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The Link

The magazine for the linked congregations and community of the West Kirk of Calder and Polbeth Harwood

Rev David A Albon BA MCS 01506 870460 The Manse, 27 Learmonth Crescent West Calder EH55 8AF West Kirk

Polbeth Harwood

Session Clerk Stewart MacRae 01506 872486

Session Clerk Marian Kinsman 01506 871125

23 Westmuir Road West Calder EH55 8EX

12 Langside Crescent Polbeth EH55 8UW

Treasurer William Calder 01506 871281

Treasurer Tom Griffin 01506 438038

25 Harburn Road West Calder EH55 8AJ

60 Easter Bankton Murieston Livingston EH54 9BE

News Editor Colin Dempster 01506 414565 140 Staunton Rise Dedridge West Livingston EH54 6PA

A Word From Our Minister The Manse 27 Learmonth Crescent West Calder EH55 8AF Monday, 19th March 2007 Dear Friends, In this issue of The Link, I want to draw your attention to a number of things. Firstly, Easter, which isn’t too far away now. As with last year, there will be an Easter Leaflet, listing all the services, for all the Churches, and this will be distributed throughout Polbeth, West Calder and Addiewell. If you would like to help with the distribution, which is quite a task, we’d welcome your help. The services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday at Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk are united services and anyone is welcome to these from either Church. We also welcome any other folks as well! We intend to have another Easter Sunday early morning service in the Auld Kirkyard, West Calder this year. This is an Ecumenical service and last year, about forty people from all the churches in our villages attended. There was one thing missing last year, so this year, we want to follow the service up with a simple breakfast in Limefield United Free Church Hall. This should still give those of us who have 9.30 am services on Easter Sunday time to get along to them. All the times and venues for our Easter services are listed in this issue of The Link. Secondly, the West Kirk folks should look at Stewart MacRae’s piece in this issue on arrangements for Sunday worship during the redecorating of the West Kirk. Now I’ll leave you with a thought about Easter: Nobody warns, ‘So many shopping days to Easter!’ No costly gifts, no monetary loss. Easter seems too easy. It is – if you forget the cross. (Joseph T. Nolan, Let the Earth Rejoice) Yours in Christ,

Rev David A Albon Minister of the Parish Churches of the West Kirk of Calder and Polbeth Harwood

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The Church Family (Parish Record) West Kirk Baptisms 18th March – Jacob David Milford

Polbeth Harwood Funerals 9th March – Henry Greenock, Chapelton Drive 10th March – Edward Cowie, Chapelton Gardens 15th March – Jean Miller, Langside Gardens

Worship in the Linked Congregations Sunday Morning Worship will take place in the West Kirk at 9.30 am and in Polbeth Harwood at 11.15 am unless stated otherwise. Friday 30th March Parkhead Primary School Easter Service – West Kirk 9.30 am Sunday 1st April Palm Sunday Monday 2nd April West Kirk open for prayer and reflection: 6.30 – 7.30 pm Tuesday 3rd April West Kirk open for prayer and reflection: 6.30 – 7.30 pm Wednesday 4th April West Kirk open for prayer and reflection: 6.30 – 7.30 pm Thursday 5th April “On the night he was betrayed”: A United ‘Potluck Meal’ and celebration of Communion at Polbeth Harwood – 7 pm Friday 6th April Good Friday United Service – West Kirk 7 pm Sunday 8th April Ecumenical Celebration of Easter in the Auld Kirkyard, West Calder followed by breakfast in Limefield Church Hall – 7 am West Kirk Easter Sunday – All Age Celebration – 9.30 am Polbeth Harwood Easter Sunday – All Age Celebration – 11.15 am

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Reflections “Truly I tell you: unless you turn round and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven… But if anyone causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung round his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:3, 6 We were having our evening meal at the kitchen table. “I don’t believe in these Christians,” the child announced suddenly. We jerked our heads up in surprise. “You can believe whatever you like,” replied her mum. “But what do you mean?” “Well, they say that animals don’t have souls. They say that humans are the top of the chain and they are the only ones with souls. I don’t like Christianity.” She had just learned this ‘fact’ at school and it hurt her. She loves animals, you see. Her school project about the lifestyle of whales was an in-depth study for a little girl and a treat to read. In her short years she has nurtured guinea pigs, cats, a bird, a rabbit and ponies. She feeds them, grooms them, and cleans their homes. She even reads to them. One day she left her book in the rabbit’s hutch and it ate some of the pages. Her mother soothed her hurt by reminding her about Greyfriar’s Bobby and I told her about Paul Gallico’s beautiful story, The Small Miracle. The main character is Pepino, a ten-year-old Italian boy from Assisi, orphaned in the 2nd World War. His sole means of survival is a donkey called Violetta. Together they carry wood and water, deliver purchases, help at the harvest – anything to earn their living and pay for their lodgings in a barn. Violetta was “mother to him, and father, brother, playmate, companion, and comfort. When there was joy in his heart, he shouted songs into her waving ears; when he was lonely and hurt, he would lean his head against her soft, warm flank and cry out his tears.” When the donkey becomes dangerously ill, the boy asks permission to take it to the crypt of St. Francis of Assisi’s Basilica. His priest had told him that Francis understood poverty and loved animals. Pepino is certain his prayers to St. Francis will cure his donkey; but a new, inexperienced, young monk called him an impious scoundrel and a shiftless rascal and chased him away. However, the boy had been befriended by an American corporal who had taught him never to take no for an answer. Encouraged by this precept, and by the gentle guidance of his parish priest, the child made the arduous journey to Rome to see the Pope. He bought a gift of fresh mountain flowers for his priest had taught him that St. Francis had loved flowers as well as animals. The child’s faith was rewarded. The flowers reminded the Pope of his own wonderful, innocent childhood. He granted Pepino’s wish and the donkey was taken to the crypt. It slipped on the steps; stones crashed down around the pair, releasing an ancient relic from the crypt wall. This miraculous discovery was a box containing a cord to bind a monk’s habit. Caught in the cord was a single sprig of wheat, a mountain primrose and one downy feather from a meadow bird: all treasures, apparently, belonging to the great man. The priest had gently warned Pepino that his prayers may not save the donkey. The author does not give us a Happy-Ever-After ending. We do not know if Violetta is cured. Gallico’s real message, however, is the miraculous resilience, the deep unquestioning faith, and the love of a young orphan for a donkey and its love for him. I do not know whether animals do or do not have souls; but I do know that they can give complete devotion and joy to humans. I learned a lot at that meal. Surely we must be careful not to drown our young children’s innocent faith in the depth of dogma. And surely they can teach us so much. Jesus himself teaches us in Matthew’s Gospel to treasure our children and to be like them. Not a deep philosophical discourse about the souls of animals or humans! Just simplicity, faith and love. Ann _____________________ The Link Issue 17 April 2007 -5-

West Kirk Guild Report Firstly, I have an apology to make. In the last issue of The Link, I reported that the Guild had won our Inter-Organisation Quiz. In fact it was the Choir team that came out on top – sorry Choir members and belated congratulations! At our last meeting one of our members Liz Dyer shared some of her holiday memories with us. She took us to Nepal where she had enjoyed exploring its colourful capital Kathmandu before flying to the foothills of the Himalayas and trekking up to nearly 15,000 feet. Her photos of the mountains, temples and the towering Mount Everest were amazing. Next she took us to a very difficult part of the world – Namibia – where we learned about the wildlife of the desert with magnificent pictures of the vast sand dunes and its National Park with elephants, zebras, giraffes and much more. Our thanks go to Liz for such an interesting and informative evening. We were pleased to host the AGM and Spring Rally of the West Lothian Presbyterian Council. It was attended by members from many West Lothian Guilds. The Council Convener Mrs Findlater led the meeting with the Rev Richard Houston from St Ninians Craigmailen, Linlithgow, giving the address. It was an interesting evening with some wonderful hymn singing. Our closing social is on 16th April, which brings the session to a close. The Annual Summer Outing is on Saturday 19th May to Baxters at Blackford, the Liqueur Centre at Bankfoot and high tea in Pitlochry. Jill Murray (Joint Secretary)

West Kirk Fundraising Group Report The March Candy Bar was an outstanding success raising the record total of £890! Well done to The Youth Link and friends who helped to make this possible – it really was tremendous. The Guild Candy Bar will have passed by the time you read this, followed by the May event on Saturday 5th May. As ever, all donations will be most welcome. Thanks to all our customers for coming to the Candy Bars. Your support is really appreciated to help raise funds. Jill Murray (Convener)

Friends of St Colm's: Annual Retreat – (open to all) Tuesday 19 June (from 4 pm) – Thursday 21 June in St Colm's International College Lead by Rev Douglas Aitken: broadcaster, author and parish minister Non-residential cost £40

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Christmas is Coming ‌ well in a few months!! Snow is falling, all around us (so the weather reporter tells us!) The Lawton family are approaching the Annual Blythswood Shoebox Appeal from a different direction this year. Our goal is to wrap empty shoeboxes throughout the next few months in preparation for giving people the opportunity to purchase ready wrapped shoeboxes in September. The proceeds from charging a small nominal fee to buy a ready wrapped box will go towards Project Stedfast. Last year many people commented on how they had found it a challenge to get an empty shoebox and when they had, found it equally challenging to wrap it neatly. In the coming weeks there will be a box left in the Church Vestibule at the West Kirk and a box at the entrance to Polbeth Harwood Church to collect any donations of Christmas Paper and any spare shoeboxes that anyone can donate to this worthy cause. The more Christmas paper we have the more boxes we can wrap and prepare. Many thanks in anticipation of your donations as soon as possible. Yours in Christ's Service Rhoda Lawton

The Easter Play West Princes Street Gardens on Saturday 7th April from 2.30 pm. A Story of Love Hope and Triumph over death. No tickets necessary. For the 3rd year this open-air performance follow s in the medieval mystery play tradition and lasts about 2! hours. The starting point is close to The Ross Fountain.

Art Exhibition Torphichen Kirk: 18th – 20th May Exhibitors are invited to contribute works of art inspired by the Bible and by the Kirk and these may include paintings, dra wings, photography and 3-D works. Submissions must be made by 15th April.

Riddle: What am I? The rich lack me, the poor have me, and if you eat me, you die. The answer can be found within the magazine _____________________ The Link Issue 17 April 2007 -7-

World Day of Prayer The World Day of Prayer was this year hosted by Polbeth Harwood. The service was prepared and written by the women of Paraguay. We had 3 services in the Parish. The first was at 10 am in Polbeth Harwwod Church. This was organised by St Mary's and Bellsquarry Primary schools and led by the children of the two schools. Approx 80 children plus staff attended it from the schools as well as members of the community. In the afternoon we held a service in Stewart Court, West Calder and this was well attended by residents of Stewart Court and Dickson Court and from the local community. A lady from Stewart Court and one from Dickson Court each did a reading. In the evening we held the main service in Polbeth Harwood Church and this was again well attended. It was good to have a few men worship with us, as it is now World Day of Prayer and not Women's World Day of Prayer.

Use of Seat Belts and Booster Seats The following information has been passed down from Presbytery to Kirk Sessions and has been copied here to ensure that you aware of the legislation. Since September 2006, with few exceptions, children travelling in cars are required to use an appropriate child restraint. This includes children being transported in adult’s vehicles to church events. In vehicles where seat belts are fitted, children aged 3 years to 135 cm in height (or 12th birthday, whichever they reach first) must use the appropriate child restraint. Three exceptions allow these children to travel in the rear of a car and use an adult belt: • In a taxi, if the right child restraint is not available • For a short distance in an unexpected necessity, if the right child restraint is not available • Where two occupied child seats in the rear prevent the fitment of a third child seat [Note - children under 12 years in front seats must use the appropriate restraint] “Child restraints” is the collective term in the seat belt wearing legislation for: • Baby seats - rear facing and for children up to 13 kg (approx age birth to 9 – 12 months) • Child seats - forward facing and for children 9 kg to 18 kg (approx 9 months – 4 years) • Booster seats - for children 15 kg to 25 kg (approx 4 – 6 years) • Booster cushions - for children 6 years and up £30 fixed penalty notice for non-compliance. The maximum fine is £500. Passengers in minibuses, buses and coaches that have seat belts fitted are also required to wear those seat belts, and operators are also required to notify passengers that seat belts must be used. The use of booster seats is not a mandatory requirement in minibuses. Seat belt wearing is compulsory in minibuses. The driver is responsible for seat belt wearing by children under 14 years. _____________________ The Link Issue 17 April 2007 -8-

The new regulations mean that seated passengers aged 3 years and above have to use seat belts where they are fitted in larger buses and coaches. In vehicles over 16 seats, the driver is exempt from this responsibility because he cannot be expected to monitor seat belt wearing and drive safely at the same time. The driver or operator is required to take reasonable steps to remind passengers of the need to wear seat belts including reminding them of this requirement at the beginning of the journey. Alternatively a sign that takes the form of a pictorial symbol depicting a white figure on a blue background should be displayed at each passenger seat.

West Kirk Redecoration – Alternative Worship Arrangements The redecoration of the church starts on Monday 23rd April and will last approximately 4 to 6 weeks. During that time the church will not be available for worship. The Minister and Kirk Session have agreed to accept a very kind invitation from Limefield Church to hold our services there. Services will be at the normal time of 9.30 am. Due to the narrow width of the road outside the church it is advisable that you park on the road down to the station or try parking in the part of Learmonth Crescent outside Woods Garage or in Harburn Road. Tea and coffee will not be available after the service as their Sunday School uses the hall at Limefield at 10.30 am. However if you wish, I am sure that you would be most welcome to have tea and coffee at Polbeth Harwood if that is suitable. Please try to get away from church in good time to allow the Limefield members to park their cars in the spaces we are using. Any updates on these arrangements will be made in the Order of Service or by intimation on Sunday mornings. In summary, our services will start at Limefield on Sunday 29th April at 9.30 am. Stewart MacRae (Session Clerk)

West Kirk Pastoral Care The Pastoral Care Committee exists to assist our minister with visiting members and friends of our congregation in hospital and at home. If you know of anyone who would like a visit because of illness or who would like a chat please tell us by filling in one of the cards in the church pews or by telephoning Bill Russell (01506 871693) or any member of the committee. Please also contact us if you need transport to any church functions. On Sunday 13th May we are running a trip by car to a garden centre in the Clyde valley for lunch. We have 11 places available in cars at present. If you would like to go, please contact Victor Ferguson or Bill Russell. If anyone would like to take their car (and some passengers) please tell us as soon as possible. We leave from the church after the morning service (10.45 am approx). Advance notice: Thursday 12th July – train trip to Largs. Bill Russell (Convener) _____________________ The Link Issue 17 April 2007 -9-

West Kirk – Rota Information

West Kirk Crèche Rota 15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May

West Kirk Duty Rota

Shirley MacRae Mary Calder Olive Gibson Melanie Dickson

Door Duty 15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May

Jill Murray Evelyn Paterson Juanita Allan Angus Baxter

Car Run Stewart Munro George Stott Jim Allan Richard Bryce

Christine Nicholl Hazel Tod May Arnott Liz Dyer

Richard Bryce Hugh Clarkson Robert Hawes Beryl Henderson

West Kirk Tea Rota West Kirk Flower Rota

Contact Olive Gibson 01506 871291 Note: Tea Makers, please bring milk. 15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May

Irene Grindlay Olive Gibson

Arrangers: If you will be on holiday on your rota date, please arrange a swap, and if this proves difficult, please contact Margaret Greenhorn (01506 871139) for help in finding someone.

Margaret Rennie May Young

If you would like to donate flowers, please speak to the arranger on the date in question below, or add your name to the list in the Church vestibule. Thank you.

No Teas No Teas

15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May 13th May

The Link Collation Rota Meet in Polbeth Harwood at 4 pm Friday 4th May

Jill Murray Frank Mabbutt Shirley MacRae Stewart MacRae Isobel Young




Moira Jack Fiona Murray (Wedding)

Rosanna Rabaeijs

Ivy Johnstone Kathleen Black

Katie Albon Rosanna Rabaeijs Evelyn Paterson

Moira McRae Irene Grindlay

Helen Sneddon

(Issue 18 – May)

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Polbeth Harwood – Rota Information

Stewart Court Taxi Rota

Polbeth Harwood Café Rota

15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May 13th May

18th April 25th April 2nd May 9th May 16th May

David Prentice Kenneth Mackay Margaret Marr Charlie Sturrock David Prentice

Polbeth Harwood Duty Rota Anna Muirhead Ena Prentice Alice Mackay Etta Walker Hazel Speirs

Tom Walker David Prentice Kenneth Mackay Eleanor Davidson Linda Eardley

Betty Upton Wilma Dickson Jenny Doyle Effie Halliday Margaret Hampson

Betty Upton Janet Russell Grace Peace Chrissie McCormack Jessie Kelly

Janet Walker

Esther Hamilton

Polbeth Harwood Cleaning Rota

Door Duty 15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May 13th May

Frank Mabutt Maisie Baird Effie Halliday Gordon Erskine Wilma Dickson

15th April 22nd April 29th April 6th May 13th May

Margaret Dempster Lilias Fairley Janice Davidson George Halliday William McCallum

Anna Muirhead Marian Kinsman Ann Watson Margaret Marr Sandra Roy

Betty McAulay Joan Philips Billy Watson Jocky Marr Marjorie Bellingham

The Link Collation Rota Meet in Polbeth Harwood at 4 pm Friday 4th May

Jill Murray Frank Mabbutt Shirley MacRae Stewart MacRae Isobel Young

(Issue 18 – May)

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Marriage People really are getting married young these days. A young man of seventeen had been threatening to elope if his parents didn’t approve his marriage to a sixteen year old. So, finally they gave in. The wedding duly took place and when they were at the part of the ceremony where the boy repeats after the minister, “With all my worldly goods, I thee endow,” his mother turned to the father and whispered, “There goes his bicycle!”

Church Holiday Over the years we have visited many parts of the country and always have a good time. We book on an Urquhart tour and this year's destination is Bath and the Cotswolds. The cost is £229, including insurance. If you would like to join us please phone Betty Upton on 01506 416868. She will then contact the tour operator to see if more spaces are available. At the moment we have 12 people booked.

Contributions for the next edition … Contributions for the next edition of The Link Magazine must be submitted by the first Sunday after the 15th of the month. For the May issue, this will be Sunday 22nd April. Contributions can be sent via email, or handed in person to either Rev David Albon or Colin Dempster.

Paws… for thought

Today’s greatest labour saving device is tomorrow. Tom Wilson

Answer: Nothing

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The Link - Issue 17  

The Link The magazine for the linked congregations and community of the West Kirk of Calder and Polbeth Harwood

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