Bonkle Church of Scotland Magazine

Christmas 2018

Scottish Charity Number SC006540

Next issue – March 2019

Closing date for material –24th February 2019


Lest we forget

From the Manse

What is your favourite Christmas carol? According to a poll conducted by Classic FM, the nation’s favourite Christmas carol is “O Holy Night”. I have to confess that despite the poem upon which it is based having upon having been written in 1847, it was only the popularity of singers such as the Three Tenors that brought the song to my attention in recent years. If you were to ask me, I would struggle to choose my favourite carol, though Silent Night would have to be up there. (probably my favourite Christian Christmas song is Emmanuel (A sign shall be given), sung by Michael Card). Interestingly if you were to ask folks of a younger generation what their favourite carol was, you might find it was “All I want for Christmas is you, sung by Mariah Carey, even though it is most definitely not a Christmas carol!

I guess that reminds us of how much misunderstanding there is about the Christmas Story. This is one of the main reasons that we present Bubblegum & Fluff to the P6 pupils from our local schools every year. In Bubblegum & Fluff we try to get the children to see the real story of Jesus birth and its importance stripped away from all the “Fluff” which has been attached to it over the years.

To be honest much of our Christmas celebrations have little to do with the bible story. Angels...yes, donkey…no, shepherds…yes, 3 kings…no. (They were wise men or astrologers and we assume there were 3 because of the gifts – but the bible doesn’t say how many nor call them Balthazar, Gaspar, and Melchior) You get the picture, lots of our traditions rely upon folk lore and traditional stories than the biblical account of Jesus birth. Does it matter? Yes…and no. It matters that we celebrate the Incarnation, it matters that we can discern truth from fable, it matters that we remember (and the Centenary of the end of WWI this year had brought home to us vividly, the importance of remembering) and celebrate Jesus birth. If we as His people don’t celebrate his birth (yes I know it’s not in the Bible!) can we really criticise others for doing so, albeit perhaps for the wrong reasons. Celebrating Jesus birth gives us the opportunity to speak of the reality of the Christmas story, and its importance for mankind. Thereafter, how we celebrate it is far less important. 25th December…so what – if the Queen of the United Kingdom can have an official birthday then why can’t the King of Kings! Whether you have Turkey, Goose, Steak Pie or nut roast, Christmas pudding or trifle.. none of these things matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is that “unto US a Child is born, unto US a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Is 9:6) Advent reminds us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Surely that is worth celebrating!

Please, if you can, join us over Christmas at one or more of our services, details of which can be found on the relevant pages of this magazine, as we celebrate the birth of Christ into our midst.

On behalf of Doris, Emma and myself, can I thank you for your love and support throughout the past year, and may I wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Your friend and minister

Graham Raeburn


Thanks to a substantial grant from EKF (Environmental Key Fund – otherwise the Wind Farm) we have been able to repoint the walls of the church and redecorate it. This should ensure that the building remains weatherproof for many years to come.

We were not allowed to include the hall in this application but we can reapply for a grant to repair the hall.

The immediate essential work is the walls of the old hall which require pointing. The woodwork on the new hall and boiler-house is in a poor state and rather than paint it, it would be better to cap it so that further treatment would not be required for a considerable time.

The pathway slabs are uneven and some are missing causing a tripping hazard so require relaying.

The kitchen units are in a poor state and requires replacing and complete redecoration is required.

The cost of this work is around £16,000.

The car park is also in a poor condition and would cost about £15,000 to relay. We are unlikely to get a grant for this from EKF.

Even with the grant, we would be expected to pay part of the cost.

We really require people with knowledge of building work to join the Fabric committee as at present it consists of 3 teacher/lecturers, delivery driver and a computer programmer – no-one connected with the building trade. We are glad of the help and advice of Robert Roberts but would be glad of the help of other experts.

Fabric committee

Thursday Club

The Thursday Club is looking for new members.

Do you fancy trying your hand at carpet bowls? Most of the existing members had never played bowls until they joined the club. It is an easy game to pick up. Do you fancy trying it?

The club did not always only play bowls. If you, like me, find stooping difficult we have table games – dominoes, scrabble, drafts, cards (Knock out Whist, Whist, Bridge, Canasta). How about travel videos or a good blether?

If you are interested, as we are near the Christmas break, speak to Jim Sinclair, Ian or one of the members.

There are plenty other activities for your enjoyment.

Computer Club, Monday 10.00am OR 1.00pm – this is designed to help anyone struggling to master this technology. We are NOT technocrats. We have desktop, laptop and tablet computers. Speak to Marion or Ian.

Badminton, Monday 7.30pm. Speak to Matthew or Marion.

Ladies Fellowship, every 2nd week -Tuesday 7.30pm – talks and demonstrations. Speak to Anice or Margaret Glen.

Wednesday – Men’s Club. 7.00pm. Carpet Bowls. Speak to Jim Sinclair.

Ian Glen

Sunday School

We continue to be busy in the Sunday school and have been blessed with regular attendance every week.
Ruth, Aaron and Campbell received their bibles from the Sunday School which the children are encouraged to bring every week.
We have been reflecting a lot on the theme of thanksgiving. We have explored this theme through bible stories and discussion. It has helped us to focus on all the things God has given us and made us realise how lucky we are.
The children have also enjoyed seasonal activities such as dooking for apples. Remembrance Sunday gave us the opportunity to spend time with the Rainbows and it was lovely to share in activities with them to mark what is an extremely important occasion.
As winter draws nearer we’re beginning to think about Jesus birth. It’s a story that never gets old or boring and the children always find plenty to get excited about.
Our party this year will take place on Sunday 16th December.



Wishaw CAP Debt Centre news

We have still been receiving plenty of clients booking in, and a new client is booking in roughly once per week. At the moment we are providing support to 33 clients; one client is very close to going debt-free and the process should be completed soon. Please pray for all our clients, and for those who are not engaging, or are no longer receiving support from CAP.

CAP prayer support group We are intending having a monthly prayer meeting to pray for our clients; the debt centre staff and volunteers; and for CAP’s wider work, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 2pm, in Coltness Memorial Church. I do realise that this time may not suit anyone (especially those who are working) but please feel free to come along if you are able. If you have a preferred day/time to meet, please let me know; there is quite a bit of flexibility in the time/date, so we can change it in future if need be. I am also setting up a Whatsapp group so that we can pray for our clients on a more frequent basis. If you want to be involved in that, please email me your current mobile phone number (after you download Whatsapp on your phone!). The same prayer requests will also be sent by text, so, again, if you want to be involved that way, please email me your current mobile number. Please let me know which method you prefer (Whatsapp or text).

2019 ‘United’ one-day conference for CAP staff and volunteers United is a one day regional conference for CAP's front-line network, church leaders and support teams/ befrienders. It’s a great way to get together with other ‘CAP people’ in Scotland, to be inspired, and find out more about what goes on with CAP. The conference will be held on Tuesday 5 March in Edinburgh (Central Church). I’ll send more details nearer the time, but if you fancy going, please let me know. 

Never just a number’ LSE (London School of Economics) major report on CAP The team from the LSE's Housing and Communities unit carried out more than 100 interviews with staff and clients and worked through more than 12,600 client records to find out just how we work and the social impact on society. The report, called Never Just a Number, says CAP provides 'crucial' face-to-face support which goes far beyond simply debt advice. It describes the debt help as 'intensive and holistic' which is 'highly professional'. For every pound spent on poverty relief at CAP, society benefits almost four-fold (to the tune of £32M in total)! You can access the report here:

Johnny Cash ‘A journey of faith’ event We are hosting a free event on Saturday 24 November at 7pm in Coltness Memorial Parish Church, Newmains which features the life, music and testimony of singing legend, Johnny Cash, brought to you by Dave Kelly (CAP regional evangelist from Northern Ireland). This event aims at outlining the gospel message to people, and Dave also gives his own moving testimony, as well as singing a selection of songs from Johnny Cash’s extensive catalogue. It promises to be a great night, so please come along & spread the word

Nicky McLaughlin (Debt Centre manager) 07400 189398

Christmas Services

The following are the dates for the services over the Christmas period:

Sunday 2nd Dec Joint Carol Service: - St Brigid's - 5.00pm

Sunday 16th Dec Gift service: Bonkle Noon

16th Dec Christingle Service: 6.30pm

24th Dec Watchnight Service: 11.15pm

30th Dec Joint Service: - - Coltness Memorial 11.00am

6th Jan Joint Service: - Bonkle 11.00am

2nd December Christan Aid Carol service at St Brigids 5.00pm

5th December Christmas Film Night Coltness tickets £4 7.00pm

11th December Newmains PS Carol-oke - Coltness 6.30 pm

12th December - Bubblegum & Fluff - Coltness Memorial (please pray for all taking part - leaders and pupils)

16th December Gift Service (Both Churches) Gifts will be distributed to deserving families in our community by Social Work dept Wishaw am

16th December Christingle service - Bonkle (with Guides, Brownies and Rainbows) 6.30pm

19th December Coltness - Morningside PS church service 10.00am

20th December Coltness - Newmains PS church service 10.00 am

23rd December  Both Churches family Nativity Services am

24th December Christmas Eve Watchnight service Bonkle Church 11.30pm (carols sung from 11.15) PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL ONLY BE ONE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE THIS YEAR

25th December (Christmas Day) - Christmas Communion Service 10.00am

30th December Joint Service in Coltness Memorial 11.00am

6th January Joint Service in Bonkle 11.00am

13th January normal services resume

Refuel 2018

I sure you all remember that I attended Refuel last year so I decided to go back again this year. It ran from 23rd to 28th of July in Gordon Castle Estate , Fochabers .  I set off after the service on the 22nd of July as it takes up to four hours driving. I put up my tent when I arrived . Since it wasn't starting until the Monday morning there was an open invitation to sing and worship God round a campfire.  

Every morning there was an opening service taking by different speakers and then there was again a choice of different morning sessions, then lunch and afternoon session. Then we had a break and late afternoon session. After dinner there was the evening service lead by different speakers. The worship was led by Craig Mackay who is the Scottish Regional Consultant for the Filling Station Trust in Scotland and Ali Mcfarlane a worship leader from Dumfries.  I was blessed during the week as I felt Gods presence. There was about 15000 people attend this this year.

Refuel is facilitated by the Filling Station Trust which is a non denominational network welcoming over 5000 people to its venues in over 90 gathering across the UK and overseas. These meetings meet monthly and they are planning to start one in Wishaw in the new year. 

Refuel 2019 is on 21st to the 27th of July and it would be great if other people could join me.

If you want to know more about Refuel or the Filling Station Trust please speak to myself, Matthew Gray. 

Funerals 2018

Please note that in order to comply with government Data Protection legislation we will no longer be able to publish address details for funerals, weddings and baptisms in the church magazine

Date of
funeral Deceased Congregation

20.04.18 Tom Boyd CM

25.04.18 William Steele

08.05.18 David Murdoch CM

11.05.18 John Jamieson

22.05.18 Betty McIntyre

30.05.18 Jim Thomson

30.05.18 May Muir B

21.06.16 Millie Bennie

19.07.18 John McKenzie

24.07.18 Margaret Telfer B

31.07.18 Inez McAra B

16.08.18 Paula Stevenson CM

22.08.18 Gladys Radcliffe B

27.09.18 Wilma Fleming CM

04.10.18 Betty Ghee

16.10.18 Kate McNulty

18.10.18 Rena Wilson B

22.10.18 Andy Radcliffe B

Our Gardeners

Our thanks to our gardeners, Carol and Robert, for their efforts in keeping the grounds tidy and Carol for the recent display for Armistice day.