About The Mothers' Union

About The Mothers’ Union

St John’s has a lively branch of the Mothers’ Union, a world-wide Anglican organisation that provides practical help and advice as well as promoting spiritual development and fellowship. Despite the title, you don’t have to be a woman or a mother to be part of it!

Some of the activities of St John’s members include support for Dumfries Women’s Aid, provision of toiletries and help to people in hospital, participation in a network of prayer and work with the Mothers’ Union in our twin Diocese of Byumba. There is a lively programme of meetings and worship.

This Week at St John’s

Sun 18 Aug:  Trinity 9 (3rd Sunday in month)          

8.00am Eucharist  (Scottish Liturgy 1970) (Chancel)

9.15 am Morning Service (Crichton Memorial Church)

9.00am + All Age Service (Church)

11.00am Sung Eucharist  (1982);  (Crèche facilities during service;  refreshments and Fairtrade Stall afterwards.)

Tue 20 Aug          

6.30pm Said Eucharist  (Scottish Liturgy 1982)  (Lady Chapel)

Wed 21 Aug        

10.30am Holy Communion  (Scottish Liturgy 1970) (Church) followed by refreshments (Hall)

6.30pm +             St John’s Choir Rehearsal (Hall) RESUMES

Thu 22 Aug          

7-9pm   Tower Bell Practice (bells AT stjohnsdumfries DOT org)

Sat 24 Aug           

5.30pm 1982 Eucharist (Bartholomew, Apostle) (Lady Chapel)

Sun 25 Aug:  Trinity 10 (4th)         

8.00am Holy Communion (Scottish Liturgy 1970) (Chancel)

9.15am  Morning Service (Crichton Memorial Church)

9.30am Holy Communion at Maxwelton Chapel

11.00am               Sung Eucharist (1982),  Crèche facilities during the service;  refreshments afterwards)


Election of Bishop: The Primus formally announced to the Synod on the 27th July that as it had not been possible for a shortlist of candidates to be put forward for election by the Synod the responsibility for electing the next Bishop would now, in accordance with the Canon, pass to the College of Bishops. They will be following the same procedure: considering names put forward to them, issuing a questionnaire and interviewing before voting. We do not have a timescale at present but the Primus said that it was his intention to keep us all informed as the procedure was followed.  Thank you to everyone who joined in the Day of Prayer  and please keep the Bishops and the person God has chosen to be our Bishop in your prayers.  Please talk to me if you have any questions.
 Margaret Morton Lay Representative
Church Lighting:  At the Special General Meeting in January we agreed that visits would be made to see lighting arrangements in other churches and that those who went would report back to a further meeting. A number of members of the congregation have visited both SEC and Church of Scotland buildings and one in particular was very impressive. The Tower Group has asked the engineers for that scheme to suggest lighting improvements for St John’s which will be discussed at a Special General Meeting on the 15th September after the 11am service. On the previous Sunday David Kerr will show a presentation of the various churches visited, again after the 11am service. The formal notice of the meeting will follow but this is to give advance notice of the date and the arrangements.
Margaret Morton, Acting Vestry Secretary

FAIRTRADE STALL TODAY.  Many 2019 Great Award winning products on sale including Traidcraft Black Tea (teabags and leaf and decaffeinated); Earl Grey Tea; Eswatini Orange & Cinnamon Marmalade; Ma’s Kitchen Coconut Milk. And Ethical Consumer’s top pick for Rice – Kilombero and Most Ethical toilet paper – 100% recycled. Lots of other amazing products. Judith Mylne

FIRST BASE FOOD PARCELS:  Thank you for all the help you gave us to aid First Base to cope with the extra pressures they have had during the school holidays.

We spoke to Ian this week to find that they are very short of all the usual foods, especially UHT milk, pasta, pasta sauces, tins meat and fish.

Please help us to help First Base. Thank you.

Annette and Pauline

Celebration of Ministry – 31/08/2019:  Worship Leaders and Pastoral Assistants:  This year the annual Ministry Celebration Service is planned for Saturday, 31/08/2019 here at St John’s, at 11.00am, followed by a light lunch.  Bishop Gordon Mursell has kindly agreed to preach and it is hoped that the Primus will preside at the Eucharist.  This service is for Worship Leaders and Pastoral Assistants in the Diocese and all who would like to support them.  Most of you will be aware that Diocesan Policy is to have all Authorised Ministry positions re-authorised by the Bishop on a three year rolling programme.  This year all Worship Leaders and Pastoral Assistants require to be re-appointed and to have working agreements reviewed and authorised by Bishop Mark, regardless of when they were initially authorised.

Harriet Oxley’s ordination as Deacon is on Saturday, 14/09/2019 at 2.30pm in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow.  Two minibuses have been arranged:  one for the Choir, who need to be there earlier in the day to rehearse, and one for members of the Congregation who would like to attend.  The latter bus will depart St J’s at 12noon.  Return fare £14.  Sign up sheet on the lit noticeboard.  Should the Choir not need all the spaces on their bus, additional seats may be available to the Congregation.  Watch this space.

As Harriet Oxley’s sponsoring church, we plan to give her a gift of a purple stole.  If you would like to contribute to this, please place your offering in an envelope, marked ‘Harriet’ and place in the offering plate, or pass to Janice or David.

The Franciscan Friary at Alnmouth will be the base for a Lenten retreat from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 March 2020.  The daily fee is £45. Names asap, please, to Raymond Budd, 01848 33132


I’m conscious that there has been some time since the last Vestry update. Many of the items that have been discussed have been shared with everyone—the discussion on same sex marriage in the church building, the progress with the project to repair the tower and to improve the lighting in church—but there are other matters to bring you up to date with.

As a church we are fortunate to have a number of documents and other items which are part of our heritage. A small number are on display at the front of the side aisle. With the ownership of them comes the responsibility to ensure that they are cared for properly and you may remember that Graham Roberts, who has recently retired as Regional Archivist, came last year to talk to us about how that should be done. At our request he has inspected the documents and other objects we have and has advised which ones would be suitable for transferring to the Archive Centre. The Vestry has accepted this recommendation

  •     the documents will be properly cared for in the appropriate environment
  •     they will be available for public access with any necessary supervision (probably more easily than if we kept them)
  •     what was happening in the church could be part of a wider picture of what was happening in the town and the relevant records will be all together

We have gifted them to the Archive Centre which means that the responsibility for their safekeeping is theirs without limiting our opportunities to access them if we need to.

Graham has told us that other paperwork and objects are likely to be of interest to the Local History section of the Ewart Library but at present we are keeping these to have a closer look ourselves and hopefully to put at least some out on display. We have some scrapbooks from the past which should make interesting viewing!

The work is not finished. There are more documents which need to be listed so that we can if necessary take advice and decide how best to preserve them for the future.

This has all taken a lot of work and the Vestry would like to express our thanks to Heather Barrington, Kim Jackson and Gill Swales for all that they have done.

You’ll recall that a good deal of work was undertaken in the Rectory during the Interregnum and we agreed with Janice that in future there would be a planned programme of regular work or maintenance. This year the outside of the windows will be painted. We are also taking advice on how a building like the Rectory can be insulated effectively and we have to recognise that sooner rather than later we will have to budget to replace the boiler.

As you know because of the unsteadiness of the central altar kneeler when people need to tread on it we have been trying out different ways to make such movement safer. There is no perfect solution and at the 8am service it still needs refining. At 11am moving the kneeler seems to work but we have to acknowledge that this is not done without effort and the Vestry would like to thank the servers who carry out this task.

Over the past months you may have been receiving requests from organisations of which you are a member in connection with the General Data Protection Regulation asking you to check the information they have, to let them know how you would wish to be contacted in the future and to give permission if they use social media to include you. The Vestry hopes to finalise the paperwork for St John’s at its next meeting and then to distribute it. Many of us will have given contact details in the past but wex

 may have moved house, use a mobile phone rather than a landline or prefer to be contacted by e mail. Please do complete the form when you receive it. That will help us ensure that our details are up to date and that we contact you in the way you wish

The most important item that we have started discussing is what should be our vision for growth—not for the next 150 years, but certainly over the coming decades. If we want succeeding generations to worship here we have to think not only about the “bricks and mortar” but also about what sort of a church God is calling us to be so that we are effective witnesses.

That doesn’t mean throwing out everything we do/we are and starting again with a blank sheet. It does mean thinking about what we do that builds us up in our individual Christian lives and is a good witness to others, what we might need to rethink and what is God calling us to do that we are not doing.

This has to involve all of us. It’s not the prerogative or the sole responsibility of the Vestry but we did think it was our responsibility to start the process off. We’re not planning to do this immediately when we’re all hoping for a good summer when people want to be out and about. The plan is to start the discussions at the beginning of September and hopefully to complete them in October. The Vestry will have its usual weekend away in November when we want to spend the time concentrating on the thoughts and views we all have and on how God is guiding us.

If you have questions about any of these items please ask myself or a member of Vestry.

Margaret Morton

Acting Vestry Secretary