Review and Outlook – September 2016

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R&O September 2016- Online

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Perspectives 2016

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Perspectives 2016 – “Life on the Margins”

A series of talks and discussions about some of the current issues facing us. Come and hear a fresh perspective on social issues affecting our society today.

Admission Free.


The first talk was held on Tuesday 27 September 2016 at 7.30pm when Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive – Cyrenians spoke on “The Journey to inclusion is an inner one”. This was a fascinating insight into an organisation that is doing so much in and around Edinburgh to bring people back from the fringes of society and give them skills and support to get them back into roles and places they can make a contribution to society which helps them feel valued.


Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 7.30pm

David Strang, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

People in Prison: On the margins or at the centre?


Tuesday 8 November 2016 at7.30pm

May Nicolson, The Preshal Trust

Renewing broken lives


Local Vocations Conference

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Saturday 3 September 2016

St. John’s & Kings Park Church, Dalkeith

Full-time Ministry of Word & Sacrament


Ordained Local Ministry


Youth Work (ministry)


The Keynote speaker is Rev Colin Sinclair, Minister, Palmerston Place Church.


To register interest contact (or for further information)

Mike Weaver –

This conference will allow attendees to move forward in the discernment process for the Church of Scotland


Sunflower Dementia Cafe

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or people with dementia and their carers

The Sunflower Cafe offers a welcoming and caring environment for those struggling with issues of memory loss, and for their carers, to enjoy companionship and stimulating activity.

If you would like to register to attend or to find out more information please contact the church office at ‘’ or on 0131 220 1690

All meetings take place on a Wednesday, from 2-3.30pm

Next three meetings – 17th August, 21 September, 19th October

Palmerston Place Church is located a few minutes’ walk away Haymarket Station, on Palmerston Place. Palmerston Place is just off West Maitland Street – look for the Church with the two towers.


Senior Horizons Concert

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Let’s Build A House

In the space of just 45 seconds, 8000 people lost their lives in an earthquake which devastated Nepal last year. Six million families also lost their homes in that short space of time.

The Senior Horizons group at PPC have decided to try and help the ‘Let’s build a house appeal’. They are holding a musical lunch to raise money to build a new home for one of the displaced families – £500 is needed to build a house.

The concert will be held in the Church Sanctuary straight after the regular morning service on 12 June, starting at 12.30pm and finishing at 1.30pm. There will be a light lunch at the break.

The concert and lunch are free, but donations to the appeal are welcome.



Social Attitudes Survey

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In his role as Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council, Colin was recently on  radio and quoted in the newspapers in response to a social attitudes survey. This is the official Church of Scotland release

A senior Kirk official has warned against measuring the strength of the Church by reports of a decline in membership numbers. The Church of Scotland continues to play a crucial role in communities across Scotland and in the public life of the nation, said Rev Colin Sinclair Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council.

Mr Sinclair spoke out in response to a recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey that claimed to show 52 percent of Scots are now atheists. The study based its conclusions on the responses of 1,288 people out of a population of 5,347,600.

Mr Sinclair said while there are lessons in the report, the big picture offers a more optimistic story:

“When I was young “mission” seemed to begin at the far end of the Mediterranean. What this survey highlights is that mission is now at our doorstep. We welcome the opportunity and challenge of sharing our Christian faith in ways that are relevant to people living in Scotland today.

“We do not minimise the challenges we face, yet what the statistics actually show is that one in five people in Scotland do feel connected to the Kirk.

“Being aware of the secularisation of our society we are developing fresh expressions of church alongside traditional forms in order to engage with people. These are often more informal and relational and they are set in contexts in which people feel on their home ground and therefore in a safe place.

“We have set up some pioneer ministries that will work in our communities to help us learn lessons that will shape the whole church. We have published a resource “Exploring Faith” to explain what our faith is and why it matters.

“We have contacted those who have stopped attending church but want to hang on to their Christian Faith. We want to hear their stories and understand the lessons we can learn from them.

“How encouraging that faced with this survey we can report the highest number for nine years of new ministers coming into our church. “It is only when it becomes “unfashionable” to have faith that we find out for ourselves the true value and meaning of a gospel centred on Jesus Christ that transforms lives and communities. ”

Mr Sinclair noted that the Church of Scotland is a vibrant, inclusive national organization made up of more than 380,000 members.  It remains the largest third-sector provider of social care in Scotland, helping many of our nation’s most vulnerable people. Church buildings provide a home to countless community groups and service organizations. Church members raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity each year.

Yet other research suggests that Christianity is in transition rather than decline. Dr Steve Aisthorpe’s new book The Invisible Church details his research findings that many people of faith are among a second or even a third generation of families who have never attended Church.

At the same time the research found that two-thirds of those who stop attending church services still retain their belief in God and desire to live as Christians.

The work of the Church was recognised in the Scottish Parliament earlier this year. Anne McTaggart, a Labour MSP, said it would be “devastating” for people and their families if the services provided by CrossReach, which can trace its roots back to 1869, disappeared overnight.

Highland SNP MSP Dave Thompson said the organisation does a “huge” amount of good work and the care function in Scotland would be plunged into “a major crisis” if it stopped operating.

Former SNP Justice minister Kenny Macaskill, who says he is non-religious, wrote in praise of churches in his Sunday Herald column of 17 Feb. Writing that people of all ages and denominations come together in churches, he concludes that losing them would mean, “the entire community, not just the congregation, will be the loser.”



Handsel Stall

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Now that warmer weather is coming and the days are getting longer, it’s time re-start the Handsel Stall. This is an opportunity to raise funds for Chogoria Hospital and Christian Aid through the sale of donations of home baking and garden produce from a weekly stall in the Lothian Room.

The stall will be open every Sunday throughout the summer, finishing on Sunday 25th September.

As usual, we look forward to receiving donations of baking and garden produce to sell and it would be great if these could be brought to the Lothian Room in time for the Stall opening at 10.30am. In the past we have had donations of home-baked scones, fruit loaves, shortbread, home-made jam …and much more besides. Garden produce has been vegetables, fruit, plants and lovely fresh flowers. We look forward to welcoming your donations to the Stall – everyone is welcome to contribute a donation and to buy from the Stall as well.

Most activities in the Church require volunteers and the Handsel Stall is no exception. We need one person each Sunday to serve our customers and this is a lovely opportunity to meet and chat with members of the congregation who come regularly to buy from the Stall. There will be a rota in the Lothian Room for you to sign for whichever Sunday suits you – please offer your help with this. I provide a small float each week and I will count the money at the end. The stallholder really just has to encourage folks to buy from the items displayed on the Stall and to give them their change. It’s another good way to get to know more people in Church.

We usually raise around £400 each year and will be more if we receive lots to sell. As in previous years, all the money raised from sales on the Stall will be divided equally between Christian Aid and Chogoria Hospital. We are looking forward to raising enough to give a generous donation to both of these charities and we welcome your support for this.


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