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.


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.

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.