by Jane Gilham, Session Clerk of Stobo Kirk
Personal Memories of the Parishes of Upper Tweed
Fellowship, Friendship, Fun and Food
On 4th June 2016, a group of around 20 or so members of the congregations of Parishes of Upper Tweeddale and their families and friends gathered at Tweedsmuir Kirk at the start of a 23 mile walk through the four parishes. The walk which had been organised to celebrate the retirement of Bob Milne, our minister, proved to be a celebration of our fellowship as a church community, as we enjoyed each other’s company and the wonderful hospitality our congregations have always offered, but it was also an appreciation of our churches and their places within the landscape.
Each church and church community has its very own character. Over the years I (and I am sure many others in our congregations) have come to appreciate and to love each one. Each church evokes different memories and now that the Parish of Stobo and Drumelzier is leaving the Parishes of Upper Tweeddale to join a new linking with Eddleston and Peebles Old, it seems like a good time to remember each parish as I recall our route from Tweedsmuir to Skirling in June 2016.
First Stop – Tweedsmuir Kirk. Bacon sandwiches in the village hall to set us up for the day.
Tweedsmuir Kirk holds the Church picnic in June each year. In the past, I recall that this was often held in the old school. This has now become the ‘café style’ service, which is remarkable for its ice cream with an amazing array of toppings. The Christmas Eve candlelit service in Tweedsmuir Kirk is a perfect start to the Christmas celebrations. When attending Sunday worship as a member of the worship workshop, I remember a very young Robert Parker, taking the offering. After the service coffee was always an opportunity to chat, I recall enjoying this so much that I would sometimes forget that I had to leave time to make the journey to Stobo.
Second Stop – Drumelzier Kirk. Lunch break in the Village Hall.
When I have managed to get to a service at Drumelzier Kirk before anyone else, I have always been struck by the complete silence in the building. The church is lovingly cared for by Julian and Rosalind Birchall, who in addition to doing regular cleaning and checking of the building, also prepare the church for the services. The annual lambing service has usually involved the inclusion of real or (cuddly) toy lambs. Another Christmas highlight in Parishes of Upper Tweed is the Candlelit service in Drumelzier Kirk.