Retirement of Rev’d Nicola Moll 24th September 2017
It was wonderful to have so many visitors with us for a very special harvest festival service. We said a very fond farewell to Rev’d Nicola Moll who has served at St Salvador’s for over 15 years. Nicola was presented with a number of gifts from the congregation and the children sang a farewell song and presented her with a card. It was especially lovely to have volunteers and customers from our food bank well represented in the congregation.
Rev’d Tim Morris prayed a blessing for Nicola.
After the service we shared a lunch together which included a very special home made cake.
Licensing Service for Rev’d Mariusz Wojciechowski 19th November 2016
St Salvador’s was overflowing with friends and well wishers on the morning of 19th November for Mariusz ‘s licensing as Assistant Priest. . There was a wonderfully warm atmosphere and it was great to have Rev’d Michael Paterson, who has a long association with St Salvador’s, as our organist. Anna read the Epistle for us in Polish (with an English translation for non speakers!) and Rev’d Ruth Green of St David’s Pilton was our Preacher. St David’s, St Barnabas’, St Margaret’s and St Vincent’s along with St Salvador’s have now joined together to form a small churches group. We meet up to discuss ideas and share issues and also hold joint services twice a year. Mariusz’s licensing was a further joyous opportunity for us to get together once again.
The service was followed by a delicious lunch, prepared almost single handed by Anna who also created a metre long cake which had just about disappeared by the end of the celebrations.
As a congregation, we are delighted to have Mariusz and his family with us. We look forward to his ministry and new opportunities for our witness within the community.
Sheila Miller 1936 – 2016 RIP
We were all saddened by Sheila’s death. She had been a life long member of the congregation and was amongst the first children to be baptised after the building of the church in 1937. She gave service in many ways as Sunday School leader and then as Secretary to the Vestry and to the Flower Committee. She loved all the social activities which used to be so much part of the life at St Salvador’s. She was a great organiser of events, a very accomplished arranger of flowers and was also skilled in home baking and knitting – all gifts which she loved to offer to the church. Sheila was a keen artist and her work, mostly water colours, was regularly exhibited locally. She had a particular feel for trees, their shape and place in the landscape and the changing colours of the Scottish seasons. She was also an excellent dancer. She and her husband David met through ballroom dancing but were also a well known couple in Scottish Country Dancing circles.
Her funeral in the Church on 9th May was packed to overflowing. Her grandson, Shaun, read Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils which was a favourite of hers. The moment captured so much of Sheila and her life – her love of family, her love of flowers and trees, her sense of dance – and all taking place within the church where she felt at home for all of her life.
MARY and JOSEPH on the move
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Mary and Joseph are visiting members of the congregation, staying with them from Monday to Saturday, as part of their journey towards Bethlehem. Last week they were with the Kanu family. Was Mary happy or a bit worried what with the baby coming and quite a way to go? The answer: A bit worried but excited too.
This week they are at the Howie household and will meet another Joseph.
ALISON WATSON RIP
Alison died on February 5th 2015at Braids Hill Nursing Home at the age of 94. She had been in failing health for the past year but somehow Alison was always a sparkly presence. She was a faithful member of St Salvador’s for many years and loved by us all.
There will be a short Mass for Alison at 4.3o pm on THURSDAY 19th FEBRUARY.
Her Funeral was held in the Church on FRIDAY 20th FEBRUARY at 11.30am, followed by the Committal at Morton Hall.
A POET COMES TO VISIT
On Sunday 23rd March, we were delighted to welcome Andy and Judith Philip and family. Andy is a published poet and had kindly agreed to do a poetry workshop during the sermon slot.
The Old Testament reading for that Sunday (Lent 3) is Exodus 17:1-7 and tells the story of Moses and the Israelites as they struggle on their journey through the wilderness. In these verses we see them overcome with thirst and beset by doubts. The people complain to Moses: ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cries to God:- ‘What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ God instructs Moses to take his staff and go ahead to the rock which lies at Horeb where He will be waiting for them. Moses must strike the rock with his staff and ‘water will come out of it, so that the people may drink’. Moses does as God commands and water gushes forth, relieving their thirst; a clear response to their grumbling and doubt.
In his poem, The Rock of Horeb, Andy gives the story an interesting twist by telling it from the point of view of the rock.
THE ROCK OF HOREB
Who sets the hard-set to such weeping
they can slake the thirst, can quench
the quarrel burning in a wandering folk?
I am no instrument. What rings
from the struck rock is not
what was wrung from me.
I am no aquifer. Nothing of
life whispered through my fissures
till that single blow pushed me
to bow to a fresh and giddy spring.
I couldn’t quell its pressure, couldn’t
name the force that split me
open like a loaf just risen
from the oven’s grave; split me
clean open like a pomegranate,
the juice I didn’t know I held
bleeding into gaping, grateful mouths.
In the conversation that followed the reading of this poem, people shared their thoughts and personal experiences, clearly appreciating the ideas expressed and rich imagery. Thank you, Andy, for your wonderfully inspiring gift to us..
COLIN MUIR 1929 – 2014
The Congregation at St Salvador’s were greatly saddened by the death of Colin Muir on 15th February. Colin first joined the congregation as a boy during the war years and remained an active member until his death. He was Treasurer for more than thirty years and also served the church in a thousand other ways. He looked after the building, prepared the church for Sunday worship, he offered a taxi service to fellow members, he did bits and pieces of DIY and he never forgot to put the bins out.
But much more than that, Colin was a kind and gracious man – a friend to all. He had a wicked sense of humour with a special love for practical jokes. And underpinning it all was a deep seated faith and a love of his church. He was a faithful disciple with a gift for combining the sacred things of life with the practical. He loved the worship and the liturgy but he also loved to see the books nicely balanced and the building well looked after. Both for him were part and parcel of how he served his Lord.
His funeral was held at St Salvador’s on 26th February and the church was overflowing with family and friends. Colin had a special gift for creating and nurturing friendships both in and outside the church. The Tribute was given by his son, Nigel who spoke of Colin’s joy in family life, his commitment to his work as a Civil Engineer and that love of practical jokes. After the service, his coffin was taken to Corstorphine Cemetery to rest beside his beloved wife, Lorna, who died in 2001.
Although we as a congregation feel the loss of Colin in so many ways, there is also a quiet thankfulness for the gift of a lovely man whose life was rich and fulfilled. Deep down we rejoice with him and for him. All is done here and he can now rest in the peace of Paradise. It is the homecoming he had in his sights for the whole of his life. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
ST SALVADOR’S IS 75 – Say it with cup cakes!
On Sunday 1st December, Advent Sunday, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the consecration of St Salvador’s church building. It was a very joyous occasion and the congregation was full of friends present and past. The Glad Tidings Church sang duringCommunion and afterwards there was a lot of chat and tasty refreshments with – yes – cup cakes to remind us of our age.
The Gospel Reading was from Matthew 25 which was also the reading back in 1998 when we celebrated our 60th anniversary. This passage has always been important to this church. It was the vision that informed the founding congregation as they came together under the name of Jesus, the Saviour Saint and it is also reinterpreted in the large altar cross which shows Jesus, crucified, risen, ascended and crowned.
The sermon focussed on how Jesus’ words from this passage: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food’ still inform our work and worship particularly through the Community Food Initiative set up just a year ago. This project continues to operate with help from sister churches who make regular food donations and through our weekly openings, we have been able to build up some important relationships within the locality. But ultimately it is the people who use the service who give it meaning and purpose. We are able offer the food but they make the journey and that is often a more challenging thing to do.
Big anniversaries are good for looking back, reflecting on the present and wondering about the future. The closing image on our service booklets left us a cartoon and prayer by Michael Leunig from his book ‘A Common Prayer’. Words to keep us wondering and keep us humble!
God give us rain when we expect sun.
Give us music when we expect trouble,
Give us tears when we expect breakfast,
Give us dreams when we expect a storm,#
Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.
God play with us, turn us sideways and around. Amen.
Grade C Listing granted by Historic Scotland
St Salvador’s building has recently been given a Grade C Listing by Historic Scotland. The Church was visited by the Docomomo Group about a year ago and it was following their interest and recommendation that Historic Scotland decided to reconsider its architectural merit as a 20th century church building. Perhaps St Salvador’s most important architectural element is its reinterpretation of a medieval church (St Monans) in a contemporary style and using materials of the day.
We hope that this recognition can be an asset to the local community.
The Bishop visits on Mothering Sunday
Everyone was delighted to welcome Bishop John and Claire on Mothering Sunday.
Greetings from members of the congregation varied from: ‘I feel I ought to call you my Lord’ to ‘Hi Bish!’ We are a varied but always friendly lot at St Sallies!.
Our tradition on Mothering Sunday is to use the sermon slot as an opportunity to go to the Lady Chapel where the chairs are arranged in a circle around a large bowl of spring flowers. Here, in a very informal way, we share thoughts and ideas and give space for reflection and silence.
Bishop John was happy to fit in with this pattern and he led with some interesting thoughts on and insights into Mothering Sunday which were part personal, part historical and part theological. Everyone was ready to chip in and offer their own perspective.
We considered the motherhood of the church and thought about those motherly qualities of nurturing, compassion, forgiveness and love. How are they manifested? And what about those other things mothers do – like discipline… Have people been put off the church because they perceive it as being over focussed on ‘Sin’ and too ready to wag the finger. Bishop John reminded us of the importance of confessing our failings to each other (as we do through our liturgy) and then knowing ourselves healed and forgiven.
Motherhood holds something of the ‘Wonderful Exchange’. One moment we are a child in our mother’s arms and the next we are caring for her as she faces the difficulties of old age or a terminal illness. One moment the church is there as a constant and solid presence, and then, before you know it, we discover that we are the church – we few! We are the ones called to keep the love of Christ alive.
St Salvador’s is one of the smallest charges in the diocese and it was very nurturing to have Bishop John with us, listening to and sharing in the challenges and struggles we face as well as rejoicing in the gifts of friendship and faithfulness that are so strong in this wee community. . There was a lot of laughter and chat over coffee. .
Another tradition in St Salvador’s is that everyone gets a bunch of flowers. You don’t have to be a mum. You don’t have to be female. It is a way of honouring the gifts of mothering in each one of us and of paying tribute to our own mothers. It was good to be able to give bunches to +John and to Claire and also let them know how much we appreciated their encouraging and supportive visit.