The Passion, Holy Week and Easter

Ruth Gettinby is a member of New Kilpatrick Church and writes about the joint services which the two congregations held over Holy Week and Easter.

This image of Jusepe de Ribera’s Penitent Saint Peter flashed into my mind as I watched the Gethsemane scene played out in the performances of The Passion, the start of our journey of reflection on Jesus’ last days on earth.  The three actors told the stories of the main characters with deep conviction, yet with a  simplicity that made them as accessible to the primary school pupils and as to the oldest members of our congregations.  A few aspects stood out for me: Mary in the upper room; the Centurion (great West of Scotland accent to make it more real!) moving from Dixon of Dock Green’s old fashioned taking  note of the facts as they presented to Columbo’s reflection  of what was really happening here;    Gethsemane and Christ’s emotional turmoil and then to the gentle awakening of realisation of his resurrection in the other garden.
It was wonderful to talk to the 5 members of Lamps about their experiences of performance while sharing food and wine after the evening session.
The fact that folk from outside our two congregations came along is perhaps indicative that these events work and might even be needed in our goal of linking church and community
The Passion, and then music and words for Passiontide on the evening of Palm Sunday, led by our very talented choirs directed by Chris, set us on our path towards the reflective afternoon services of Holy Week.  Spoken word, images and music were carefully chosen to lead us to focus our own thoughts on the familiar stories from Mark’s Gospel: as bystanders, how would we have responded to the events?  I love these services.  On Sundays the ministers again do all the hard work of preparation and delivery of the message, but we contribute too:  in singing, in chatting, in being involved in duties or just making sure those around us feel included if they look isolated.  The reflective services demand nothing of us except that we be and be ready to hear the still, small voice.
The numbers in the afternoon were small but that did not matter to those of us who were there because we were there by, for, and with ourselves.

In contrast, the symbolism at the heart of Maundy Thursday was particularly powerful, as we ministered to friend and stranger in washing each others’ hands and feet and in serving the elements to our neighbours.  It also gave me my first experience of stripping the church before Good Friday.  It felt stark and hopeless.  I was moved.  The emotion stayed with me into the following day, with continuing reflective words, images and music and the wrenching sound as the curtain was torn mid-afternoon as we are told happened when Jesus took his last breath.  Onto the cross we placed our broken pieces of everyday items, representing our broken lives and world, and were invited to take away a shell painted with a cross.  Powerful stuff.

I should add that I love the contrast in a brightly adorned All Saints when I returned for the Easter Carols service on 8th April .

We are blessed that Kirstin and Roddy share ideas and traditions to allow us to get to know each other and explore and develop our faith in our community.

Holy Week Services

Sunday 25th March – Palm Sunday
9am Said Eucharist (1970 Liturgy)
10.30am Sung Eucharist (Palm Sunday Liturgy)
with Procession of Palms and Reading of the Passion

6.30pm Words and Music for Passiontide at New Kilpatrick Church

Monday 26th
2pm MARKing Holy Week
Sharing space and time, a joint venture with New Kilpatrick at All Saints, through words, images, music and silence we recall the story once again.

7.30pm ABC service at St Andrew’s RC – Stations of the Cross

Tuesday 27th
2pm MARKing Holy Week
Sharing space and time, at All Saints, through words, images, music and silence.

Wednesday 28th
11.30am ABC service at Westerton Parish followed by lunch
2pm MARKing Holy Week
Sharing space and time, at All Saints, through words, images, music and silence.

7pm Poetry and Art for Holy Wednesday followed by Compline

Thursday 29th – Maundy Thursday
2pm MARKing Holy Week
Sharing space and time, at All Saints, through words, images, music and silence.

7.30pm Joint service with New Kilpatrick
Set within the context of the Eucharist, a service held at All Saints,
recalling the evening of the Final meal Jesus ate with his disciples.

Friday 30th – Good Friday
2pm MARKing Holy Week
Sharing space and time, at New Kilpatrick, through words, images, music and silence.

7.30pm ABC service at Balljaffary

The Passion

On Tuesday 20th March a production of The Passion by The Lamps Collective will be taking place in New Kilpatrick Church.  There are two showings 2pm and 7.30pm.  The story of the Passion of Jesus are told through music and the words of the Bible, both showings are free.


Sunday 4th March

Due to the ‘Beast from the East’, Bearsden has been struck by heavy snow.  We are grateful to those who came along this morning to clean the paths around the church and the pavement along Dryment Road.

There will be a 10.30am service tomorrow, however if you intend to come please keep in mind the following.

While Drymen Road is clear and running freely the side roads have not been cleared, parking will be difficult at best.

If you are walking the pavements which have not been treated are packed tight with compressed snow and slippy.  Those which have had some grit slippage from the road are slushy uneven and potential ankle twisters, please be very careful and walk on the cleared roads when possible.

We want you to remain safe and therefore only recommended that those who can walk without assistance even think about coming to church tomorrow.  Below are pictures of the snow clearing and also the conditions out there so you can make an informed decision about your journey tomorrow.

William (Bill) Ashcroft Berry – 28th March 1934 to 2nd December 2017

Bill, was a gentle soul who will be much missed, he always had a twinkle in his eye, his wife on his arm and a story to tell.  Below is what his son had to say about his life.

William Berry – Bill to his friends – was born in March 1934, on the outskirts of Wigan to William Henry Berry, an agricultural traction engine driver and Elizabeth Ashcroft, a cotton mill worker. He was the eldest of three children with a younger brother Anthony and sister Rosemary. His childhood was a happy one, despite the war, and he often used to reminisce about the chickens they kept on the back green, and hearing German bombers flying overhead towards Liverpool.
Bill learned to play the violin at an early age, forced to take lessons by his father who’d had thwarted ambitions of his own.
Having failed his 11 plus – a bone of contention with him until he died as it resulted in a rejected application to study at the Royal College of Music in Manchester – he left school at 15, and was briefly apprenticed to a furniture upholsterer. Two years National Service in the infantry followed, mainly in Dorset, where Bill had the opportunity, through contacts made in the local church, St Mary’s, to play with the Dorchester Music Society.
After finishing National Service, Bill worked as an accounts clerk for the De Havilland aircraft company in Bolton. It was then that he met his future wife, Enid, a trainee librarian. They married in June 1958 and had two sons – Paul born in 1961 and Steven in 1963.
Although Bill had a secure job, the tedium of office work was becoming too much and so in 1965, after a couple of year’s ad hoc work with the Hallé and Laurance Turner Orchestra, he resigned and went freelance. These were difficult times, away from his young family, staying in cheap digs and travelling 35,000 miles a year chasing jobs. But they cemented his reputation as a reliable performer and built up a valuable network of contacts. He took work were he could find it – The Cheltenham Festival, D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Max Jaffa Orchestra, Scottish Baroque Ensemble and even a UK tour with Tony Bennett, but increasingly more of his work was happening in Scotland, mainly with the Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. And so, in 1972, Bill and his family upped sticks and moved to Biggar.
In 1976 Bill was offered a full time post with the Scottish National Orchestra, where he remained until he retired.
Although Bill and Enid were happy living in Biggar, by the time he’d reached his mid 50’s, Bill was finding the travelling back home at night after concert performances in the winter months too much, and after having dug himself out of the snow on the Carnwath Road one time too many, Bill and Enid decided to move to Bearsden. Here they had easy access to the Trossachs and Loch Lomondside where they could indulge their passion of long walks together, once even getting to the top of Ben Lomond, much to Enid’s surprise.
Shortly after retiring from the orchestra, Bill and Enid’s life was blighted by the sudden death of their son Steven in a road accident.
Despite being a regular churchgoer all his life, most recently at All Saints, Bill almost lost his faith then, but took solace in music and was fortunate to be offered several more years contract work with the BBC and Scottish Ballet. It was then too that he became involved with colleagues playing quartets, occasionally giving performances, but mainly as a way of seeking meaning from his music. This he did right up until the end, playing his violin every day until his admission to hospital at the end of September.
Please remember Enid and Paul in your prayers.

The Stars are out in Abundance

Bearsden Festival of Stars leading up to Christmas is now underway.  Last evening 100’s came along for the lighting of the community Christmas tree, the local primary schools sang, more stars were made, hot chocolate was drunk and the community gathered in joy and peace.
Before news of what is still to come here are some pictures from last night.

This afternoon the first of the family Christmas films took place – another one on 9th and 16th.

Keep an eye on facebook for news of all the activities and competitions.   Including in the final week before Christmas a follow the star story trail, but for now some stars from All Saints.
Over the coming weeks the stars in and around the Church will grow in number as we await the appearing of the biggest star of all heralding the birth of Christ.

The Year of Mark

As we approach year b in the Lectionary, there will be three interactive discussions about the Gospel of Mark.  Mark’s Gospel will be the main source of the Gospel readings over the coming year.

This isn’t a Bible study on Mark’s Gospel, rather it is an overview to help us get the most out the Gospel as we experience its unfolding, scene by scene as the year progresses.

Mark is the shortest and earliest of the Gospels.  If can easily be read in a couple of hours.  It would be beneficial if you can read it in one sitting before coming along.

Each week is independant, but you will get the most out of this short course, and indeed the coming year, if you can attend them all.

Thursday 19th October, Thursday 9th November and Thursday 23rd November. 

All will begin in the Choir Vestry at 7.30pm.


Bring along your sense of humour and your open heart and mind.  Coffee from 7:15pm.


Afternoon Cream Tea

On Saturday 4th November

between 3pm and 5pm

we will be holding an cream tea.

Why not chase off the Autumnal blues and enjoy tea, scones and cream with friends old and new.

There will also be a baking stall.

Entry £5 (free for children)