Autumn       2009























Kirk and Community News


For the Parishes of Cairngryffe and Symington

Church of Scotland


Cairngryffe with Symington Parish Churches


Minister:  Rev Dr Graham Houston

16 Abington Road, Symington (01899 308838)


Session Clerks:  Cairngryffe- Mr Jack Meikle

Glenbow Cottage, Thankerton (01899 308397)


Symington-  Mr Ross Russell

Spindrift, Main Street, Symington (01899 308240)





September, October, November, December 2009


09.30am   Symington     Cairngryffe




Prayer and Praise Services


Thursdays at 7.30pm:

October 1st (Cairngryffe),

November 5th (Symington).

December 3rd  (Cairngryffe)






The sacrament will be celebrated on Sunday November 1st,

All members are warmly invited to share in worship then.


9.30am Symington    11.00am Cairngryffe






Joint Office-Bearers’ Meeting - The twice-yearly gathering of all Board and Session members is in Symington on Monday October 26h at 7.30pm.


Cairngryffe Kirk Session meets on Monday November 2nd at 7.30pm

Joint Finance Committee - Monday November 30th at 7.30pm in the Manse






Friday 13th November at Cairngryffe Church at 7.30 – Musical Evening – Tickets £4



Visit our websites at  :-  Webmaster Jim Watt      Webmaster Robert Carson





Jim Johnstone an elder at Symington Kirk, has been approached to be an Additional Elder at Presbytery. By appointing additional elders Presbytery maintains its numbers. Robert Carson is also one of these elders so Symington is well represented. Jim has agreed and Presbytery will formally appoint him. His expertise and experience in social work will be helpful to Presbytery.


At Presbytery’s September meeting the Rev David Easton was appointed Moderator for this session. David is a retired minister from Burnside and now stays in Quothquan. Some of you will know him as a member of the bass section of Biggar Singers.


The Rev Ian Cunningham of Kirkton Church, Carluke has been appointed our Interim Moderator during Graham’s illness.


The Church of Scotland has become more concerned recently about the state of the church property throughout Scotland and has instructed presbyteries to appoint architects to carry out inspections. Stewart Toy, Lanark, has been appointed to inspect our churches and the manse. Mike Nisbet, Symington, will be dealing with quite a number in the rest of Presbytery.


Also at the September meeting, The Rev Una Stewart from Law gave a short talk and showed some slides about her visit to Russia where she was finding out about the work of the Tearfund there. The Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency. Una was very impressed with what was being done and could be persuaded to come to talk to the guild or other organization about the visit.


Due to the Data Protection Act, the main desk at Wishaw General Hospital has refused to give the ward number of patients to ministers and even relatives. As you will appreciate this has caused considerable concern. It even happens when patients have requested a visit. Presbytery’s dissatisfaction with the arrangement will be conveyed to the Hospital management and to the local Councilors, MSPs and Members of Parliament.


It is proposed that Presbytery holds a ‘Back to Church’ Sunday in the New Year when each member of every congregation will invite one person to attend church on the Sunday. No doubt you will hear more of this in the future.

Lambert Allan (Elder to the Presbytery)





Beth Isla Baillie, Townhead Farm on 21st June at Cairngryffe

Findlay, son of Anna and Nicholas Humphries, 29 Raeburn Common, Pettinain on 9th August



Bett Robertson Edinburgh Cairngryffe on 20th July

Marta Bow Eves (nee Struthers) Cairngryffe on 24th July

Dennis Finch, Symington on 6th August

Margaret Cooper (nee Jackson) Cairngryffe on 11th September



Jayne Warnock, Sandilands to Steven Carruthers, Carlisle on 15th May at Cairngryffe




Symington Kirk Choir will resume on Wednesday 10 September at 7-30 in the church.  Anyone who wishes to join us for a good sing (and a good laugh) will be made very welcome.  If you wish any further information, phone

Choir Director Gaynor Russell on 01899 308240 





This is to keep all our members up to date with what is happening in the Kirk Session at Cairngryffe.


*As I write this our Minister Graham has completed his course of radio therapy and is continuing to improve. We all pray that God will continue to look after him and his family during this very difficult time for them all.


*The Presbytery have appointed an Interim Moderator to assist us during Graham’s illness He is The Rev Iain Cunningham from Kirkton Church in Carluke. We are very fortunate to have the Rev Harry Findlay leading worship on as many Sundays as he can to help us.


* Our calendar for 2010 using old local photos showing what life was like in our parishes last century has now been printed and is available now at a cost of £5.


*You will notice the car park at the Church has now been covered with red chips, these come from Cairngryffe hill this is a great improvement and the chips were very generously gifted by Cloburn Quarry Company,  I have written a letter of thanks to them and I would also like to thank the people who helped me to spread them, thank you all.


*We now own the copier (jointly with Symington) that was used to produce Focus at Greyfriars and we know the mistake they made last time and plan to produce this edition more professionally.


*After spending over £300 on organ repairs with no success it was decided to purchase a new one which is now in use and is working well.  Our thanks to Alan, our organist, who did a lot of work finding the best replacement deal for us.


*We have suffered some damage to our beautiful main stained glass window in the Church due to vandalism and we are looking at fitting grills to the outside of these windows to protect them. We feel it is our duty to preserve them for the future. Repairs are in hand.


Jack Meikle. Session Clerk at Cairngryffe





ALTERATIONS  The pews in the east end of the church have now been replaced by individual chairs and the heating, lighting and carpeting in the area have been updated.  This will provide flexibility in use of the area and allows comfortable seating of groups for meetings and small services.  


Ross Russell, Session Clerk at Symington         





A magnificent total of £1,747 was raised for Christian Aid this year.  To this figure Christian Aid can add £157 from tax reclaimed from the Gift Aid forms.


Symington contributed £783, Thankerton £317, Carmichael and Pettinain £274 and the lunch raised £373. 

Very many thanks go to all who donated and especially to the volunteers who carried out the door-to-door collections.

 Sheena Carlyle









23/08/09, 30/08/09 – 9.30AM.

6/09/09, 13/09/09,20/09/09 – 11AM

27/09/09 – September Holiday.

4/10/09-11AM.(Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday)

11/10/09, 18/10/09 – October Holiday.

25/10/09, 1/11/09, 8/11/09, 15/11/09, 22/11/09, 29/11/09, 6/12/09, 13/12/09, 20/12/09 -11AM.


We meet in the church for the first part of the service and then go to our own room for our Bible based activities.


This term we will be looking at some stories and teachings of Jesus, Elisha’s story, the three good kings(Jehoshaphat,Hezekiah, Josiah) and finish by preparing for Christmas and our Nativity story on the 20/12/09.


Next Term will restart on 10/01/10 at 9.30AM.


f you need any further information contact

Rosmairi Galloway on 01555 880779.




We’re back! SundayZone restarted on 6th September. We hope to see some friendly faces return and new ones will be made very welcome. Meet us in the Hall before the Service and we will all go over to Church together. After the Children’s Address, it’s back to the Hall for singing, craft and games. We have two groups - ‘Bubbles’ (pre-school and Primary 1) and ‘Splash’ (Primary 2 upwards).

What will we be learning about?  Over the next few months, we hope our groups will enjoy sharing the stories of:  Joseph, Jesus Lives!, Moses and Christmas Praise.

When are we on?  Every Sunday at 9.30am except school holidays (27th September, 18th October, 8th November (Remembrance Sunday) & 27th December).

Old & new faces very welcome.  Hope to see you there.

Donna, Hazel & Susan





Cairngryffe Guild


Cairngryffe Guild enjoyed their annual outing to Kailzie Gardens on Wednesday August 19.  The weather was superb, much to everyone's surprise, sunny, warm and dry!


The new Guild Session began on September 9 and was attended by 14 members.  The new 3-year Guild Theme was introduced - Called To Act Justly" and the ladies enjoyed some discussion and group activity.


A warm invitation is extended to anyone who would like to join the Guild to come along on  Wednesday October 14, which is our joint meeting with Symington Guild.  Our speaker is from Alticane Apothecary / Fragrant Events and thee will be a sales table, to aid Guild funds.


Nov 11th - World Mission Rally at St Nicholas Church Hall Lanark at 7.30pm

Nov 11th – Guide Dogs for the Blind – Mr Jim Dudds

Nov 22nd – 29th Guild Week

Dec 9th – A Celebration of Christmas – Invited Guests  


Further information from President :- Mary McLelland – 01555 871114 Secretary :- Margaret Watt – 01555 663394


Symington Guild


We meet in the Church Hall @7.30pm Except the October Meeting see dates below.

September 24th - Will be a talk on Nursing on the Amazon by Ruth Aird.

October 14th - We are kindly invited to Cairngryfe Guild this meeting therefore be held in Thankerton Hall.Transport arrangements will be made at the September meeting.

November 26th - Talk on Parish Churches by Sandy Gilchrist.

December 10th - Christmas Carols and readings followed by a Christmas Supper.

A warm welcome will be extended to all, on the 24th the first meeting especially to new members. Hopefully some will come along.

Please note that there will be a Coffee Morning in the Church Hall on Sunday 15th November.


Contact Sheena Carlyle, President at 01899 308269




Cairngryffe Church Treasurer’s Report


This is a summary of income & expenditure Jan – July 2009

Income                                                    Expenditure

Offering            £9,766                            Church of Scotland         £8,556

Tax back            3,875                            Travel expenses                  620

Donations             484                             Joint cong expenses        1,750

Social com            280                             Salaries                            1,631

Miscellaneous       500                             Miscellaneous                  1,053


Surplus to date £ 1295

            Linzi Struthers, Treasurer


Symington Church Treasurer’s Report


Our expenditure continues to exceed income as outlined below. However the tax rebate, resulting from the “Gift Aid” scheme, should go some way to offsetting the balance when it is paid later in the year.


Income to date 2009             Expenditure to date 2009

Offerings               £16921           Ministry & Mission             £13,829

Other Income        £    100           Staff Costs                          £3,883

Special Income       £      0           Building Costs                     £2,297

Tax rebate              £       0           Joint Cong Account            £1,750                                  

                                                     Other Costs                         £  974

TOTAL                 £17,021          TOTAL                              £22,733

Robert Carson, Treasurer




Carmichael Institute


Carmichael WRI meet in the Village Hall at 7.30pm on the second Monday of the month , annual subscription £8. 


Oct 12th – Milk Pan to Bed Pan War and Peace – Nancy Duncan

Nov 9th – Dinner at Robertson Arms Hotel 7pm for 7.30pm

Dec 14th – Scrap Booking – Hands on with Mrs Steele


Janette Elliot, Secretary, at 01555 880614 can provide more details.


Pettinain Institute


Pettinain WRI meets in Pettinain Village Hall at 7.30pm on a Wednesday, annual subscription £10.   Why not join us?


Wed 21st Oct – Safety in the Home – with the Fire Service

Wed 4th Nov – Whist Drive

Wed 18th Nov – Birthday Party at the Robertson Arms, Carnwath

Wed 16th Dec – Fun and Games


For further details contact Ann Murray, Secretary on  01555 870379




Thankerton Institute


Thankerton SWRI began its 2009/10 session of meetings on Thursday 3rd September with a day trip to Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, followed by an evening meal at Robertson Arms, Carnwath. This change from the usual evening meeting format was made possible by the grant monies received to celebrate the 90th birthday of Thankerton Rural in November 2008.


The Committee have produced a varied and interesting syllabus for 2009/10 and all ladies will be made very welcome to the meetings which are held at 7.30pm in Thankerton Village Hall - usually on the 1st Thursday of every month, however please note that this session both the November and December meetings will be held on the 1st Wednesday of the month.


The meeting schedule from September 2009 to April 2010 is as follows:


3rd   September – A day out @ Mount Stuart House

1st   October   -    “The place to Potter” – Pottery workshop

4th   November – “At Home” with meal followed by Biggar High School Entertainment  N.B. The meeting is a Wednesday, not Thursday.  

2nd December -   Christmas Floral Art demonstration.

                              N.B. The meeting is a Wednesday, not Thursday.  

7th   January     -   A light hearted tribute to Burns with Alex Baird

4th   February    -   Joining with Symington Rural for Scottish Quiz Night

4th   March       -   Slide Show - 1st 10 years @ Lanercost with John Kinloch

1st   April         -   AGM – Buffet Supper & Quizzes 


For further information on Rural meetings in Thankerton please contact Secretary Irene Ross on 308738, or Press Secretary Connie Johnstone on 308764



Symington Institute


Oct 1st – Needle Felt – Mrs Pat McKenzie

Nov 5th – Family Tree – Grace Carrick

Dec 3rd – Life in the Arctic – Mr Elliot Jardine


Contact Janet Hope, President at 01899 308716.




                                         FLOWER LISTS






20th Sept 2009

Rosmairi Galloway

Val Horsefield

27th Sept 2009

Carol Gardiner

Irene Madox

04th Oct 2009

Mary McLellan

Shirley Pratt

11th Oct 2009

Annie Callan

Anne Blacklaw

18th Oct 2009

Susan McDougall

Ella Hodge

25th Oct 2009

Sheana Rodger

Moira Taylor

01st Nov 2009

Kris Todd

Nan Raeburn

08th Nov 2009

Maureen Bannatyne

Margot Leadbitter

15th Nov 2009

Elizabeth Warnock

Lynn Carson

22nd Nov 2009

Margaret Clarkson

Linda McKay

29th Nov 2009

Lily Borthwick

Susan Matthew

06th Dec 2009

Sandra Stewart

Ollie Hunter

13th Dec 2009

Christmas Flowers

Muriel Knight

20th Dec 2009

Christmas Flowers

Janette Hope

27th Dec 2009

Christmas Flowers








Carmichael Playgroup & Toddlers Group


This group for little ones from 0 to 5 years meets in Carmichael Village Hall on Mondays and Thursdays from 9.15 to 11.15am.The children enjoy a good variety of activities and all will be made very welcome.  More details can be had from the playleader             Catherine Hamilton, on 01555 665239.



Symington Playgroup


We meet twice weekly in Symington Village Hall, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9.30am until 11.20am.   Come and join us for singing, stories, games, arts, crafts and lots of fun! Children from age 2 are very welcome.   We still have places available.  For further information please call Donna Allison on 01899 309049.



Tinto Toddlers


Tinto Toddlers, for parents and carers with children from newborn to nursery age, meet every Monday and Friday in Symington Village Hall from 9.45 to 11.15am. All will be warmly welcomed.  Older school age children can join in during school holidays as we now operate throughout the year.  We charge £1 per session for Toddlers and 50p for babies, including a healthy snack, with tea or coffee for mum/dad.  For more information please call  

Chairperson Kate Melanby on 01899 308997





Junior Section -girls aged 10-14 meet on Monday evenings in Symington Village Hall from 7.15 to 9.15pm.  We currently have 2 vacancies.

Senior Section: - girls aged 14 - 25 yrs now meet in Symington Village Hall on alternate Tuesday evenings from 5.15 to 7.15pm and there are spaces available. Help is always appreciated as our girls work towards various awards, so if any adult with a particular skill and an hour to spare on a Tuesday would like to help out we'd be delighted to hear from you.        

Call Anne Galloway (District Commissioner) on 01555 870865 for more information





1st Tinto Brownies (Thankerton)

The pack meets every Monday evening in Thankerton and all 7 to 10 year olds are welcome.   The brownies learn lots of new and different things, games, crafts, badge work and even baking on a good night.  If you would like further information about the Brownie Pack please contact

Mandy Reilly on 01555 840010



1st Symington Brownies


Alysoun, Claire and Rebecca look forward to welcoming the Brownies back to the Church Hall after our summer break. We are now looking forward to lots of activities, crafts, fun and games over the next few months. Brownies are open to all girls aged 7 – 10 years old. We meet from 6.15 – 7.15pm on Mondays. Anyone wishing to join please contact :-

Contact Alysoun Wilson on 01899 220609 / 07831 455404  for further info.





Rainbows are for girls aged 5-7 years and meet in Symington on a Monday during school term time.  Each week we will be having fun working towards badges.  More information can be had from one of our leaders, or from our sister organizations.





1st Biggar Tinto Beavers, Cubs and Scouts meet in Biggar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout term time.  They currently have a waiting list in all sections.  If you are interested in joining, either as a Beaver Cub or Scout or are interested in helping as part of the leadership team, please contact Alex Clark at 01899 308330.  He can give full details of meeting times and venues and of the waiting lists involved.





Biggar Probus Club commence their 2009-10 session on the 4th October 2009, meeting at 10:00 for 10:30 am in Biggar Municipal Hall.     The speaker will be Mr Frank Murray on 'Alfred Nobel and the Scottish connection'.   Any retired men are welcome.   Further details of the club and future meetings may be had from Henry McMahon or Jim Watt.





This club meets fortnightly on Thursdays in Thankerton Village Hall at 2.00pm.  The programme for this autumn is as follows: -

October 8th -  My Working Life – Rev Alison Meikle  

October 22nd – Action Medical Research – Mrs McGregor

November 12th - WRVS

November 26th  - Trip to India Dr J Hill   

December 10th - Christmas Lunch, Cornhill House Hotel, 12.30pm for 1pm

For more information please contact

Sadie Campbell at 01899 308328





The new school year has got of to a flying start, the After School Club already with a 6 week block of judo and gardening started as well as the regular clubs of chanter, chess, badminton and football. We will have jewellery and dance classes starting soon and on the lead up to Christmas there will be a Christmas Choir along with Christmas card making and decoupage.


Our chess tutor, Ian McLachlan leaves in October after 5 years of coaching, a huge thank you to Ian.


However, we need to find a new tutor, if you know anyone with proficient enough skill to coach the P4-7children one afternoon a week, between 3-4pm, during term time.

Please contact Rhona Spence on 308432





The club will be entering its hundredth year this autumn and we have one or two special events planned. We are always willing to encourage new members so please consider coming along and joining in the fun. We play every Tuesday night in the hall at 7.30pm and all will be made welcome. For further details give me a call on 01899 308397                           Jack Meikle, Secretary




Prayer Page


Prayer and Praise Services


Cairngryffe and Symington churches look forward to welcoming everyone for this next session of Prayer & Praise.


If it has been some time since you have been to church it’s the perfect time for new beginnings, join this small group for a shorter more relaxed service. Come along and join us in Symington on Thursday 3rd September where we can praise what God has done for us and pray for this world and its many issues.


If you find coming difficult because of transport issues please contact either Sandra Stewart or George Mathew and we will try to arrange a lift. In both Symington and Cairngryffe Church vestibule you will find a box for prayer requests.


The dates and times of the next Prayer and Praise Services are as follows:  


Cairngryffe Church Thursday 1st October at 7.30pm

Symington Church Thursday 5th November at 7.30pm

Cairngryffe Church Thursday 3rd December at 7.30pm


Keep the following in your thoughts and Prayers:


Father speak to us again of the things in life that really matter

The things that bring us joy, hope, love and peace

Open our hearts that we may welcome you into our lives

Help us to keep faith with you as surely as you keep faith with us



Prayer Promoters

Symington – George Mathew Tel: 01899 308648

Cairngryffe – Sandra Stewart Tel: 01555 880655





The Social Committee held a successful screening of old pictures of the 3 parishes in Cairngryffe Church in June, which was attended by about 50 people. Our next social event will be a Musical Evening on Friday 13th November at 7.30, again in the Church, to be entertained by the Symington Church Choir, organist Alan Potts, vocalist Eleanor Potts, guitarist/singer Denham MacDougall and accordionist Charlie Todd and friends.  Tickets £4 including supper.





The Editor and Jack Meikle have now collected and scanned over 1,000 photographs and postcards of the three parishes with a few more still in the pipeline. The intention now is to make them available in book form to compliment William Fleming’s 3 excellent books (tele 01555 661386). In time there should be 2 books for each Parish – one of Group School photographs and one of general photos. We have also been joined by Ross Russell (Session Clerk at Symington), who is working on a Symington volume and Tom Brown who is working on Libberton/Quothquan. Volunteers to work on other parishes would be most welcome as would a loan of further photographs and postcards. 



 Editor's Note

Thank you to all contributors who provided the information contained in this newsletter

The Christmas edition of FOCUS will be issued early in December. Contributions from church groups and organisations, covering the period from December 2009 up to the end of February 2010 should be sent to me by


 Tuesday 1st December 2009 at the latest.


I can be reached at: - Charlie Todd, 63 Station Road, Thankerton, Biggar ML12 6NZ     Tel: 01899 308327 or by email at

NB.  Please use email if at all possible