News & Events



Church Online - NOT CANCELLED; Facebook Page - NOT CANCELLED; Quiet time with God - NOT CANCELLED Praying for the sick - NOT CANCELLED; Checking on a friend - NOT CANCELLED; Helping others - NOT CANCELLED; Being God’s Church - NOW MORE THAN EVER

Tranent Parish Church NEWSLETTER: May 2020 

Dear Member,


While Scots are still being encouraged to stay at home, we are doing what we can to stay connected with all our members and adherents.  We are emailing this newsletter to everyone for whom we have an email address and posting it to those who don’t, to keep you informed and to encourage you to carry on believing, praying & doing what you can to keep yourself and others safe.  You are in our prayers: do keep in touch. 


·      Assistance with shopping/collecting medication:, please contact your Elder (you should have their number) or Linda Ingham, who is co-ordinating support: Tel: 01875 613 841.

·      Phone calls to ease isolation: Elders are regularly phoning those on their district; Erica & other leaders are phoning Open House regulars; the Pastoral Care Team are calling those they normally visit.  If you’re not getting a regular phone call & would like one, call Erica who will ensure that this happens.

·      Prayers for you or someone you’re concerned about: please email, phone Linda as above with a request or to ask how to join the weekly Zoom prayer meeting.  You can also phone Rev Erica, 704071.

·      Minister’s Sunday services online & regular messages/prayers Access these via our Youtube channel, Facebook or website.

·      Hot meals: Church volunteers can pick these up from the Pennypitt Trust & deliver to you on up to 5 days a week.

Members have been asking how they can keep offerings going during lockdown Since we can’t accept cash at the moment due to Covid,our only income is from donations by Standing Order: however we are still paying all outgoings (except a reduction in heating & lighting) so are relying on reserves.  Ways  you can help us keep going: set up a Standing Order;  save up your envelopes; donate into our account (see ) Thanks to all who contribute whatever they can at this time.

Scripture verse: Acts 2: 17 ‘“In the last days, God says,I will pour out my Spirit on all people…”

Thought for the week, by Rev Erica Wishart: Sunday 31st May marks Pentecost Sunday, which isn’t hugely celebrated in some congregations: and yet it marks a highly significant event, sometimes called “the birthday of the church”. In Tranent (perhaps something to do with the Minister having formerly been part of a Pentecostal congregation?!) we do celebrate it with colour and joy and a giant cake to share at tea time. We always light red, orange & yellow candles, to represent the tongues of fire that came from heaven onto the heads of believers. There are more bright colours in the flowers and worshippers’ clothes.  I have a red dress, orange cardi and yellow scarf to wear when recording our Pentecost service this year! Why not send a photo of yourself wearing ‘flame colours’ to the church Facebook page/ website? Surely we all need a burst of bright colour after these grey weeks of lockdown?  Like me, I’m sure you have learned to look for brightness in each day – summer flowers, warm sunshine, a cheery ‘hello’ from a neighbour – but as I speak to people on the phone or passing at a safe distance, the message I’m hearing is that we are all getting a bit weary. The Jewish people may well have been weary too, as they waited, in hope, for God to send a Messiah to deliver them from Roman occupation.  Those closest to Jesus, who had recognised Him as the Messiah, had watched him die, seen him come back to life & ascend to heaven and were now waiting for the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:7) Waiting…praying…wondering when this would happen since they had been given no date…waiting in that grey, in-between time, hoping…praying…waiting. Suddenly, it happened! The Spirit of God came rushing in, sounding like a “violent wind”, looking like “tongues of fire” and Jesus’ followers, filled with energy, began to declare “the wonders of God” for all to hear. It had been worth the wait! What celebrations we’ll have when lockdown ends and we can worship together again!  Let’s pray:  Living God, give us patience to wait in hope through this time: reignite our faith as you did with those first apostles and fill us with the joy of being alive.  Show us how we can share our hope and joy with others, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Message from the Manse:  The wonder of creation.

On Sunday, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, 11 people of different ages went for a walk, took photos, collected leaves then gathered over Zoom at 4pm.  While outdoors, some said the Forest Church prayer I'd posted and we said it again together during our virtual gathering.  I thought I'd share here some of the reflections of the group, as well as photos of the leaf crafts that were made and a photo I took of what I believe to be violas, growing in nearby wasteland.

Our reflections about why we love God's creation: the colours, the scents,the diversity; the majesty & beauty of all that God our Father has made; the feeling of the sun on your face; the joy of running and running!; looking out over the Forth - the sea & sky; the unbelievable view of the trees and hills, seeing the Bass Rock and thinking of mum; the fresh air and feel of the breeze - whether it's warm or cold it feels good; sun & light & wind, the trees with all their sizes & shapes, how vital they are to our lives and the amazing way they can grow through spaces and around objects; seeing cars zoom past as a reminder of life going on after being stuck in for weeks; the sound of the birdsong, especially the Skylark, heralding summer.

I asked people how nature helped their mental health and some volunteered: when you're outside and it's quieter you can listen to God; the wonder of creation cheers you up; nature has a soothing effect.

We shared 3 Bible readings: Isaiah 42 v 5; Psalm 96 v 11-12; Job 12 v 7-10 and then a few people mentioned what struck them from those.  Comments included one from Bill who used to be in the Navy and who remembers looking up at the vast canopy of stars above and thinking "Only the Lord could have created something so amazing". Susan shared later on the phone that all plants and creatures have their purpose: some are prickly like the Hawthorn, some we don't like such as the wasp (or individual people we meet!) but we are one ecosystem and we all need each other. 

We showed each other our crafts & photos of our loved ones, whom we brought to God in prayer.  At the end we said the Grace together.

I for one found this event enjoyable and uplifting and it looks like others did too - there was a general consensus we should do it again next month.  So watch this space and if you missed the May Forest Church, why not join in with the June one? Date and time to follow....


  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly or use gel disinfectant.
  • Self-isolate if you suspect infection.
  • Avoid any physical contact with others (unless you live with them and they are free of symtoms) and maintain 2 meters separation.
  • Please maintain telephone (or video link) contact with elderly / infirm people.