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Church Newsletters and Magazines

These Newsletters were originally written during lockdown to keep the congregation informed – they have contunued.

2024 MarchJune

2023 MarchJuneOctober

2022 March • April • June • October

2021 July • October


Open Door 10th anniversary.

Extracts from Aberdour & Inchcolme by Rev W Ross 1885.

End of  twinning with Alumenda, Malawi.

Deep clean of Church & Hall by members.

History of St Bridgets Kirk.

Aberdour Churches Family Fun Week.

Rev David Rurtherford’s medal ‘for telling jokes’.

World Misson stamp appeal.

Spring • Autumn


On 15th December 2013 there was a fire in the church, luckily only smoke damage but the church will have to close for some months for cleaning. Luckily most of the cost will be covered by the insurers. Services to take place in Church Hall. Church rededicated 3rd August 2014.

History of the Hospital of St Martha • Hillside School and its connection with St Fillan’s.

Family Fun Week • Open Door • Chernobyl Children • Christian Aid coffee morning • Inchcolm Pilgrimage.”

“So God made a Farmer”.

Spring • Autumn


Minister off sick for several months.

Forth Churches Grouping to end.

Saint Fillan • Aberdour Post Office and its connection with St Fillan’s • Extract from Aberdour and Inchcolme by Rev W Ross 1885 • Rededication of Church in 1926.

Young St Fillan’s.

Christian Aid • Fair Trade.

World Mission stamp appeal.

Spring • Autumn


Flower ministry • Chernobyl Children • Christian Aid.

World Mission stamp appeal.

Look at kirk session minutes from 1650.

Usage of the Church Hall.

Open Door • St Fillan’s Lunches.

‘Girl on the last train’.

Spring • Autumn


St Fillan’s Church Hall roof restoration appeal.

Report on Chalmers lectures from St Giles Cathedral on the future of the church.

Notes on church minutes 1930 to 1973 and article on restoration of the church.

Christian Aid Ethiopia appeal • World Mission Stamp Appeal.

Open Door • St Fillan’s Lunches.

Thanks to everybody who contributed to the roof repair fund, £27,470 was raised, the cost was £74,947.

Spring • Autumn


Report on ‘Sleep in the Park’.

Start of St Fillan’s Worship Group.

Chernobyl Children • St Fillan’s Lunches • Aberdour Day Care 30th anniversary.

Harvest service at the farm.

Family Fun.

Christian Aid / Royal Wedding Coffee Morning.

Spring • Autumn


The Pirate’s Cup.

Kathleen Fergus Youth Awards.

Fair Trade Rice challenge.

Visit by Presbytery to a packed St Fillan’s regarding the future of the church in Aberdour.

Open Door • Inchcom Pilgrimage • Aberdour Scottish Country Dancing Club • Church Flowers.

Spring • Autumn


New Roof paid for by legacies and grants. New Hymn book – CH4.

Link between St Fillan’s & St Columba’s.

Lunch Club • Scottish Country Dancing • Open Door.

Forth Churches meet together during Advent.

Some scenes for ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ filmed in the church.

Fund raising for ‘Mercy Ships’ – aim to raise £6,000 for 1,000 cataract operations.

Geoffrey Keyes – plaque on the church hall.

Spring • Autumn


Parish Profile – Rev Peter Gerbrandy-Baird & Catherine Duncan.

Mercy Ships – Bed push along the Avenue. “Beating the Retreat” ceremony by Dollar Academy Pipe Band at Aberdour Castle.

St Fillan’s link with Malawi – to contribute to building a church in Alumenda, Malawi following reroofing St Fillan’s Church.

Christian Aid – Coffee morning • Sponsored Golf • London Marathon.

The Chernobyl Children.

Spring • Autumn


St Fillan’s lunches 10th anniversary.

St Fillan’s Open Door.

Alumenda church construction in Malawi – St Fillan’s donated £2,500.

Family Fun Week with Scripture Union.

“The Bible says…” by Caroline & Peter Gerbrandy-Baird.

The Gospel according to Star Wars.

Spring • Autumn


Parish Profile – Gladys Hunter.

Presbytery asks about the future of the Parish system as there are 200 vacant charges.

Open Door • Scottish Country Dance Club • St Fillan’s Lunches.

Information on the Ministries & Mission contributions.

Report & coffee morning on visit to Alumenda, Malawi.

Scripture Union Family Fun week continues.

The Hewitt’s – the story of the family on the plaques on the church walls.

Spring • Autumn


New roof for Alumenda Church, Malawi.

Christian Aid Golf • Open Door • St Fillan’s lunches.

Chernobyl Children.

Inchcolm Pilgrimage.

Family Fun Week.

St Fillan’s Lunches.

Congregational Board and Kirk Session to be merged into one to give a Unitary constitution.



New stained glass window – Celtic cross.

Rev John Scott – obituary.

Discussion on hand clapping in church.

Articles on the Protestant Reformers.

The number of presbyteries to be reduced, also fewer ministry posts.

Summer fun week.



Review of finances.

Church in Alumenda, Malawi nearly complete.

Proposal for a website.

Queen Margret Hospital duty.

Family Fun Week.

Wold Mission stamp appeal.

Chernobyl children’s lifeline.



Rev Peter Park is the new minister.

Sunday School • St Fillan’s Disco Dancing Keep Fit • Church Club.

Missionary Partner Catherine Nicole, Girls school in Pakistan.

Visit from an American choir.

Sunday worship has been at 11:15am and Sunday School at 11:00am in the church hall. Suggest changing Sunday worship (Sept to May) to 10:30 with the Sunday School also at 10:30 in the church for the first 15 minutes then in the primary school.

Church hall refurbishments complete.

Start of a series on visiting other churches.

History: St Fillan’s Kirk 1923 – Captain Morgan.

‘A year out’ at the Abernethy Trust.



History: Captain Morgan continued.

Organ resited to give better view, choir moved to front of church.

Church family rambles.

A Crossroads Charity shop was to be held in the lounge of the Foresters, but had to be extended to the Church Hall and was open for a few days raised £3,600.

Questionnaire on Aberdour Millennium Celebrations.

Alpha Course.

St Fillan’s Social committee questionnaire.

MarchJuneOctober • December


Rev Peter Parks looks back over 30 months as minister noting changes:
Guild closed • Babies & toddlers, Lunch club, Carpet bowlers & Handbell ringers in church hall • Primary School meets 3 times a year in the church • Henderson House & Queen Margaret Hospital services.

Church family rambles.

Articles on future of Ministers & Presbyteries.

Millennium plans – two new stained glass windows, matched charity donation & services.

Visiting other churches.

Tribute to Rev David Rutherford.

MarchJuneOctober • December


Moderator of the Church of Scotland dedicated the two Millennium windows.

St Fillan’s activities: Tape ministry • Home communion • Contact companions • Transport • Church flowers Church library • Share prayer • Queen Margaret patient to pew • Henderson house worship • Church choir • Wheelchair access to hall • Creche in vestry every Sunday.

JAM club in June.

Visiting other churches.

MarchJuneOctober • December


Ecumenical bible studies in Aberdour.

Handbell ringers • Sunday School & Jam club • Christian Aid golf • Girl Guides.

Letter from Missionary Partner Catherine Nicol on running a girls school in Pakistan.

Burntisland Church celebrates 400 years of the King James Bible.

American choir visits continue.

Review of the book Aberdour & Inchcolm by Rev Ross 1885.

Church roof will need replacing.

First thoughts of a website.



A look at what the Church does well and what it could develop.

Creche • Sunday School • Bible class • JAM • Handbell ringers • St Fillan’s lunches • Christian Aid coffee morning • Church coffee morning & book sale • Chernobyl children’s lifeline appeal • Scottish country dancing • Lent bible studies • Inchcolm pilgrimage • Tape ministry.

Visit by nurse who had been in Africa to Sunday School.

Page for children.

Easter sunrise service.

Alarm fitted to stop young children ‘escaping’ from Church Hall.

Report on ‘Church without walls’.

‘Round tuit’.



Rev Peter Park leaves, Rev Violet McKay is Interim Moderator – time of change. Peter Elson takes most of the services.

A Parish grouping is to be created with Aberdour, Dalgety, Inverkeithing, & North Queensferry.

700 entries in visitors book for 2002.

Used stamps • Tape ministry • Open door • Church flowers • Coffee morning & book sale • St Fillan’s lunches •Lent bible studies • Christian Aid coffee morning & sponsored golf • Handbell ringers • Inchcolm pilgrimage • Scottish country dancing

Book of soup recipes.

Re-roofing church is required as the original slates are splitting.

Article “It’s your funeral”.

American choir visit.



The churches in Aberdour, Dalgety, Inverkeithing & N Queensferry to become a Parish Grouping called Forth Churches Group.

Allowed to call a minister without restriction, advertised in ‘Life & Work’. Rev Peter Elston leading many services.

Repairs to church roof as the original slates are delaminating will cost £150,000.

Portable ramps available for Church & Hall.

Tape ministry • Stamps • Church flowers • Creche • Coffee morning & book sale • Chernobyl children • St Fillan’s lunches • Handbell ringers.

Will produce a book of soup recipes.

American choir concerts continue.

Historical notes on the Beedle & Mortcloth.



Rev Peter Gerbrandy-Baird inducted as minister on 3rd November 2004.

‘Church Without Walls’ pilgrimage to Inchcolm.

Tape ministry • Stamps • Church flowers • Creche • Coffee morning & book sale • Chernobyl children •St Fillan’s lunches • Handbell ringers • Christian Aid coffee morning & golf • Scottish country dancing • Open Door.

Article on ‘Responses in Worship’.



100th issue of the magazine – going for 50 years.

Last Sunday in the month Sunday School starts in church then goes to the Primary School. Tea/coffee/juice will be available in the School after the service for the Sunday School & congregation.

The stage has been removed from the Church Hall.

Christian Aid raised £1,661 from the coffee morning and sponsored golf.

‘Life & Work’ the magazine of the Church of Scotland costs 23p.



Outcry about the film ‘The last temptation of Christ’.

Women’s Guild.

Bishop of St Andrews to address an open meeting at the Primary School on “Justice and Peace”, this will be followed by house groups.

Members from Aberdour helped at a large (clothes) sale at Ballingry Church.

A Good News coffee morning to be held at Dalgety Parish Church.

Hymn books appear to be going missing.



A touring American College Choir for Mississippi to sing in St Fillan’s.

Aberdour Day Centre • Keep-Fit to music – Disco Dancing • Old Time Dancing.

St Fillan’s, St Columba’s & St. Theresa’s to join for the Christian Aid coffee morning.

Plan to convert Church Hall into two floors too expensive. Improvement to kitchen & small hall required – decided to demolish & rebuild. An appeal will be sent to all houses in the village.

Plan to start a Sunday evening Youth Fellowship.



Catherine Duncan & Karyn Crowe appointed as Session Clerk & Clerk to the Congregational Board respectively.

Sunday School & Bible Class • St Fillan’s Youth Fellowship • Women’s Guild • Scouts • Sponsored Golf.

Some things never change – the church needs money.

Two course supper in the Church Hall.



Registration of Births Marriages & Deaths can no longer be done in Aberdour, now done in Inverkeithing.

Christian Aid concert with St Fillan’s choir and Dunfermline Choral Union.

After a sponsored climb of Ben Nevis the Church Hall renovation fund stands at £27,000.

Sunday School & Bible Class • St Fillan’s Youth Fellowship • Women’s Guild • Sponsored Golf.

Sunday services are recorded on tape for distribution to the housebound.

New (more efficient) heating system installed in the church.



After more fund raising the Church Hall renovation fund stands at £45,000, projected cost is £50,000. Plans of the renovations are displayed.

Other parishes in Scotland are in need, so collections will be made for the “Priority Areas Appeal”.

A fast copier machine has been purchased to make copying the taped services much easier.

Sunday School & Bible Class • St Fillan’s Youth Fellowship • Women’s Guild • Sale of Work.



Rev John Scott, and his wife Cath to retire after 30 years at Aberdour. Farewell with musical soiree.

Concerts in the School and Church.

Flower festival.

Interim Moderator – Rev Alistair Jessamine from the Abbey.

Appeal for Choir members.

Pastoral & Social Committee importance when waiting for a new minister.

A new sound system with lapel mic has been installed.


St Fillan’s Church Magazines from the time of Rev David Rutherford.


A legacy enabled a new organ to be installed, dedicated on 3rd July. The pipes to go either side of the west window and the organ in the existing choir loft.

Planting in the church yard has been improved.

Dissolution of Aberdour & Dalgety congregations though difficult has gone well. The new minister will be Rev MacLeod, the new manse will be ready in time for his induction. St Fillan’s old organ has been gifted to Dalgety to replace their harmonium.

Evening service – 1st Sunday in the month bible study, 2nd film night, 3rd & 5th study of the parables, 4th cup of tea and speakers.

February • August


Thee are 594 members and 447 took part in communion at least once during the year. The total number in Sunday School is 145 children plus 43 teenager in the youth fellowship.

The new minister at Dalgety was inducted on 9th November ’66, there are plans to have a small hall close to the church.

The present manse was built in 1802 and ‘B’ listed, it is to be modernised. The old manse was on the junction of Murrell Terrace & Main Street was demolished a few years ago.

February • August


Sunday School outing to Blasckness Castle, senior classes to St Andrews & Craigtown Park.

Collection for Biafra.

The Church Hall is open n Monday nights for badminton, table tennis and fims.

February • August


Church Hall extrior and War Memorial have been refurbished.

Letter from missionary partner thanking Sunday Scool for donation of a skin grafting knife – it is very important as children often get burnt on the open fires. Visited mission hospitals in Zambia.

1,400 peole signed the visitor book last year.

February • August


Letter from missionary partner regarding the church in Kikuya, Kenya was recently visited by President Kenyatta. The congregation are made up of Kikuya and Masai.

Awards given to children who are regular attenders at Church.

Rev Rutherford writes the first part of the history of St Fillan’s, stating it dates back from at least 1123. This would later form the basis for the guidebook.

February • September


Christian Aid coffee morning – tickets 15p.

Now have a second missionary partner – Helena Thom, a nurse working in Southern Yemen.

Second & third parts of Rev Rutherford’s history of the church.

The Guild visited Largs, the Junior Sunday School visited Kirkgate Park, Loch Leven the Senior Sunday School visited Falkland and climbed East Lomond, the Bible Class visited the Nature Trail at Vane Farm, Loch Leven.

February • September

1972 - 1 of 2

The fourth and final part of Rev Rutherford’s history of the church.

Letters from missionary partners: Helen Thom – South Yeman is now the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yeman, she says “it is increasing difficult to write about all that is happening here .. so I have to ask you to rad between the lines”. Dr Jack Wilkinson writes that there is increasing pressure for Africanisation and the first medical graduates are coming out of Nairobi University.

Work of industrial chaplains and work with immigrant families.

February • September

1972 - 2 of 2

Next year will be the 850th anniversary of the church.

Fifth part of Rev Rutherford’s history of the church on the ‘new church’ (church hall).

Letter from missionary partner Helen Thom – all Church of Scotland missionaries have had to leave the country.

February • September


An outline and review of the 850th anniversary events:

Special Services • Fund raising for churches in areas of new housing in Scotland • New chairs • Commemorative Envelope • Sponsored Walk • Recitals.

Sixth part of Rev Rutherford’s history of the church – the ‘new church’ (church hall).

February • September


Thank you letter from National Church Extension Committee for the donation of £1,120.

National heating restrictions – can only heat church & hall on a Sunday.

Letter from missionary partner – hospital to become part of a community health training scheme and Flying Doctor Service to to bring health care to the rural areas of Kenya.

A new hymn book (3rd edition) to be used from April.

In September the minister was in hospital.

Due to rising costs the monthly film evenings will have to stop.



Last magazine from Rev Rutherford. He then retired and moved to Dalgety Bay.

Last letter from our missionary partner Dr Wilkinson in Kenya – He and his wife came to Kenya in 1946. They have seen many changes with rising prosperity, education, healthcare and growth in the church. Over 100 doctors are graduating from Nairobi University each year so there will be no problem staffing the hospitals. He went on to work as a Community Medicine Specialist in Edinburgh for a further 30 years here.



Dry rot at Dalgety Church • Reharling walls at Church Hall • New heating at St Fillan’s Church & Hall • New curtains at St Fillan’s • New interlocking chairs at the Church Hall.

Missionary partner on furlough, gave slide show to congregation.

The New English Bible New Testament has been published.

February • September


St Colme’s Church to be disposed of, land to be used for housing. Pulpit, font & communion table to be used by a new church, pews to go to Larbet Baptist Church, plaques and stained glass window to be kept. A meeting room is to be created upstairs in the Church Hall to be names St Colme’s Hall.

We give £200 to poorer congregations, £300 to the work of the Church of Scotland (home mission), £350 for work overseas (including our missionary partner) & £45 for charitable societies.

Visit by Dr Lawrence and a group of young Americans.



1400th anniversary of the coming of St Columba to these islands. He had a strong connection with Inchcolm so a special service will be held there.

The first new housing in Dalgety Bay will be ready in 1964. A reorganisation of the churches will be required.

The minister visits Dr Lawrence’s church in USA.

Anne Stuart, a member, is to become a deaconess and work with the Ladies Highland Association.

Letter from missionary partner in Kenya about elections.



‘In the red’ – the church spent more last year than it took in – appeal to increase giving.

Church Hall to be refloored – need for a better kitchen.

Individual communion cups to be introduced.

By the autumn 400 house will be ready for occupation in Dalgety Bay – how should we as a parish tackle this opportunity?



Which the house building in Dalgery Bay it was decided to spit the parish into Aberdour & Dalgety and Dalgety to call its own minister. A new church would be needed near the centre of population.

Formal service of dissolution of Aberdour & Dalgety parish took place on 27th June. There are plans for a new manse in Dalgety Bay.

Visit by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

Legacy allows a 16mm sound projector purchased.

Evening services 2nd & 4th Sunday in the Church Hall with a more informal act of worship.

March • September


23rd February – Induction of Rev Rutherford at St Fillan’s, then introduced to the congregation of St Colme’s and Dalgety Churches. He was with the Colonial Service with tea planters in Assam, a Chaplain during the war, won an MC, then Minister in Alexandria and recently married an Alexandria lady.

Woman’s Guild & Sunday School outings.

Annual flower Service.

Dedication of memorials to Mr & Mrs Hewitt & Mr Alexander Wallace.

Nearly completed visitation of the congregation.

The  first annual pilgrimage to Inchcolm.

January • AprilJulyOctober


First annual accounts – income & expenditure £1773 15s 2d.

Fete to raise money for churches in areas of new housing – plan to raise £634.

St Bridet’s church Dalgety taken into care by the Ancient Monuments Commission.

The Young Peoples Fellowship have adopted a little girl from the Church of Scotland Homes in Edinburgh – we will take her out and look after her upkeep.

29th October a memorial to Dr Johnstone was unveiled, listing all the ministers at St Fillan’s from Pre-reformation days.

January • AprilJulyOctober


Report on dedication service for memorial to Rev Johnstone with Rev Stalker & Lawrence (Dr Johnstone’s son).

1627 Bible belonging to James 4th Earl of Moray, was presented  by Lord Moray to St Fillan’s. It was displayed in the church then given to the National Museums of Scotland.

Sunday School Christmas parties had Christmas parties, tree supplied by Moray estates and milk by Dalachy & Humbie farms.

First outdoor service held at St Bridget’s Church in heavy rain.

January • AprilJulyOctober


Letter from missionary partner in Tumutumu, Kenya – Dr Wilkinson – a doctor & minister.

Rise in cost of paper, so magazines will be on a single sheet.

Woman’s Guild had a day out at Dumfries, Young People Fellowship to Perth, Sunday School to St Bridget’s Kirk.

Rev Lawrence from the USA is to be an Assistant Minister while he studies at the University of Edinburgh, he is accompanied by his wife & children.

Work on repair & re-decoration of the Church Hall.

January • AprilJuneOctober


Good response to request for giving, therefore no need for extra Sales of Work to pay for refurbishment of Church Hall.

Letters from Missionary partner in Kenya giving a first hand account of living in a mission station during the Mau Mau emergency. The Mau Mau were against Christianity, western medicine etc.

Special services for the Coronation including planting of two red hawthorn trees outside the Church Hall.

Letter from Missionary partner in Bihar, India – Dr R M Macphail

January • MayAugust


Church Hall was reopened on 6th September 1953 after refurbishment with a Congregational Social. It is used my many organisations including the Church Badminton Club.

Hymn books at the door are for visitors, please bring your own. The renewal and repair of these hymnbooks is a considerable item of expenditure.

Young Peoples Fellowship had a concert to raise money to support their adopted niece from CoS Home in Duddingston.

Farewell to Mr Lawrence & family, they will return to USA and replaced by Mr Wells & family also from USA.

Bring & Buy Sale at Hillside School to pay final cost of Church Hall refurbishment.



Church AGM follower by tea, songs, games and dancing to suit everybody.

A bus has been booked to take people from Aberdour to The Billy Graham Campaign in the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

Letter from Missionary partner in Kenya – to come home on leave later in the year, teaching in Kikuyu Hospital, Mau Mau troubles continuing.

Letter of thanks from National Church Extension Fund to aid building of churches in areas of new housing of post-war Scotland.

Men’s Association to start.

February • JuneAugust


Ever since St Fillan’s Church was restored it has been lacking a proper Vestry. Two  legacies will allow the vestry to be extended.

Letter from Missionary partner now on leave in Edinburgh. There has been a Christian revival in Kenya, Mau Mau continues, the churches have combined into the ‘Presbyterian Church of East Africa’ including Africans, Indians and Europeans.

Church Fete in the grounds of Aberdour House – money is needed to keep the four buildings maintained. – £560 was raised.

Visit from Dr Wilkinson our Missionary partner.

The old peoples home at Starley Hall has opened.

February • JuneAugust


Visit by Presbytery looking at the 6 properties – St Fillan’s Church (good condition), Hall (good renovation), Manse, St Colme’s (deterioration of stonework & new heating required), Dalgety Church (no toilets) & Sandhaven – cost would be £3,200.

Due to rising cost of maintaining these properties letters sent to congregation  to encourage them to join the Freewill offering envelope scheme also asking if St Colme’s church should be closed.

Letter from Missionary partner asking for books on the treatment of TB.

The vestry has been extended.

Radio broadcast on BBC from St Fillan’s on Sunday 14th July.

February • JuneOctober letters


Closing service at St Colme’s held on 30th March.

Rev Rutherford reminded the congregations that over time the church building change – St Bridget’s replaced by Dalgety Church.

Format of Sunday School outing changed from a ‘bus run’ to a visit to a place of historical importance to the church for the older children and a local place for the younger – this year The David Livingstone Memorial in Blantyre and Otterston Loch.

Letter from Missionary partner – now in a more remote hospital. Notes from Slovakia, Jerusalem & the American Bible Society.

February • JuneSeptember


Ten years since inducted as minister at Aberdour. There has been a large turn over in congregation, about 500 have joined, and the same number have either move away or died. Of the 678 members only 483 were present at any of the three communions throughout the year.

Dalgety church now has toilets.

Rev Dr Lawrence and Rev Watts past assistant ministers from USA visited.

Annual services at St Bridget’s Kirk and Inchcolm continue.

A coffee shop was held on the terrace of the Church Hall and raised £60.

February • MaySeptember


A reminder on the importance of the elder. In a parish this large, the Minister can only make infrequent visits, whereas the elder can visit three time a year. Do not keep him standing on the door step – where possible invite him in.

Church of Scotland stewardship campaign of TIME, TALLENTS and POSSESIONS.
The church is not a recipient money but a Passing on Agency helping those in need, perhaps near by or far away.