesitate to phone/contact me or Alex as we all continue together to be strong in the Faith and clear in our desire to serve.

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warmly upon your face and the rains fall softly upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Keep well, dear friends.

With every good wish and God’s unlimited Blessings.


Minister : The Revd John Murdoch : 01738 628378

Associate Minister : The Revd Alex Stewart : 01738 566675