Festive preparations

Gardner Memorial Church’s arrangements for Christmas are all in place and the congregation is looking forward to a fulfilling festive season after a very busy and productive autumn period.

The October Communion was particularly well attended, as was the service on Remembrance Sunday.

Remembrance Sunday was a very moving service as many in attendance had connections with the armed services, both in the past and presently on active service.

Major Lorraine Henderson of the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Corps was present, as were other representatives of the forces. The Major read the Bible lessons for the day and also spoke the moving words of The Tryst.

The children present also contributed in a touching way to the solemnity of the service when they carried poppies they had made during the activity time, into the church during the closing hymn before laid them on the communion table.

Throughout the autumn all the usual activities have continued, including the coffee and chat sessions, soup lunches and the midweek study sessions.

A most welcome increase in membership has been observed and the sacrament baptism and the blessing of infants have both taken place at morning worship.

The next big event to take place at the church is a Bake Sale on the morning of Saturday, December 8, in the church hall.

Morning coffee will be followed by a soup lunch and, later in the day, hot chocolate will be available to cheer and warm the folk attending the switching on of the Christmas Lights on the tree in St Ninian’s Square. At that time there will be something new - the community signing of carols.

This additional contribution to the festivities is an initiative by Brechin Churches Together and will be led by the minister of the Gardner Memorial Church, Rev. Jane Blackley.

The popular carol ‘Joy to the World’ captures the spirit of the Christmas services held at Gardner Memorial Church this December.

The first service will take place on the morning of Sunday, December 9, and has the theme of Advent.

A week later, on December 11, there will be a Nativity Service that will bring to the fore the talents of the Sunday School, not least, their enthusiastic percussion skills when it comes to accompanying the hymns.

The Sunday School, or Sunday’s cool, to give the children the name of their choice, recently put yet another talent to use and made goodies which they sold to raise money for Children in Need. It was gratifying that the BBC promptly sent a letter of thanks to the youngsters.

The familiar and popular service of Lessons and Carols take place on the morning of December 23 and, on the same day, there will be an evening service in Farnell Church at 6 p.m.

The family service on Christmas Eve is a joyous event and has become very popular.

Rev. Jane Blackley involves the children, and everyone else, in the telling of the Christmas story.

The church is always beautifully decorated with evergreens crowning the tops of the pillars and floral arrangements on every windowsill.

On Christmas Eve the beauty of the building is enhanced by candlelight.

When the children get their glowsticks the church is full of an extra special sense of the mystery if Christmas.

The service starts at 8 p.m. and ends in plenty of time for the annual Rotary Carol Service in St. Ninian’s Square.

The day closes with a Watch Night Service at the Cathedral at 11.20 p.m. and on Christmas Day there will be a Christmas morning worship at 10 a.m.

A complete novelty this year comes as the results of the efforts of the craft group, which meets weekly in the Church Hall.

The ladies made little Christmas stockings and inserted an explanatory poem in each one.

Every household received a sticking with the suggestion that £2 should be put in it every month and that by Christmas the contents, £24, could go to the Church funds.

A warm welcome awaits anybody who would like to come along to any, or all, of the Gardner Memorial services.