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.


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

This Week at St John’s

Sun 7 July:  Trinity 3   

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

9.15am Morning Service (Crichton Memorial Church)

9.00am+ All Age Service (Church)

11.00am          Sung Eucharist (1982),  Crèche facilities during the service;  refreshments & Fairtrade Stall afterwards) CHOIR HOLIDAY

Tue 9 July       

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

Wed 10 July    

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

Thu 11 July     

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

Sun 14 July:    Observed as Sea Sunday      

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

9.15am Morning Service (Crichton Memorial Church)

9.30am Matins (Church)

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


Fairtrade Stall today!  Kilombero Rice has now been assessed as being the ‘most ethical rice’ by Ethical Consumer Magazine.  Buy yours today.  Great prices on coffee.  Some chocolate bargains while stocks last.
Judith MylnePlease note that Sunday, 14/07/2019 will be observed as Sea Sunday.
As part of the Heritage Project, the plan is to try to interview as many as possible of the folk who are and have been part of St John’s ;  particularly those who have been here for a long time.   Depending on the uptake, it may take us a while to get round everyone.  Communications have gone out to a first batch of people.  If you haven’t been asked yet, it doesn’t mean you’ve been forgotten.  It just seemed easier to do it in smaller batches, so people aren’t kept waiting too long. (Fuller version of this on  lit noticeboard)
David Kerr

I’m delighted to say that Archie & I completed our 100 mile cycle ride from Carlisle to Edinburgh last weekend and we would like to thank everyone for their support, prayers and donations (towards Cancer Research).  There’s still money coming in, but, so far, we’ve raised over £500.
Linda Scott

We managed to slot in an extra excursion (this Monday, 08/07/2019, to Dumfries House…4 seats still available, for garden tour only, speak to June Frank if interested).  The next scheduled excursion is to Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies on Monday, 12/08/2019.  June has the sign up sheet for this and, in fact, quite a few people have booked already.  June has a number of other possible destinations in mind, from people’s suggestions, and we are looking at what further dates we might fit in.  Keep an eye out.
David Kerr

If anyone can donate any jars (small to medium sized) or old tea cups that could be used for candle making, please would you leave them at the back of the church, near the First Base and Women’s Aid boxes?  Donations can be received up till 19/07/2019.  Thank you. Amie Byers

Keep the Date:  The Primus has requested all churches in the Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway to hold a Day of Prayer for the appointment of a new Bishop.  This will be on Saturday, 03/08/2019.  Details of the format of the day will follow.
Thank you for continuing to help St John’s support First Base Food Bank.  Sadly, the need increases at this time of year as school holidays start and children will no longer be getting school dinners.  Can we help Ian and the team at First Base aid the parents who can’t afford to feed their families?  So:  before heading off on your own holidays, can you pop a couple of extra items in your shopping please?  Thank you so much. 
Annette & Pauline

Members of the Congregation will wish to know that Margaret Walton died peacefully at Goldielea this Friday, 05/07/2019.  Margaret was, for many years, a very active member of St John’s and was much loved and well regarded.  Unfortunately,  she had not been well enough to come to church for the last few years.  She originated, as she was fond of saying, ‘from Bletchley, Bucks;  all hens and no ducks’ and had worked for the BBC, as well as the Tourist Information Office in Dumfries.  Funeral details will be publicised, once known.
There is to be an Ecumenical Service at Dundrennan Abbey at 3pm on Sunday, 18/08/2019, followed by tea.  The plan is that the bus (if sufficient numbers) would leave St J’s at approximately 1.30pm.  Fare:  £7.  Ann Shukman (revann AT stjohnsdumfries DOT org) has details;  sign up sheet on lit noticeboard.