|Update 22nd March 2020 regarding COVID-19|
|Until further notice, church congregations must not gather for public worship or for meetings of bible study groups, community cafes or other church organisations.|
|Nevertheless, the Minister and elders of Calderhead Erskine Church are keen that people in Shotts, Allanton & Hartwood, especially the most vulnerable and isolated are supported.|
|Our two places of worship will be no longer open. Prayers, encouragement, sermon notes, information and updates will be posted on this web site.|
|(There are also Sunday services on BBC Radio 4 at 8.10-8.45am or BBC Scotland that you many find helpful. Also, a 15 minute daily service on BBC Radio 4 longwave (198m). There may be items on various local radio stations and Premier radio, a UK Christian radio station. (Freeview 725). Most of us will now have more time on our hands and I suggest that each of us take more time to make a check-list to pray not just for ourselves but for family, friends & neighbours as well as leaders, carers and medical staff in the front line, and Christ's Church here and across the world at this time.|
|We would urge members, neighbours and friends to keep in touch, especially those isolated at home. Let's spread kindness not infection.|
|Please contact Iain contact details here, or an elder if you would like us to be able to help or have a specific prayer request and keep contact over the coming months. It would be helpful if you can provide your contact phone number (and e-mail if you have one).|
Please be aware that there are reports of people going door to door pretending to be collectors for the weekly freewill offering envelopes.
The Church of Scotland and indeed no other Church would adopt this approach and this is not an authorised collection.
Please be alert to any such activity and if anyone has any concerns about people attending at their house they should report this to the Police by calling 101.
We are not aware of such activity to date in the communities of Allanton, Shotts or Hartwood.
Calderhead Erskine Parish Church is a congregation of the Church of Scotland in the Presbytery of Hamilton. It was formed when Calderhead Parish Church, Erskine Parish Church and Allanton Mission Church were united in 1989.
There are two centres of worship: the Church in Shotts and the Church in Allanton. The Church serves the communities of Allanton, Hartwood, Shotts and surrounding countryside.
We do hope you find our website useful and interesting.
A warm welcome awaits you at any of our worship services.
Four months after the retirement of our previous Minister, Rev. Allan Brown, in August 2017, Rev. Iain Murdoch, who had served as Minister of Wishaw Cambusnethan Old & Morningside 1995-2017, became our Locum Minister, and from February 2020, Interim Moderator also.
Iain trained in Scots Law but then was a high school teacher for 15 years in Scotland and England before training in Edinburgh for parish ministry, but his main equipping for ministry has been his awareness of Christ’s grace and healing presence through years of serious illness and dark depression in his 20’s and more recently during the aggressive cancer of his wife, Elizabeth, and his bereavement.
Iain had previously served as our Interim Moderator during our previous vacancy 2007-2010 so was well known and a trusted friend. He has a concern to be used in building up Christ’s Kingdom and a local church that is light and salt for the local community; and reports that he has been encouraged.
Iain has a daughter, a son, and 3 grandchildren who help him relax. He also has a long-haired German Shepherd, Tess, as a faithful companion, who shares his love of the Scottish hills.
In Wishaw, Iain helped found a Christian community charity MADE4U IN ML2, and is currently Chair of their board.
A Message from Iain
This morning, I came across this prayer of St. Paul, first prayed nearly 2000 years ago but my prayer for you today, “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) In this difficult time, let us pray this for ourselves and each other, as well as medics and carers in the front-line, and leaders with heavy responsibilities and hard decisions to make at this time. May we look to the Lord, trusting in His grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, and be given the calm courage, wisdom and peace we need and be aware that we are held in God’s love. I also share an e-message from Mark Greene, a Christian author in London:
Fear is in the air – and it is a particular kind of fear
“Amidst the daily readjustments and frustrations of lockdown, the working from home, the scurry for loo paper and pasta, milk and bread, the anxieties, and increased loneliness of many, the calls to relatives, and the deep concern for our livelihoods and how we will cope, the underlying fear that chills the nation and our local community is a fear for our very lives, as well . Any delusions of invulnerability have been shattered.
For the first time since the threat of nuclear annihilation hung over the UK in the 60s, millions of us are worried about dying, or worried about someone else dying. Suddenly, the question that door-knocking Christian evangelists and Jehovah’s Witnesses used to ask, ‘if you were to die tonight, where would you go?’ has a fresh pertinence. In reality, we ourselves may be in need of reassurance.
Yes, we have all heard sermons on death at funerals, but I suspect that on such occasions many of us are too busy grieving to fully take in the glorious truths of the future we have in Christ. Physical death has a sting – it is an enemy. Jesus weeps at the tomb of Lazarus, but Jesus also then raises him to life – a foretaste of the day when He will raise all who are His to eternal life in a transformed body.
Of course, there are many ways we can serve our neighbours and co-workers – offering practical help, sharing supplies, calling – but one of the most powerful is to be a non-anxious, non-fearful presence, and to seek ways to share how our peace flows from our assurance of eternal life in Christ.
Out of love, Christ gave His life that we might live. And it is that perfect love that drives out fear (1 John 4:18), and empowers us to take risks for others. In dangerous times, army chaplains tell me, people are much more open to offers of prayer, much more open to phrases like, ‘bless you’, or ‘praying for you’. People in trouble are quicker to ask for prayer – if they know it’s on offer.
This day, I am praying, as David did, that the Lord would be your shield (Psalm 18:2), your very present help in this time of trouble, and a fountain of hope and shalom to others.”
Iain (Thursday 26th March 2020 )
Presbytery of Hamilton
Drama Kirk’s production of “The Passion of Jesus” will be broadcast live on YouTube at our original planned performance time, Good Friday (10th April) at 3.15pm on the following link.
We also hope to have a catch-up recording as well as one with British Sign Language interpretation available from Easter Saturday (11th April) at 2.30pm on this link.
Our team have worked extremely hard (prior to lockdown) to record a small-scale version of the play. It lasts an hour and takes us on a journey with Christ, from Bethany to the Cross and then His resurrection. This will provide a community celebration of Easter; an opportunity to be together virtually as a gathering of His people as we experience the Passion afresh. Your support in cascading this message would be very much appreciated. For those still issuing intimations electronically or sharing services, we would very much appreciate it if you could highlight this.
If you would like further details please do not hesitate to contact me.