The Manse of St John’s Kirk and St Leonard’s in the Fields 
The Glorious Twelfth of August 2020 

Let no-one be a stranger within these walls 

Dear Friends in both Congregations and those who join us from across the globe,

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: so wrote St Paul in those far-off New Testament days to the early Christian communities as the Christian message reached new hearts to offer hope and salvation. Today our hearts need that re-assuring Gospel affirmation, that Christ is beside us, to comfort and restore us.

In our very different context I wish also to encourage you as you Go with God into new ventures, new expressions of faith, new opportunities for service, worship and witness. Since March our Church buildings have been closed, but our victorious, infectious Faith has continued to flourish. These recent months have been different and uncertain but, as regards Worship, have allowed flexibility as I have explored new avenues to enable online worship to be available each Sunday since Mothering Sunday, 22nd March. Many of you have spoken and written about this new way being a pointer to the future: and all of this has happened without worship in a building: surely, when one considers that there are seven Church of Scotland buildings in Perth, there is food for thought.

As of 15th July, the government’s view, as with the Church of Scotland’s direction and guidance policies, was that Churches could be re-opened for Worship and private prayer, after protocols and procedures were put in place at local levels, through Presbyteries and Kirk Sessions. St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields Kirk Sessions discussed the re-opening of their respective Church building.

  • St John’s Kirk Session wished to do so as soon as was practicable and conveyed that decision to Presbytery who in turn authorised the re-opening as of Sunday 30th August at 9 30 am.
  • St Leonard’s in the Fields Kirk Session also wished to re-open but not yet. At the September meeting of the Kirk Session the matter will be discussed and a decision made then in the light of current medical advice/opinion.
  • Therefore, from 30th August there will be one thirty-minute Service at 9 30 am in St John’s Kirk for a maximum of fifty persons. This Service will be live-streamed.
  • Alongside this thirty minute Service, Online [recorded] Worship will continue to be available each Sunday- remaining on both Church websites indefinitely.

I am only too aware that many do not have access to the internet and the contact with the Congregations will have been sadly lacking: we hope that one way of keeping strong links will be to have DVD/CD recordings of Services, to be delivered to those who wish such contact. If this is something you wish to receive, albeit on a monthly basis, please contact me or your Session Clerk who will forward to the relevant person. 

Alex Stewart and I send you every good wish and hope that you would feel at ease to contact us about any matter, as we go forward together in faith, trusting in Him who will never leave us. 

My very best wishes as you hold fast to Him who stays beside us always.
John 

The Reverend John Murdoch Minister of St John’s Kirk of Perth linked with St Leonard’s in the Fields, Perth 01738 628378 jmurdoch@churchofscotland.org.uk 

The Reverend Alex Stewart Associate Minister 01738 566675 Alex.T.Stewart@blueyonder.co.uk