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Welcome to Loanhead Parish Church – part of the Church of Scotland.
(November 2016)
Letter from the Minister
The Manse
120 The Loan

13th November 2016

Dear Friends

This last year has been a busy one for us within the church, with the usual events and activities which make up the church calendar.  Much of the activity though is hidden behind the scenes, including the work in our youth organisations and it was good to mark the work of the leaders there in our Youth Dedication service at the end of October. 

Lots to encourage us in this – but one of the things that has been particularly encouraging is seeing a number of new people joining us on Sundays and finding their part in the family of the church.  The importance of that cannot be overstated, as finding that we belong is so important for all of us.  Something that goes beyond a nice welcome – since a “welcome” can often signify a visit and no more, quickly followed by a “goodbye” at the end.  That’s why our “strapline” says A place for everyone not simply a welcome
A strapline is supposed to encapsulate everything about you, telling others about who you are, what you do, and more importantly why that’s great for them – in just a handful of words

Whilst it is important to have words in place, what is much more important is ensuring that the reality matches the words.  For us, that means going beyond the welcome on the first visit towards helping to create a place where others feel they can belong and play a part.  Make a contribution.  Even though we don’t mean it, this can be hard in church life – to the extent that one church expert resists using the name “family” to describe church.  He argues that families are hard to get into – you are either born into them, adopted or get married into them!  It’s important that we don’t make things that hard – yet also don’t lose the positive elements of family in the care, nurture, support and encouragement which families offer.

The last year has also been a busy year for Jane and I with our own family - and a big year as we became grandparents for the first time.  Although I still haven’t got used to being called “Grandad!”  Maybe I just don’t want to think of myself getting older but in amongst all that will happen in the next few weeks I’m looking forward to Eden’s first Christmas with us!

In a few weeks though we will celebrate the birth of a different child as we share together with millions around the world in remembering the birth of Christ.  Someone whose birth was trumpeted by angels and highlighted by a star.  Someone whose birth was “Good News for all the world” but was intimated first to those who were usually on the outside.  Perhaps in that there is something for us in ensuring that in all we do that there is a special place for those who might otherwise feel excluded.  That at Christmas Loanhead Church truly is “A place for everyone.”

With every blessing for Christmas and the New Year.


Yours in Christ


Rev Graham Duffin

see also diary page
see also weekly latest news page

Sunday Services in the New Year

1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd January 11 a.m. Morning Service
29th January 11 a.m. Family Service
5th, 12th & 19th February 11 a.m. Morning Service
26th February 11 a.m. Family Service
5th March 11 a.m. Communion

Communion Services

Our December Communion Service is on Sunday 4th December at 11 a.m.

The Afternoon Communion will be on the Tuesday 29th November at 2.30 p.m. at Trust Housing.  All are welcome and transport is available for those who need it.

Alpha Course

An Alpha Course is being planned for 2017. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the basics of the Christian faith.  You can find further detail – and view a video with Bear Grylls – at

 For more details about the course speak to Kirsteen Rawcliffe or Catriona Anderson

Forthcoming Meetings

Wed 7th Dec    Congregational Board 7.30 p.m.
Wed 4th Jan    Kirk Session 7.30 p.m.


New Church in Hopefield

The Church of Scotland have employed a Pioneer minister to help to create a new church in the Hopefield area of Bonnyrigg.  Along with a number of local churches, the Kirk Session have agreed that we should provide support to this exciting new development.


March 2017 - Stewardship Month

The Congregational Board and Kirk Session have decided that we should focus on the topic of Stewardship in March.  This will allow us to encourage members and others to consider how they can become involved in the life and work of the church in different ways as well as reflecting on how each of us supports the work of the church financially

Organ Repair

The generosity of a number of individuals, including a gift from the family of Gordon Watt and another from the family of Miss Sinton, will allow us to complete a repair to the church organ over the next few months.  Our thanks to the Watt and Sinton family and to all who have contributed so generously.


Church Website

The website includes information on Baptisms/Blessings, weddings, children’s activities and services.

Christmas Services and Events

Sat 26th November     Christmas Fayre 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Sun 27th November    Memorial Service for the Bereaved  2 p.m.

Tuesday 29th Nov       Communion Service 2.30 p.m. at Trust Housing

Sat 3rd December       Carols, Cards & Torchlight Procession from 4 p.m.

Sunday 4th Dec           Communion service at 11 a.m.

Tue 6h December       Carol Event 1.30 p.m. - with youngsters from Paradykes Primary

Sun 11th December    Christmas Praise & Gift Service 11 a.m. – Baptism of Isla Williamson

Sun 18th December    Nativity Service 11 a.m.

Fri 23rd December      School services 9.30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

Sat 24th  December    Christingle Service  4.30 p.m.
                                    Watchnight Service 11.30 p.m.

Sun 25th December    Christmas Day Service  11 a.m.


Parish Christmas Cards

Once again we are holding a Christmas card competition with the children in the local Primary Schools.  The winning card will be printed and then distributed to the parish with details of our Christmas services.  We rely on your help for this – if you can distribute them to the street where you stay or another area in Loanhead, please pick up a set on Sunday 4th December. 


Carols, Cards & Torchlight Procession
Saturday 3rd December
4.00 p.m. – 5.45 p.m.

To tie in with the Christmas Card competition we are holding a special event on Saturday 3rd December.  A torchlight procession will start from the Library Headquarters at 4 p.m. with the switching on of the Christmas lights at 4.30 p.m.  The torchlight procession will then start again and come up from Fountain Green to the church, accompanied (we hope) by Santa’s sleigh!

The event at the church will include some carol singing, a reflection on Christmas and prizes will be awarded to the winning entrants of the Christmas card competition. All of the entries for the competition will be displayed in the church hall with hot dogs, snacks and coffees available. 


Christmas Gift service

The Christmas Gift service will be on Sunday 11th December.  This year the community outreach group will hand out slips asking you to buy a gift for a specific age group which will help in giving us a good mix of gifts for all the children we help.  It is helpful if the gift is not wrapped, but wrapping paper included.


Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Our thanks to Irene Allan for organising this again through Samaritans Purse.  145 shoeboxes have been sent out to children who will receive little at Christmas, along with 5 sacks of hat and scarf knitted sets.  This year Primary 7 from Loanhead Primary took part and filled 30 shoeboxes!

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Loanhead Parish Church , The Manse, 120 The Loan, Loanhead , Midlothian, EH20 9AJ
Loanhead Parish Church (Church of Scotland) Registered Charity No SC014420