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Christmas 2011

Church News for the Village Issue 20 . Christmas 2011

To all those...

...who are disappointed and hurt, who feel rejected, inadequate and guilty, who are failures, who are lost and hopeless, who walk in darkness, who are frightened, sad, and daunted, who have been let down, who lack wisdom and understanding, who are incapable and ill equipped for life, who live in the valley of the shadow of death, who are sick in body or mind, who are dry and thirsty, who long for justice and righteousness, who regret the past, put up with the present and are fearful of the future, who are lowly and insignificant in their own eyes, small people in the eyes of the world, who are always in the wrong, who always fall short and never live up to expectations, who are confused and frustrated, who hide behind masks, who are weak and burdened,

to you a light has dawned (see Isaiah 9:2) a Saviour has been born who is Christ the Lord (see Luke 2:11) To all others ‌‌ (warm seasonal greetings and a happy winter holiday) Nigel Barge

inside this issue:

Christmas Events . Cinema Night . Vision Update . News From Around The World


Christmas 2011

‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be!’ So read a bit of creative graffiti on a wall. We selectively remember the good things. A backwards glance at our lives is often viewed through rose-tinted spectacles and the ‘when I was young’ is merged into ‘the good old days’. A large part of who we are is fashioned by these good experiences and influences from our childhood. For many of us, the church and the Christian teaching imparted, provided an essential part of a good foundation. I freely admit that not all of it was good, but would contend that much of it was. If we were involved with a church, in our childhood, what part did it play in our upbringing? What memories do we have? The teaching in Sunday School? The embrace of the church community? The celebration of the festivals of Christmas, Easter and Harvest? The people involved? The emotions? The sights or even the smells? We often assume our children will grow up to be like us in positive things, like our values and beliefs. However if they do not actually share the types of experiences we had in our youth, they may not end up in the place we would like them to be. For those of us who wish to bring up our children as Christians, there is no substitute for ongoing Christian instruction, a supportive Christian peer group and a Christian community of all ages where our children are known and loved. There are 125 youngsters involved in activities in the church throughout the week. This is a significant part of building a Christian ethos for our youngsters, but the centrepiece is when the community meets on Sunday – all ages together. If you are not participating with us, if you cherish your Christian heritage and desire your children to share it with you, may I invite you and your family to join us? Christmas is a good time to start. In January we are making the first two Sundays of the school term (16th and 25th) mornings when new folk will be particularly welcome and children will easily slot into Junior Church (our name for our Sunday School today) Let’s give our children good memories for their future nostalgia and more to look forward to. Nigel Barge


Golden Wedding Graham – McDonald 7th October, 1961 Alastair and Mary Graham were married in Torrance Parish Church by Rev. Murdo MacLeod, and music was played by the organist, Ian Bowman. They held a reception in the Caldwell Hall. They have lived in Torrance most of their married lives, apart from 12 years in Fort William. They have two daughters, one son and three grandchildren. Alastair and Mary celebrated 50 years of marriage, with their family, at The Boathouse in Kilsyth, followed by a walking holiday in Kingussie.

“Congratulations to Alastair and Mary”.

Christmas 2011

“Torrance Parish Church desires that its people would make Jesus known by word and deed through loving service in their daily lives in the village, throughout the wider church and wherever God sets them” Below is an update of some of the objectives to help us realise this vision:

Objective: “To initiate provision of

housing for the elderly in the village”

The present steering group is from the Parish Church, St Dominic’s and Age Concern and have had ongoing meetings with Clr. Anne McNair who has arranged for them to meet with Kenny Simpson who is Head of Housing at East Dunbartonshire Council. Bield Housing have agreed to put the plan together in due course. We will give an update when we have more news of progress.

Objective: “To open the café 5 days a week in the morning”

The café is now open 3 days a week at Torrance Parish Church on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 12 noon (Friday till 2pm during school term).

Objective: “To set up a prayer clinic in the village”

The Prayer Clinic is now well established and is available in the Torrance Church Vestry every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30am to12 noon.

Objective: “To make the history of the village available” We are still working on this objective and gathering information about the history of the village which we will make available in the future. If you have a story to share or can provide old photographs please email:

Objective: “To involve 150 people in small groups by end of 2011” There are now over 100 people in small groups ranging in size from 3 to 12 who meet throughout the week to share friendship, hospitality, prayer and Bible study together. The groups are for everyone, from the casual seeker to the long time member, and we believe that small groups are a real expression of church life. There is a group of folks meeting at the Wheatsheaf Inn taking ‘A fresh Luke at Christmas’ and this has been very encouraging. If you are interested in joining one of the groups please email

The Emma Cameron Foundation

has recently been established by Emma’s family and friends to seek to continue Emma’s inspirational attitude to her life, illness and death. Emma received the support of many charitable organisations throughout her illness. Most of them struggle to provide services to all children and families dealing with cancer. The Foundation aims to directly support these charities and organisations to ensure the valuable support Emma benefited from is replicated to more children. Small gifts on a bad day, a real hair wig, fun meetings with celebrities and a magical trip to Lapland all made a substantial difference to Emma and allowed her to lead a full life at the hardest of times. The Foundation has already made its first grant in support of a Christmas Party for ill children and is actively working to raise funds and identify the best ways of ensuring it makes an actual difference in the lives of children with cancer. As well as some social events and support from other village organisations such as Torrance Primary School and Girls’ Brigade, the Foundation is being supported through runners, cyclists and musicians. Visit the Emma Cameron Foundation Facebook page, website: or email us at: to find out more and consider how you can help or donate.

“I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness”.

John 10:10


Christmas 2011

News from Torrance folk around the world Alistair and Chrissy Muir THAILAND Alastair and Chrissy and their three girls live and work in Chang Mai in the north of Thailand. Alastair is involved in setting up Child Protection Programmes and Chrissy works with vulnerable women. Chrissy writes:

Ross and Tracy MacKenzie ZAMBIA Brian and Irene MacKenzie’s son Ross and his wife Tracy have spent the last 18 months in Zambia at Chengelo School where Ross and Tracy are teaching. Brian and Irene enjoyed a visit to them this summer (see photograph). Ross is currently interviewing for a trainee computing teacher, which will mean that

he will be teaching Maths and Computing next year as well as training the new teacher. Tracy is responsible for managing the whole school timetable. Their young children Eden and Danny are also at the school. As well as teaching Ross is also involved in coaching the football teams, amateur dramatics and helping his class with outreach projects in the community.

Jen and Stu Newland THAILAND Peter and Catherine Nicolson’s daughter Jen and her husband Stu Newland have gone to Thailand for 12 months to work with Dr Scott Murray at the River Kwai Christian Hospital. They are staying in a village called Huay Malai near the border with Burma where Jen is setting up a dental clinic. Stu will be doing some management work. They are settling in and getting used to a different style of living – enjoying Thai food and bats and rats around the house! Jen and Stu thank God for the work He’s given them to do in the beautiful Thai / Burma border area and thank Him for the many, many ways they’ve seen Him deliver on His promise in the Bible to ‘always be with us’ as we go about His work.

“Some of you may know that Thailand has experienced unprecedented flooding in the past six months. One night in mid-October we watched helplessly as the water rose up from the sewers and spilled over from the nearby river leaving our home inundated. Knee deep in rancid sewage (and snakes) we abandoned the house and waited. As I lay that night in a guest house bedroom I might have felt a bit miffed with God for not sparing us this disaster. But strangely enough, I found myself singing songs of worship and although tired and exhausted I felt hugely blessed. I didn’t burst into tears until we entered the house four days later and tripped over frogs swilling about in at least an inch of mud. Where do we start this gargantuan task of cleaning up? I felt overwhelmed! Within an hour ten people had turned up with mops and buckets. By the following day there were twenty people. By day three our home looked like a house and smelled like a hospital!!! There are many things I am grateful for this Christmas. My health, my kids, and those sorts of people who turn up with a mop when your life is in a mess........but I am also grateful for the flood. The flood reminded me of God’s provision in a time of crisis. It reminded me that He never promised me it would always go well or be easy, but He did promise me that in every day and in every circumstance I can offer Him praise and experience His abundant blessings.”

Taxi please! One of the hundreds of crocs captured recently in flooded Bangkok


Christmas 2011

Crossover Fireworks!

Youth Activities

If you are interested in joining one of the youth groups please contact Linda at


The Girls’ Brigade meets every Wednesday at Torrance Parish Church (during school term). Explorers: 6:15 - 7:15pm (P1 to P3) Juniors: 7:00 - 8:15pm (P4 to P7) Brigaders: 7:00 – 9:00pm (S1 to S6)


The Boys’ Brigade meets every Thursday at Torrance Parish Church (during school term). Anchor Boys: 6:15 - 7:30pm (P1 to P3) Junior Section: 7:00 - 8:15pm (P4 to P6) Company Section: 7:30 – 9:45pm (P7 upwards)



‘Jimmy gives us his patter’ At the Friendship lunch in November Jimmy Rexter entertained us with his ‘Glasgow Patter’ and had everyone in stitches! Jimmy from Cumbernauld is renowned for his fundraising efforts to help various charities. He has dedicated 25 years to entertaining at events and to collecting Irn Bru returnable glass bottles. He has raised over £118,000 for 48 Scottish charities. At present his fundraising project is for a MediCinema for Yorkhill Hospital. Well done Jimmy – that’s what you call dedication! The Friendship Lunch is held on the first Tuesday of every month at Torrance Parish Church from 1pm. If you live in the village and are retired then why not come along and join in – you will be made very welcome.

The Christmas Lunch will be at 12:30pm on Tuesday 6th December.

There will be singing from Torrance Primary School Choir and pupils from Campsie View. This is always a popular event and we look forward to seeing you all there, along with any friends you might like to invite. (Note change of time!)

Crossover is a youth club for all in P7 to S3 and meets on the first Saturday of every month. Recently, Crossover visited The West of Scotland Rugby Club in Milngavie for a Fireworks Display. The youngsters enjoyed the spectacle along with the food and soft drinks and spent time at the ‘Fun Fair’ before returning home!


The Carrot Cake Club is a young adults group that takes place every Sunday evening 8pm to 10pm where around 15 young people aged S5 to university take part regularly. It is essentially a house group for fellowship, as an addition to church on a Sunday morning. The program is varied each week with a mixture of lively discussions, guest speakers and a range of social and fun events.


Young people gather on Sunday mornings’ during service times and what a joy it is to see so many children attend the Junior Church each week. They are a challenging and enthusiastic group, and the children absorb so much more than we think, which is encouraging to those that prepare the message. They learn about Jesus through crafts and fun to engage them in learning the Bible.

Community Police At Torrance Church in the Meeting Room, on the second Wednesday of the month, the Community Police, who cover the local area, will be available to offer general advice or you can speak personally, if you have a concern.

Carols by


Sunday 18th December at 7pm You are warmly invited to join us at Carols by Candlelight this Christmas. The event will feature singing well known carols in a candlelit setting, feasting on mince pies and home baking, chatting to friends old and new. Carols and readings will take us through the Christmas story, and help us reflect on what it’s all about. There will even be choral accompaniment!

The date and time this year have been chosen to coincide with many other groups in the UK who will have their own carol singing events at the same time. We’re joining with them in an attempt to break the Guinness™ World Record for the ‘Largest Group of Carol Singers Across Multiple Venues’. We will do this part when we start promptly at 7pm and sing a set five carols together for fifteen minutes.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. ...For unto us a child is born...” Isaiah 9:2,6 (NIV)


Christmas 2011


What To Thank God For This Christmas Peter and Catherine Nicolson and Family

Angela and Dan Govenden

We give thanks for the safe arrival of a beautiful granddaughter, Rebecca, born in August to Ginny and Calum. We are happy to see Stuart and Jennifer well settled into their work in Huay Malai in Thailand, near the border with Burma.

‘We have been so blessed with the safe arrival of Lucas John into our family. We would like to thank God for giving us a gorgeous, healthy and happy little boy who fills our hearts with joy every day’.

We thank God for the timing that meant that the whole Nicolson clan got together before Stu and Jen went off with Interserve. We give thanks for the ongoing work with St Rollox. There are some eight or nine folk from Torrance who are regularly helping out in many areas; Y-zone and Kids-zone (Sunday school), Drop in Café, Community Outreach Project (previously Asylum Seekers Project), Finance and Music.

Moira, Gordon, Tom and Anna Paterson We would like to thank God for putting us in this beautiful country of Scotland where we don’t need to cope with the devastation caused by earthquakes, drought, famine or oppression.

Charles and Catherine MacKinnon This Christmas we thank God for improved health, His protection over us as a scattered family, the way in which the treasure of God’s Word has been shared with us week by week and for the welcome we have received from the Torrance Church family.

There is so much in our life together that we thank God for this Christmas, and the following summary headings say it neatly for us - Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship and Food and a happy Christmas to all our readers!

Leanne and William Montgomery and family

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family’.

We thank God for holidays and time off over Christmas to spend with family and friends. We are also thankful for a happy and healthy 2011.


There is a selection of fact and fiction including audio-books and large print books and some children’s books. You can borrow a book for two weeks and we can pass on requests for particular books.


Donald and Mary Goldie

‘This Christmas we would like to give thanks to God for family, for good friends and for His unfailing love.

Sheila, William, Eilidh and Lorna Traynor

Torrance Café offers a Community Library service, at the church, every Wednesday, with books provided by East Dunbartonshire Leisure + Culture Trust.

Dorothy Beaton I would like to thank Him for His promise that He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Torrance Cinema Club is showing a family Christmas comedy....

“Nativity!” Cert. U

on Saturday 17th December 2011 at Torrance Parish Church. The film stars a host of British film talent including Martin Freeman (The Office), Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty), Pam Ferris (Harry Potter) and comedian Alan Carr and is a great way to put you in the Christmas mood. The Church Cafe will be open from 4pm to 6pm serving teas, coffees and mince pies. Parents can watch the film with their children, or relax in the cafe until it finishes. Our feature presentation will be followed at 6.30pm by the much loved Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Cert. U). All are welcome and admission is free. For more details please contact cinema@torrance.

Christmas 2011

“Welcoming Torrance” Adrienne, Andrew and Christy Shaw In the run up to Christmas, we have so much to be thankful to God for. We are really looking forward to sharing Christmas day with our family. We are so blessed to have grandparents in their late eighties who are still the life and soul of the party. They will be celebrating their seventieth wedding anniversary next year. Don’t imagine we will go to many 70th Anniversaries! We have another aunt who has just turned 75 but every Christmas she still transforms her bungalow into a Christmas grotto with a variety of singing and dancing Christmas gizmos much to Christy’s delight. My mum is now in a care home and yet we are so thankful to be sharing another Christmas with her and our extended family –the other residents in the home and the wonderful care staff - it will certainly be lively! We are also thankful to God for our friends and neighbours. Since moving to Torrance in 2008 we have met so many lovely families both through the church and on the school run. We have shared many walks, talks and lots of laughter with them. There have been a few 40th birthdays this year and a few more on the horizon next year. We have also made some 4 legged friends who Christy loves to take for long walks around Tower Road. We are so thankful for the church and the huge part it plays in our family life. There is always so much going on both for Christy in the Junior Church, Summer Mission and Girls’ Brigade and for Andrew and I. Rarely a week goes by when we have not been involved in spiritual or social events. Our understanding of God and his Word has grown through attending house groups, prayer meetings and Sunday services. Our waistlines have also grown as a result of the fantastic cakes in the café on a Friday. Most of all we are thankful to God for His grace, His love for us and the assurance of His presence in our lives. It is an amazing thing to walk each day with Him by our side and to rely on the promises in His Word. Christmas is a great time just to stop and thank Him for it all.

Torrance to Calgary & back Duncan Miller Morrison of Torrance, died in the First World War, aged 20 – see War Memorial. Al Lawrence in Calgary found a funeral card for him and a lock of hair, amongst family papers. It gave Duncan’s address as The Post Office, Torrance. He thinks Duncan may have been a close friend of his grandmother who had emigrated to Canada. Local couple, Brian and Sheila Atkinson, read the article in the Village Newsletter shortly before a planned visit to Calgary in May 2011, so they arranged to meet Al , gleaned some information and brought the funeral card back to Torrance. The Morrison name is very common in the Torrance area, including Iain and Jean Morrison of Barraston Nursery on Tower Road. Brian discovered that Iain’s late grandfather’s name was also Duncan Miller

Morrison. Iain and Jean have kept the card while the hunt goes on for more information. Another Torrance resident, Alison Graham, did some research over the summer on different branches of the Morrison Family in Torrance and Balmore. In the Baldernock area there was a Morrison family where the father was William and the Mother was Isabella Miller. Isabella was a dressmaker and they had a shop in Baldernock. They had 10 children and the 6th child was Duncan. Are these Morrisons related to the young man whose name we remember on the War Memorial? We will let you know in a future issue if we have confirmation that Duncan’s memorial card has found its true home.

“you will find a warm welcome” Torrance Church Coffee Shop Now open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 12 noon Friday 9am to 2pm during school term. Monday: teas, coffee, hot chocolate and cakes Wednesday: teas, coffee, hot chocolate, scones and shortbread Friday: teas, coffee and lunches (during school term)

The Prayer Clinic The Prayer Ministry is available in the church vestry and has proved to be a very welcome asset. Folk from the village have appreciated the comfortable and confidential environment, and the opportunity to receive prayer for themselves or for loved ones. There is also a prayer box available in the Café area (church foyer) where you can write out your prayer request and place it in the box. All requests will be prayed for during the following week. Prayer requests are strictly confidential.

THE BOYS’ BRIGADE JUMBLE SALE Took place on Saturday 26th November at Torrance Church and raised a grand total of £1160.00 towards Brigade funds.


Christmas 2011

“...I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people ...a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11


Christmas Events Carols by Candlelight Sunday 18th December 7:00pm

Christmas Eve

Family Service 7:30pm Watchnight Service 11:15pm

Christmas Day Family Service 11am

Torrance Parish Church

Services unless otherwise advertised are at 10:15am and 6:30pm every Sunday.


If you want to keep up with all the latest news, events and sermons - and let us have your views too - then join us on: Website: Twitter: @torrancechurch Facebook: Rev. Nigel Barge 01360 622 379 Torrance Church 01360 620 970 Torrance Parish Church of Scotland is a Scottish Charity No. SC016058


designed and printed by 0844 257 6274

A crèche is available for under 3’s and JUNIOR CHURCH for 3 years and over.

The Villager (Winter 2011)  

Torrance Parish Church's village newsletter. December 2011 issue includes: Christmas Events, Cinema Night, Vision Update and News From Aroun...

The Villager (Winter 2011)  

Torrance Parish Church's village newsletter. December 2011 issue includes: Christmas Events, Cinema Night, Vision Update and News From Aroun...