Rector’s Letter – July 2023

St James the Less Penicuik and St Mungo West Linton

Scottish Episcopal Churches


The Rectory

23 Broomhill Road


EH26 9EE

01968 678254

07950 607574


25th June 2023


Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,


Rector’s letter for July


I am writing this a few days early for a change, rather at the very end of the month or start of the month. I head off on Wednesday 28th June, returning on 14th July, to visit my daughter in the States. I have been trying to clear the decks of things that must be actioned before I go away but I guess there may be a few things left not completed. Misty will be well-loved and cared for by my daughter and her husband who will be staying in the Rectory during my absence.

For most people July and August is a time for getting away on holiday and/or having family and friends visit. It is also a time when we intentionally cut back on church activities, and draw breath before the start of the autumn, with renewed vigour. But we shall continue to come together each weekday at 9 am and 5.30 pm to say the Daily Offices and pray for God’s world and its people, and for all those we know who are in any sort of need. Do let me know if you wish us to pray for someone. And please do consider joining us online whenever you are able.


Sanctuary Sunday

Today, Sunday 25th June is called Sanctuary Sunday and in both churches the sermons will be related to the theme of asylum-seekers and refugees. I represent the Scottish Episcopal Church on Scottish Faith Action for Refugees (SFAR), an inter-faith group co-ordinating support for asylum-seekers and refugees in Scotland. To find out more about SFAR see The Scottish Refugee Council also has a lot of information on their website, see

The Primus has also been involved in speaking out against the Illegal Immigration Bill being debated in the UK Parliament, and you can see more about that on the SEC website,

In both of our communities we have seen a very generous welcome for Ukrainians, and work to house Afghans under the resettlement scheme are ongoing too. Sadly, with wars, oppression of civil liberties, and climate change there are many people displaced from their homes. The UNHCR estimates about 100 million people across the world, of which 80 million are either internally displaced or in a neighbouring country. We can expect continual movement of people whilst these conditions prevail.



Penicuik Churches Together

The next PCT Sunday evening service to be held at St James will be on Sunday 10th September, at 6.30 pm. Note the slightly later time.

We continue to support ‘Gather on the Green’ an initiative to have a visible presence in the new housing development above Mauricewood. Gather on the Green usually takes place on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 2pm to 4pm. We held a successful BBQ in June which was in glorious sunshine. Please let me know if you would like to help at Gather on the Green at future events. We are doing another BBQ in August.


Services in the style of Taizé

I tried an experiment by holding a service in the style of Taizé at St Mungo’s, at 6pm on 14th May. I borrowed a Taizé cross from Christ Church Morningside, and set out some orange candles to give it just a wee bit of the feel of being in the Church of the Reconciliation in Taizé. We shall do another service at St Mungo’s in the style of Taizé, with some different chants, on Sunday 30th July at 5 pm and at St James the Less on 27th August at 5pm.

Whipman Week Worship in the Marquee

The best laid plans of mice and men… When we went to set up for Worship in the Marquee, we found the marquee empty of the vital things we needed. So, we hurriedly changed venue and set up St Mungo’s for the service. Despite the last-minute changes, the service went well and people enjoyed the songs that we introduced to them, before having a break for refreshments in the church garden, in lovely sunshine, and then gathering together for worship.

Wee Sing at St James the Less on 20th August

On the back of the success of the service at the end of the Whipman Week I have decided to do a similar service at St James on Sunday 20th August starting at 5pm. Following the same format, we will teach the songs that are unfamiliar then have a break for refreshments, before coming together to sing, and play. If you have an instrument or wish to bang a djembe drum and the like, please do come along. I can send out the music for anyone who wants to play an instrument. This lively service is suitable for all ages, and we encourage children to make a joyful noise with drums and bells and the like.


Ministry in Care and Nursing Homes

Cowan Court, Penicuik: We have been part of a rota with the other Penicuik churches, visiting Cowan Court on a Sunday afternoon for the last year. We visit Cowan Court about once every 5 or 6 weeks. Our next visit is on 4th June.

Aaron House, Penicuik: We are part of a rota with the other Penicuik churches, visiting Aaron House on a Wednesday afternoon at 2pm. As with Cowan Court we will visit once every 5 or 6 weeks. Our next visit is on 21st June.

Whim Hall, Lamancha: We started visiting Whim Hall in September and our pattern of visits is on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. Our next visit is on 8th June.

If you are interested in supporting this rewarding ministry by being part of the visiting teams then please let me know. Normally three of us attend each time, so we can support and guide people through the service and have a chat afterwards with whoever attends. We use a simplified form of the Liturgy for Reserved Sacrament and sing a few well-known hymns. Your prayers are welcome for this increased activity in and for members of our local communities.


Faith Development for all

We hold our weekly Bible study at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, online, for up to an hour and a half. Our Bible study will take a break from the end of June until mid-August. We shall commence studying the Book of Daniel on 22nd August.

We are a mixed group that comes together, often including some folk from much further afield than Penicuik and West Linton. We come together with the common aim of exploring the texts, understanding their context, and just as importantly, exploring how it speaks to us and how it informs us today. We enjoy exploring our different understandings and learning from each other. Please do join us, we are always happy to include more people.

Monday Study Night

We started a new study on 17th April, but you can join us at any time. The study uses David Runcorn’s book, ‘Spirituality Workbook: A Guide for Explorers, Pilgrims and Seekers’, published by SPCK in 2006. We will take a break from the end of June until mid-August. We re-commence on Monday 21st August, discussing chapter ten, ‘With Unveiled Faces: Human Identity and Spiritual Formation’. It won’t matter if you haven’t read previous chapters, each chapter is standalone.

It would be advantageous to have a copy of the book if you wish to join us for these sessions. The book has 23 short chapters, split into five sections; i) Then and Now – insights from Christian history and tradition, ii) Life Together – spiritual life in community, iii) Becoming Who I Am – Identity, personhood and spirituality, iv) When You Pray – Ways and Understandings, and v) In the Midst of Life – spirituality in the real world. is a good site to search for new and second-hand copies of this book. Used copies are available for about £4. See the monthly list to see what chapter we are discussing.


Faith Development ‘Faith Books’

When we have a fifth Monday in the month, I lead a discussion at 7.30 pm about a book as a way of introducing people to different authors which may pique an interest to read more of their work (or not!). In looking for new or used books, I have often used I am sure there are other search sites that will help people find the books on our reading list.

The books for the rest of 2023 are:

31st July: Your God is Too Small, by J B Phillips

30th October: God of Surprises, by Gerard Hughes


Mid-week evening services on Zoom

On the first Wednesday of each month, at 7.30 pm, we hold a service of Prayers for healing online. If you wish someone or a situation to be prayed for, send an email to me or Marion Mather.

At 9pm every Wednesday evening we hold the service of Compline. Please do join us for this short service of calm and settling prayers before sleep.

Continuing our Mission: Leading Your Church into Growth Prayer

Each weekday morning, we pray for growth in our church. If you are not able to join us online for Morning Prayer at 9 am, can I encourage you to pray this once a day. The prayer is given below.

God of Mission, who alone brings growth to your Church,

send your Holy Spirit to give:

vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions, and power to our witness.

Help our church to grow:

in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you, and in service to our local

community, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Morning and Evening Prayer

We meet online Monday to Friday at 9.00 am and at 5.30 pm. It is a good way to start and end our day, coming together for worship, with daily readings including the psalms; a good rhythm for worship in the Anglican tradition of saying the Daily Offices.

If you wish to access the Daily Office liturgy with the daily scripture readings, go to the Provincial Website, and place your cursor on the ‘Spirituality’ heading. A submenu appears and you can select the appropriate Daily Office from the right-hand side of the page.


In Touch Magazine for St James the Less and St Mungo’s

In Touch has just been circulated to all on email and is issued in paper format to those who do not have email. The cost of a paper copy is £2 for an A4 version, and about £1.50 for an A5 version. We print a very limited number of paper copies to keep out costs down, and to reduce our consumption of paper. If you receive an email version but would also like a paper copy, please let Sue Owen know and we invite you to make a suitable donation (preferably by bank transfer rather than in cash) to cover the cost. The deadline for content to be submitted for the next issue is 6th August 2023. I would like to encourage you to submit something for inclusion in the magazine, a poem, a review of a book or a film, an article on a subject of interest. If you wish to submit an article, please send them to


Financial giving to St James the Less or to St Mungo’s

If you are able, can I ask you to prayerfully consider setting up a recurring monthly payment to the church via on-line banking, to contribute financially on a regular basis. Details of the bank accounts are given below for each of the churches.

St James the Less:

Monthly donation by bank transfer (include your name in the reference line when setting this up – only the Treasurer knows the name of the donor). Bank details are: St James Episcopal Church Penicuik, acct no 17117264, sort code 80-22-60. If you wish to make a donation by cheque, please make out the cheque to ‘St James Episcopal Church Penicuik’.

St Mungo:

Monthly donation by bank transfer (include your name in the reference line when setting this up – only the Treasurer knows the name of the donor). Bank details are: St Mungo’s Vestry, acct no 00817851, sort code 80-09-39.

Regular Weekday Services

Morning and Evening Prayer and the Wednesday evening services are online using Zoom. Sharing the Daily Offices each weekday with others is a wonderful way of connecting, praying, and praising together with a natural rhythm of the week. It is also one of the few times we can hear the psalms being read more than just a few verses at a time. Please do consider joining us at 9 am and or 5.30 pm for about half an hour, whenever you are able.

Ecumenical Relations and Community Involvement Work

The Penicuik Ministers continue to meet every month in the Storehouse for a chat. Once a month the Penicuik Churches Together (PCT) has a joint Sunday evening service. The schedule detailing where the services are each month is on the PCT website.


Diocesan and Provincial Activities

There haven’t been any meetings in June. The General Synod is the main fous of activities in June.


The Ministry Team

We continue to meet monthly to plan for the coming months; planning services and faith development activities as well as exploring other aspects of what is offered to the congregations and to our local communities. There will be some Sundays when reserved sacrament will need to be used, and during the summer holidays there may be more frequent use of reserved sacrament. I have contacted several non-stipendiary ministers to see if they are able to help and I am awaiting some responses. I live in hope!

In Other News…

June has been a busy month, which included one wedding at New Hall Estate, thankfully this time it was all in English.

I attended the Iona Community AGM in Govan on a beautiful sunny day and caught up with most of my fellow members who joined the Community with me at the AGM ten years ago, also in Govan.

Whilst sitting together in the sun in Old Govan Parish Church graveyard, a group of teenage lads came in, wearing black, with beanie hats on even in the heat. On first glance it would have been easy to assume they were sneaking in for an illicit cigarette or maybe some cheap cider. But no, as I walked past them they were deep in conversation, and I just caught one part of a sentence, where one of the lads was saying, “No, it was Thomas Aquinas that said that.” I wonder what they went on to discuss. I will never know as I headed back into our meeting.

If you are heading away on holiday, have a lovely time and safe travels.


Nick Bowry





We have a regular pattern of services. Details of these are set out below. You can access them by computer, tablet or smart phone, as well as by phoning in from your house phone to the numbers given below.


Morning Prayer at 9 am, and Evening Prayer at 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. (Zoom only)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 628 956 1588

Password: 040775

One tap mobile

+442034815240,,6289561588#,,#,040775# United Kingdom

+442080806591,,6289561588#,,#,040775# United Kingdom


St Mungo, Holy Communion at 10.30 am on Sunday.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 934 1719 0423

Passcode: 062021

One tap mobile

+442039017895,,93417190423#,,,,*062021# The United Kingdom

+442080806591,,93417190423#,,,,*062021# The United Kingdom


St James the Less, Holy Communion at 10.30 am on Sunday.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 920 0219 7798  Password: 040775

One tap mobile

+441314601196,,92002197798#,,#,040775# United Kingdom

+442034815237,,92002197798#,,#,040775# United Kingdom


Wednesday Evening Services at 7.30 pm (not July or August) (Zoom only)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 963 0384 1875 Password: 040775

One tap mobile

+442080806591,,96303841875#,,1#,040775# United Kingdom

+442080806592,,96303841875#,,1#,040775# United Kingdom


Wednesday Evening Compline at 9 pm (all year) (Zoom only)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 953 4545 7224 Password: 040775

One tap mobile

+442080806592,,95345457224#,,1#,040775# United Kingdom

+443300885830,,95345457224#,,1#,040775# United Kingdom



Church life continues in a variety of forms online. Several groups and sessions have been set up. Details of the existing groups and sessions being run are given below.

‘Monday Evening Studies’ at 7.30 pm (Zoom only)

This is a series of studies and discussions, open to all who wish to join us, including anyone you wish to invite – they don’t have to be a member of St James the Less or St Mungo’s. We take a break in July and August.

All of these sessions will use the following link.

Topic: Monday Evening Studies

Meeting ID: 976 7040 6222        Passcode: 202101

One tap mobile

+442039017895,,97670406222#,,,,,,0#,,202101# United Kingdom

+442080806591,,97670406222#,,,,,,0#,,202101# United Kingdom


5th Monday Evenings at 7.30 pm

‘Faith Books’

When we have a fifth Monday there will be a discussion about a book of Nick’s choice, in a series called ‘Faith Books’. The next 5th Monday is on Monday 31st July when we shall discuss, ‘Your God is Too Small’, by J B Phillips


The remaining book for 2023 is:

30th October: God of Surprises, by Gerard Hughes

If people wish to read these books but don’t wish to buy them, I am happy to lend them out. Get in contact with me if you wish to borrow a book.

These sessions are suitable for people at any stage of their faith journey; from those enquiring to those with many years in the faith.




Weekly Bible Study

Tuesdays at 2pm

This is a chance to discover and explore the Bible through reflection and discussion. Join us whenever you can. We are currently studying the previous Sunday’s gospel reading. Why don’t you join us to explore the texts, understand their context, and just as importantly, explore how they speak to us and how they inform us today.

Meeting ID: 925 1096 2481

Password: 040775


St Mungo’s House Group

Thursdays at 7.30 pm

Contact Markie Woodifield for further information.


Monthly Book Group

The fourth Monday of each month at 2 pm

Contact Angela Sibley for further information.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 669 139 189 Passcode: 040775