Many of us are missing a chat and a catch up in the hall after morning worship on a Sunday. To try and combat the lack of contact with others, especially during these shorter days, and to stay in touch with those who we might not normally see, we have set up telephone calls to let you enjoy a catch up with a small group of people.

This catch up or "socially distant" coffee morning - whatever you want to call it - has been tried and tested and is already up and running, with two groups who dial in on a weekday morning, once a fortnight and put the world to rights! They have discussed a variety of topics including walking around Kilsyth, health, gardening and even Dawson's pies!

Those who are already in the groups enjoy the chat and contact with others. If this appeals to you or even if you would like to find out some more then please get in touch with Mary Paterson or Janette McFarlane, your Elder or the Minister who will pass your details to Mary. Your usual telephone charges will apply.


November 2021

The Mission Group met socially distanced in the large hall on 8 November 2021.

Mary's Meals. The Mission Group continues to support the Mary's Meals team. The Backpack programme is still suspended due to the global shipping crisis but we are ready to assisst filling the backpacks whenever the situation is resolved.

Peace Garden.  The gardening group met recently to tidy up the garden by removing the remaining summer bedding plants and adding some winter heathers. They also had another meeting over Conferoo to discuss and plan bulb planting. We are already looking forward to the turn of the year when we hope to see a lovely display of snowdrops which we planted earlier this year all round the perimeter wall.

Walking Group. The group had a very enjoyable walk on 30 October (see separate article). The next walk is planed for Saturday 27 November. Anyone wishing to join the walks will be made very welcome. Forward notice will be given in the Sunday morning intimations as well as here on the website.

Reflective Service. Over the last few years, we have arranged a service of reflection prior to Christmas and we warmly invite you to this year's service which will be held on Sunday 5 December at 3.00pm via Conferoo. Dial in on 0345 388 7442, followed by pin number 462 824. In addition to messages of positivity and hope, there will be readings time for silent reflection ad singing from Margaret.

For a number of reasons, we have decided that the service this year will be solely via Conferoo and you will find an invitation in the current issue of "Contact".

Good Wishes. The Mission Group would like to take this opportunity to pass on our thanks for your support throughout the year and to wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

October 2021

The Mission Group met for the first time since March 2021 in the large hall on Monday 11 October 2021. Conferoo has served us very well over that time but it was good to  "see" one another, while observing Covid guidelines.

Mary's Meals. The Mission Group continues to support this most worthy cause. Later in this edition of Contact, there is a full update on the situation of the Backpack Programme under the "Mary's Meals" heading.

Peace Garden. Over the nexr few weeks, the Gardening Group will remove the last of the summer bedding and add seasonal planting where required. The Group will meet on an ad-hoc basis over the winter months. They have also been making use of Conferoo to plan visits to the garden and discss the most appropriate planting.

Walking Group. On Saturday 2 October 2021, nine members of the Walking Group met for the first walk since February 2020. The weather forecast was for heavy rain but we were very lucky to wake up to a dry morning with even a hint of blue sky. We walked from the church to Colzium House before making the return journey. A number of us then went to the Scarecrow for tea/coffee and scones. It was just so good to meet up in person and enjoy a lovely walk in the company of friends we had not seen for a very long time.

Our next walk is planned for Saturday 30 October and we will meet near the Mosque in Craighalbert Drive, Cumbernauld at 10.00am for a new walk in that area. You are very welcome to join us and if anyone requires transport, please contact any Mission Group member.

Future Plans. Our activities are very much influenced by the Covid situation. We have some tentative plans which we hope to share with you in the next issue of Contact.

Please remember that this is your Mission Group and we welcome suggestons and ideas from any member of the congregation. If you would like to join us in person, you will be made very welcome. Any member of the Mission Group will be delighted to give you additional information on the format of our meetigs or take your ideas to the next meeting.

September 2021

The Mission Group members hope everyone has had a chance to enjoy the lovely summer weather which has been particularly welcome this year with the ongoing pesence of Covid.  We met on 15 Septeber 2021 for the first time following the summer break.

Mary's Meals: The Mission Group continues to give our support to all we do here at Burns & Old for the Mary's Meals charity. You will be able to read about the 2021 Backpack Appeal under their separate page.

Walking Group: We plan to get the Walk Group back up and "running" on Saturday 2 October 2021, meeting outside the church hall at 10.00am.  When we say "running", we plan a local and very leisurely walk as our first outing. It will be lovely to meet up again after such a long time and hopefully we will be able to welcome some new walkers.  If you have enjoyed some pleasant walks during lockdown, or perhaps would like to join the Walking Group for some gentle exercise, please come along and enjoy lovely walks and a bit of fun and chat as we go along. We normally have a coffee or tea at some point during or after the walk!

Peace Garden: The gardening team has looked after the garden well during the very dry summer. As we come into autumn, we have added some seasonal planting and this will continue over the next few weeks.  We are really keen to have others enjoy being part of the gardening team. We usually meet every second Thursday at 10.00am for about an hour and a half. If you want to come along for even part of that time to help with some light gardening maintenance or for some gardening chat, please speak to any member of the Mission Group or contact us. You will be most welcome.

Publicity: The new Communications Officer at Glasgow Presbetery was very keen to hear more about the Peace Garden and hopes to add or story and some photos to the Presbetery's newly updated website. Not quite Monty Don's Gardener's World but we are on the right "path" so to speak.

Future Plans: Caution and keeping  everyone safe will always be at the heart of our future plans. We will, of corse, be delighted to receive ideas for projects you would like us to take forward from any member of the congregation.

August 2021

The Mission Group has not had any formal meetings over the summer months, but we contine to keep in touch via email, etc.


Peace Garden - we now have a small gardening team which meets fortnightly to do some routine maintenance - weeding, edging, dead-heading etc. If you would like to come along and join us for a chat, give or receive some gardening advice or do some light gardening duties, then please contact any of the Mission Group members. We would be delighted to have others join us.

Mrs Agnes Bingham celebrated her 100th birthday on 12 July 2021 and in recognition of this, the Mission Group planted a small acer in the centre of the larger of the two beds of the Peace Garden. This is a slow growing, colourful shrub and Agnes was very touched to hear of this recognition of her 100th birthday. Sadly, Agnes passed away on 8 August 2021 and we extend our deepest sympathy to all her family.

Walking Group - Although social distancing is no longer required, the group members would rather err on the side of caution and wait a bit longer before resuming our walks together. We will review this in a few weeks time when we decide to start up again. We will let everyone know via the intimations, the website and Contact.

Acer for Agnes' 100th birthday

Acer shrub planted in honour of Mrs Agnes Bingham's 100th birthday

During the pandemic, you may have taken up walking and would now like to continue walking in the company of others. If you are interested in finding out more about the group and would like to join us please speak to any Mission Group member. We would love to have your company when we resume easy walking in our lovely surrounding area.

The Mission Group will resume their meetings in September and if you have any ideas you would like us to take up, please contact  us. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the new freedoms we have while remaining cautious and looking out for one another.

Summer update

We hope everyone is feeling cautiously optimistic as we come into summer. If we contine to follow the guidance we are given to protect ourselves and one another, we can hopefully look forward to better times ahead.

Spring Event: It was great to have so many folk dial in, especially since it coincided with further relaxation of restrictions. The event focussed on new beginnings. Thomas Chalmers spoke to a farmer, a gardener and a student. Each one came from a different background but all were focussed on new beginnings and see Easter as a time of anticipation for what lies ahead. We also had readings, poetry and song and all in all it was very well received. Thanks again to all who were involved either by taking part or listening in.

Peace Garden: The garden is now well established with some additional seasonal planting. All that is required now is some light maintenance, and keeping things in trim.

We are really indebted to the congregation for the generous financial support we have received. The garden belongs to the congregation and what we would really like to happen now is for the congregation to become actively involved. We already have a small gardening group to help with the light maintenance but we are looking for more people to join us.

It would be great to see the gardening team expand with people who want to help, or just share their ideas. You may not have a garden or any gardening experience but would like to become involved and if so, please contact any Mission Group member or your elder. The garden is for all to appreciate, so come along and get involved and enjoy the gardening experience in the company of friends.

The Mission Group has decided to take a break over the summer months. We hope and pray that life may be a bit more normal in the months ahead but whatever the future may hold, we know we are assured of God's presence and with that knowledge, we hope everyone enjoys the summer of 2021.

24 June 2021

Happy Easter from the Mission Group

We hope you have managed to visit the Peace Garden over the last week or two and enjoyed the splashes of spring colour which have appeared. We are sure you will agree  that the new growth is very much a welcome sight this year in particular.

As we celebrate Easter, a time of renewal, our thoughts turn to new life and new beginnings. We all hope for and anticipate brighter days ahead and with that in mind, the Mission Group and friends warmly invite you to a Spring Event on Conferoo, on Sunday 18 April at 3.00pm.

16 April 2021

Spring Event

Peace Garden 6 May 2021.jpg

We bring together some well known Church friends to chat and discuss the new beginnings in their lives at this time of year. In addition, there will be readings, poetry and song along with a time for prayer.

We hope to put a spring in your step as well as in your hearts and minds. We look forward to you joining us on Sunday 18 April at 3.00pm on the usual number, dialling in 10 minutes before for a blether together.

March 2021

Update on Peace Garden. Thanks to Anderson McMillan Memorials, the plaque has now been installed, making a finishing touch to our Peace Garden. 10 March 2021. With the addition of some daffodil bulbs, the area is looking especially bright in spring. Snowdrops have also been planted - here's looking forward to the early months of 2022!

31 March 2021


February 2021

Well folks, 2020 is now behind us and most of 2021 lies ahead. We now have a vaccination programme which gives us another layer of protection from Covid-19 and we look forward in faith to hopefully a little more normality in our lives.

Reflectitve Service: In December, we arranged a Reflective Service where we shared our thoughts on the challenges and opportunities 2020 brought to us and we are very grateful to the congregation and friends for their support with really high numbers dialing in.

Bold Inspirational Event: Covid-19 may have put paid to us all joining together for our New Year lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties but it certainly did not stop us coming together on Sunday 31 January with the help of Conferoo to share a very special time. Our event featured a variety of great songs from our very own Margaret Wren and James Greachan as well as poetry and prayer from the Mission Group. Our good friend Arthur Stewart joined in for a chat with out Minister Bob when they gave a mixture of humorous and serious thoughts on the past year and also inspiration for the year ahead.

Bob rounded off the afternoon by saying "With God by our sides and hope in our hearts, nothing can break the bonds that exist between us all. Here's to 2021, whatever it may bring" and w all echo those words.

Peace Garden: In the 8 months since the idea of the Peace Garden first took root (!), our generous congregation, as well as donating our lovely bench, pot, plants and soil, has given the fantastic sum of £1005 in monetary donations. To date, we have spent £739 on ground works, plants and shrubs and bark. This leaves us with a healthy balance of £226 moving forward into the spring.

In the first instance, it is our intention to add in some welcoming spring flowers. Now that the garden is more established, we can see better where these flowers would be placed. We all look forward to seeing bursts of spring colour to mark the changing of the seasons and new beginnings. We also intend to add more plants where needed and hope that, as we come about the garden again, e will see where possible additions and changes can be made to further improve the area. We hope and pray that it won't be too long before it can be used again as a meeting place for friends. In the meantime, it is a lovely area to visit individually for a time of quiet reflection.

We are indebted to Anderson McMillan Memorials who have kindly offered to donate an inscribed stone to formally mark our Peace Garden. At the present time, they are waiting for materials to come in but they hope to have this installed by late spring/early summer. This is extremely generous of the and again highlights community and local business coming together to support one another during these difficult times.

Thank you again to everyone for supporting us in the creation of the Peace Garden.

January 2021

Bold Inspirational New Year Event

Sunday 31 January at 3.00pm on Conferoo

For the past two years, we have come together and enjoyed a Scottish Lunch with entertainment to herald in the start of a New Year. We can't physically meet up this year but what we can do is still come together thanks to Conferoo. On Sunday 31 January at 3.00pm, the Mission Group and friends invite you to a BOLD inspirational event featuring songs, poetry and chat focussing on the year ahead.

We might not be able to share our usual haggis, neeps and tatties but we can share some warm-hearted fellowship and some positive messages for the New Year. 

The usual Sunday morning phone number applies and you can start phoning in from 2.50 ahead of the start time of 3.00pm. 

Hope you can join us.


December 2020

Wishing everyone Peace and Joy this Christmas and every blessing for a brighter year ahead.


Peace Garden: An additional flower bed has now been planted under the new Notice Board and the area is looking really good. After expenses for the new bed, we have around £180 remaining from all donations received. This money will enable us to maintain the garden and complete the area with the installation of a plaque or stone. We are in the process of sourcing something suitable and hope to have it installed soon.

Mary's Meals: The back pack programme is still suspended due to the pandemic but we are very grateful to those of you who still shop for bargains and to those who store items for us. (See separate item under "Mary's Meals".)

Donations to Organisations: Prior to lockdown and, as a result of our Pancake Tuesday coffee morning fundraising event it had been our intention to donate to the Sunday School, Rainbows and Brownies. We had previously given £100 to the Anchor Boys and £100 to the Junior Section from earlier fundraising events. We have only now been able to hand over £100 to the Sunday School, £100 to the Rainbows and £100 to the Brownies. We know that this will be very useful to the organisations in the run up to Christmas.

Reflective Service: This year the Reflective Service will be held over "Confereoo" at:

3.00pm on Sunday 6 December 2020

This can be accessed on the usual telephone number. If you have not used this service before and wish to join us, please dial in anytime from 2.50 to 2.59 using the number: 033 00 88 34 34 then, when prompted, enter the pin no: 462824. You can then either say your name or remain silent and wait for the service to begin.

We have held this service over the last two years and those who attended found it to be very meaningful. We look forward to sharing with you our reflections on the exceptional year that has been 2020. You will find the Order of Service as an insert to "Contact" and also here on the website. Please invite your family and friends to join us. All are welcome.

Thanks and good wishes: The Mission Group members thank everyone for the support we have received in so many ways, but particularly enabling us to make the vision of a Peace Garden a reality during these very strange times when our church as been closed and our activities have been curtailed. We hope it has brought a degree of peace and calm to those who have been able to visit the garden. We also know that the pictures of the garden in the last issue of "Contact" were enjoyed by many.

We wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and we look forward to the day when we can meet up in person and enjoy the fellowship and friendship we have missed so much at Burns & Old.

September 2020

Hi, everyone, time for an update on the recent developments of our Peace Garden.  The groundwork has been completed which includes a slabbed pathway from the driveway to the bench allowing easy access for all.  At the side of the bench, a large pot was installed to which the "Perfect Gentleman" rose has been added. You may remember that this was planted to commemorate Bill Gracie's 100th birthday.

Good progress since planting was done in the garden in July. The paving is now complete and the rose "Perfect Gentleman" put in place beside the garden seat. All looking very neat and tidy; come along and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Sadly the poor weather has had a detremental affect on the rose's bloom but the plant itself is a hardy soul (just like our Bill!) and will come to flourish again in time and bring us all great pleasure. Another flower bed has been added to complement the one which is already in place and now with the garden well and truly established and the care and attention which has been given to the pathways, the Church grounds are looking very much cared for. Those of us who have worked in the Church grounds have enjoyed the positive comments from those who pass through or live by the Church. We even had offers of tea, plants and work! It has made it all the more worthwhile.


We still have some work to do but in the meantime once again thank you for the many wonderful donations, the beautiful bench, lovely plants and money towards the Peace Garden project. We do hope you will visit and enjoy the garden and the view of the "Old Lady of Backbrae" through the branches of the cherry tree. It is a lovely spot to sit and find comfort and peace in familiar surroundings during these trying times. 

Thank you.

PS - click on each photograph to see the full picture.

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The rose on the right is aptly named "Perfect Gentleman" in honour of Mr Bill Gracie's 100th birthday.

This has been placed in the Peace Garden next to the new bench.

Perfect Gentleman.jpg

Summer 2020

Peace Garden

During these trying times, many of us who have been lucky enough to enjoy outdoor time in our gardens have greatly appreciated the benefit of it. With that in mind, the Mission Group are going to create a small, simple Peace Garden within the Church grounds to afford people the opportunity to stop,  pause and reflect in what is becoming an increasingly lengthy period for all in connecting with the physical Church. We know the Church is not the building but the people; however, for many a walk to the Church grounds brings a great deal of comfort. While this will be of great value in this crisis, it will continue beyond these times to provide a spot for quiet reflection.

In the first instance, the Mission Group will create a flower bed but it is hoped through time, we will fund-raise to purchase a garden bench and develop the space in making it accessible to all.

We also hope that in the future, our many new friends who will join us on a Sunday morning, will visit us and can find comfort in this new space too.  We are fortunate that already we have had donations of plants, etc to get us started and we will undertake the work over the next few weeks in small groups while adhering to social distancing measures. The Mission Group is always open to help and suggestion and welcome you if you wish to participate in this project. 

We take inspiration from a quote from the late Audrey Hepburn - "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow". As a congregation, our tomorrow will come but in the interim, we plant together, we sow together and together we continue to flourish. Thank you.


Spring 2020

Pancake Coffee Morning

Thank you to everyone who supported the pancake coffee morning on Shrove Tuesday. The inviting smell of freshly made pancakes complemented the warm and friendly atmosphere enjoyed by all who came along. A big thank you to Jeanette Marshall on the hot-plate, who did a great job of keeping up with the demand! The wonderful sum of £355 was raised for Church projects. Thank you again to everyone who contributed to making the morning such a success.

Church Concert

A great afternoon of music, friendship and fellowship was enjoyed by all who came along to support our Church concert. The Harmony Group entertained us and we all clapped and tapped along to their tuneful singing. This was complimented with tea, coffee and delicious home baking. A very big thank you to those who contributed to making the afternoon such a success. The wonderful total of £1,000 was realised for Church funds. Many thanks again for your support.



This year's Reflective Service was held on 1 December 2019. We hosted our first Reflective Service last year. We recognise that at this time of year in particular, many of us can feel quite isolated when we are struggling with different types of pain, loss or other challenges in our lives.

The service was very well received with short readings, music, prayers and time for quiet reflection. We sat in candlelight and everyone had the opportunity to light candles during, or at the end, of the service.

Tea and coffee was provided for everyone in the hall to round off a wonderful evening together. 

July & August (summer)

The Mission Group met on 12 June and had a busy meeting forward planning the events to be held over the autumn/winter period. Yes, we had hardly started to enjoy the summer when we were looking ahead towards the end of the year.

We also planned the clearing out and deep cleaning of the kitchen over the summer months. We accomplished the huge task in July with help from the Fabric Convenor and friends of the Mission Group. We are delighted with the result and now ask all kitchen users to ensure that the standard of cleanliness we have achieved is maintained. 


Our Church Choir accompanied by James, our talented organist, showcased their wonderful musical abilities during an afternoon of music and singing to raise funds for our Church during our Coffee, Cake and Choir concert on 26th April. An enthusiastic audience warmly received the varied programme from the timeless pieces of "Over the Rainbow" and "Que Sera Sera" to the beautiful "Be Still" written by our dear friend and valued Choir member, the late Maureen Divers.

The Mission Group and friends were very happy to support the choir in this venture by providing teas/coffees and home baking at the interval. All in all, it was a great afternoon and we thank all those involved in making the day such a success and helping to raise the wonderful total of £1,100.

Easter Sunday

Our congregation began their celebration of Easter Sunday, the most important day in the Christian calendar, by accepting an invitation by the Mission Group to sit down and share breakfast together. The menu consisted of breakfast rolls followed by warmed hot cross buns, all washed down with tea and coffee. 


There was such a happy atmosphere in the hall as folk enjoyed chatting to one another before going into the sanctuary for Easter Sunday service. During the service, the children enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt round the chancel area of the church. This was followed by egg rolling in the hall. The children also handed out Easter Eggs to everyone in the congregation. All in all, it was a great way for our church family to celebrate Easter Sunday.

Shrove Tuesday

Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the Pancake Coffee Morning we had on Shrove Tuesday. The inviting smell of pancakes provided a lovely backdrop to a very enjoyable morning. A big thank you to Jeanette Marshall on the hot-plate, who did a great job of keeping up with the demand!

The wonderful sum of £300 was raised for Church funds. Thank you again to everyone who contributed to making the morning a success.

Celebration of Youth Service

Our Youth Service on Sunday 24th February was a wonderful gathering and all of our young people had a great time and really got involved in the games, the singing, and in the readings.


A huge thank you goes out to everyone who was involved and another huge thank you to all who came along and made Sunday worship a bit different from our usual gatherings.


Once again, we have started a New Year in our Church life by bringing everyone together for a Scottish-themed lunch. We were delighted that so many of the congregation were able to join us.

Our lunch began with Victoria piping a greeting to the congregation as they entered the hall. After a warm welcome from the Minister, Ross led us in the Selkirk Grace. We then enjoyed wonderful haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by oatcakes and cheese, crusty bread with shortbread and tablet to follow - a genuine Scottish feast.

Anne kindly read from the Glasgow Bible, reminding us of Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand and our talented choir once again added their own signature to the day by giving us a few Scottish numbers. Victoria then had us toe tapping and clapping with a selection on the pipes. After a vote of thanks from the Minister, we rounded off the event singing Auld Lang Syne, accompanied by James on the piano; finally the Gaelic Blessing from Ross before we departed - a guid day had by all!

We are indebted to the many people who contributed to make the day such a success. In particular, we thank Anne who set the scene for our lunch by decorating the hall in wonderful Scottish style. To all those who provided, to the many who served the lunch to ensure it was piping hot and to those behind the scenes working away as well. A great team effort as always.



On Sunday 9 December 2018, the Mission Group arranged a Christmas Reflective Service. This was a first for Burns & Old and took the form of readings, lighting of candles, music and time for silent reflection. The response from those who attended was very positive.  This is an event the Mission Group will look to repeat next year.

At the Christmas Fayre, we held a "Guess the Name of the Reindeer" competition, the name being Sugarplum and the prize a lovely Christmas hamper. Along with this and home baking that was sold on two Sundays, we generated enough funds to provide our free New Year's Lunch. Thank you to everyone who baked and supported us.


During 2018, the Mission Group supported the 'Mission of Love Project' with the aim of raising £4,518 for Mary's Meals to sponsor Chambawa school in Zambia and feed 325 children for a year.

Amazingly, we overshot our target for the year in just 8 months of fundraising, raising in total £5,231.25. We have had wonderful support from the congregation and friends in our community and beyond. This shows how working together for a common purpose brings us even closer to one another.

We also supported the Backpack Appeal with a total of 355 backpacks being filled and sent off to children.  Often these backpacks are the only 'gift' that these children will receive. The Mission Group extend their thanks to everyone who has contributed - both time and items - to this cause.


The Mission Group has two main aims - one to work with organisations within Kilsyth Burns & Old and secondly to reach out to the local and worldwide community.

At this particular time, our main focus is to help the Mary's Meals Team to achieve their goal of feeding 325 children who attend Chambawa school in Zambia for a year.

At a local level, Mission Group has co-hosted Family Film Nights with the Junior Section of the Boys Brigade and also worked together to cook and serve breakfast prior to services, all of which have been very popular.

We re-started the Bible Fellowship which meets weekly.

We have also started a Walking Group encouraging anyone to come along and enjoy easy walking for just over an hour.  We usually stop for tea/coffee either during the walk or at the end. We meet once a month on Saturday mornings setting out around 10:15-10:30am.

Church Walking Group

At all our recent meetings, we have taken time to discuss ways of encouraging and supporting our young people and this will be an ongoing project. We welcome ideas from our congregation and will continue to work dilligently towards achieving our aims.