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.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Romans : 8:26
Update on Progress & “Notes to Self”
Announcements of medical advances, containment of the spread of COVID-19, fewer deaths and a move to Phase 2 with some reductions of lockdown restrictions by the Scottish Government have all been welcome. In my own personal situation, hugs with my 3 grandchildren and daughter, and overnight sleep-overs at my home, are now a happy bonus.
It is disappointing that we will not yet be opening the church buildings so we can meet again together in worship. The latest Scottish Government guidelines permit us to open our church buildings, only for individual private prayer, not for any shared prayer, worship or meeting up; and only if with strict social distancing supervised and stewarded; and stringent hygiene and sanitising requirements to wipe and clean every surface touched; At this stage, it is not practicable to do this and comply with some 45 pages worth of official requirements.
But we are planning and preparing for whenever further easing of restrictions would allow us safely to meet together for some communal worship, weddings and funerals. I suspect that some form of open-air outdoor services at Allanton and Shotts, with people inside cars or outside on the grass, standing or seated on your own seats or rugs may come before congregations – still with strict safety conditions – may come together inside the buildings. But the good news is that Christ’s Church has never been any one building or institution but “living stones” – ordinary flawed followers of Jesus, people wherever we are, being shaped by God’s grace as well as by our local communities. We are finding new ways to communicate with each other, worship and reach out to care and share. In this period of lockdown, forced inactivity and isolation, a lot has been happening and I have been made aware of God’s presence and loving kindness at work.
Note to Self
I read of a playwright who had written “a note to his post-lockdown self” along with compositions from his friends, all sealed in an envelope, to be opened and shared in a year’s time. What a great idea! To remind – him – and us, if we choose to do likewise – of what life was like in lockdown; what we’ve missed, what we’ve welcomed, and what we’ve learned about how to live, beyond it. All after the initial shock of seeing empty shelves – no milk, no eggs, no bread, no toilet rolls, soap or cleaning products. Note to self: be grateful for the plenty I take for granted, and think of my relationship with food and where it’s come from. Church buildings closed, working from home or not all, quiet streets, time for the garden, no human company (in the flesh), the sound of birds, the boost of receiving a phone call or e-mail or letter from someone who cares. How I have coped with inactivity and less busyness and more time to think and to pray? The importance of people, of keeping in touch, and of quiet space. Note to self: if there is a return to a new normal, don’t forget these things I’ve noticing and learning.
Perhaps, you too can use a private diary, journal or notebook for yourself.
But it would also be good if some of you would share some of such notes and thoughts, maybe for the website or for the Church’s Community Newsletter. Or give me a phone or drop me a line if you would like me to pray for you or someone or a situation, or just would appreciate a chat. And please give us feedback and let us know also, some of the good things, tips, suggestions and encouragements you have experienced and your hopes for the local church and for the community, now, and as we go forward.
Your servant in Christ,
Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
With a small donation and big faith, John Kirkby started Christians Against Poverty in 1996. He believed God was calling him to sacrifice his career in finance and use his knowledge of the industry to help the poor.
This video link explains;
- What need are CAP seeing in communities across Scotland & how they are responding?
- How can people support CAP? Pray and share CAP’s 0800 number (see below).
Do you need someone to talk to; you call CAP’s free phone number 0800 328 006.
Why not download the latest edition of our Church Newsletter here.