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Youth Group Starts Up Again

  • 21 August 2015
  • liz.dyer

The Youth Group has its first meeting after the return to school  on FRIDAY 28th AUGUST and we are booked for a GAME OF BOWLING  at DEER PARK.  

Please feel free to bring a friend along to join in the fun. The more the merrier!

We will meet at the West Kirk at 7pm and be back for 9pm.

The cost is £3.25 for young people and £5 for accompanying adults. Please let Nik know as soon as possible if you can make it as she she needs to give numbers by Wednesday 26th August.

Hope to see you on Friday for a fun evening.

Commemoration Service for the Battle of Loos

  • 13 August 2015
  • liz.dyer

A commemoration Service for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Loos will take place at West Kirk of Calder on the evening of Friday 25th September at 7pm.

The event is being organised by West Lothian Armed Forces Day, and the service will be led by both our minister, Nanda, and Rev Nigel Anders, Legion Scotland Livingston Branch chaplain.

The event is free, however, tickets are being issued (on a strictly first come, first served basis) to manage the numbers and for catering purposes.
If you would like to attend the service, please contact Karen Elliot (
or pass your details to the Session Clerks, Marian Kinsman or Stewart MacRae.

If you have any family members who fought at Loos during World War 1, and you would like them to be remembered during the Service, please pass details to Karen, Marian or Stewart.

Polar Explorers - Fully Booked!

  • 29 June 2015
  • lorna.graham

We are now fully subscribed for this summer's holiday club. Sorry if you did not manage to secure a place in time.

If you child has booked a place and circumstances change meaning they are no longer able to attend,  please let us now by dropping an email so we can offer the place to another child.

We look forward to welcoming all subscribed children on Monday August 3rd at 10am.

July / August 2015 Letter

  • 28 June 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

Excitement about the summer holidays is running high in this house! I think everybody is ready for a break. As I was going round the schools conducting the end-of-term assemblies, all the teachers were counting the sleeps along with the kids! It’s been a busy year – but we wouldn’t want it any different…

It’s been a busy year at the church too. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since my induction as the new minister at Polbeth Harwood & West Kirk of Calder. I got to know so many lovely people, and I look forward to getting to know you all even better!

But talking about taking a break – we people need that, even if it is just a wee break in our day-to-day routine, doing something different, to build up our energy for the demands we face every day. Luckily, God never takes any breaks. In Psalm 121:3&4 we read: “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel, will neither slumber nor sleep”.

This was written against the background of the gentile nations who lived around the Israelites, and believed in gods who had to go for a “winter sleep” and had to be woken up again in the spring.

Our God is not like that – he is always awake, always there, taking care of us. He never goes away on holiday. So whether you are going away somewhere exotic this summer, or whether you are staying home enjoying the lovely sunshine (that we are going to get!!), remember, God is there with you too. And he will not let your foot slip.

May God bless you this summer, and always:
Bless me in the city, and bless me in the country.
Bless me in the present, and bless me in the future.
Bless me in the busyness, and bless me in the calm.
O Lord of contrasts and continuity, carry me through your world.
(From “Livings Stones”, by the Pray Now Group)

Kind regards, Nanda

Polar Explorers - Base Camp awaits YOU!

  • 6 June 2015
  • lorna.graham

It is now only 57 days until we meet at our Base Camp, have you secured your place? Do not leave it too late as places are filling up fast for this summers great expedition!

We have lots of wonderful stories to explore, games and silly challenges, for the older kids, science experiments, winter sports, and much more!

An "Ice" time awaits !

June 2015 Letter

  • 2 June 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

This year I was commissioned to attend the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in the Assembly Halls in Edinburgh. What a privilege that was! As it was my first Assembly, I didn’t really know what to expect, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the long hours and attending a meeting that lasted a whole week! But to my surprise it was very interesting and relevant, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of the decision making process for the future of the church.

I was accompanied by George Stott from the West Kirk and Jessie Kelly from Polbeth Harwood, who also both enjoyed the experience very much. It was a full week, starting with a training session for first time commissioners on the Friday evening, and including lots of different events alongside the actual meeting. On the Sunday morning I attended the Assembly Service at St Giles Cathedral, and stayed on for the communion service afterwards. Sunday afternoon I went to “Heart and Soul” in Princes Street Gardens, a lovely event with lots of displays and activities, attended by about 4000 people.

During lunch time every day there were fringe events which you could attend if you wanted to. It was like a treasure chest full of information… One evening I attended a lecture on John Knox and his influence on the Church, and on another I was invited to Holyrood House Palace for a Beating of the Drums ceremony and a reception afterwards. On the last day of the assembly all the new ministers were invited to lunch with the new moderator, Rev Dr Angus Morrison, after which we were presented to him at the Assembly. What a humble and inspirational person he is!

Throughout the week I met lots of interesting people, listened to people competently debating about important issues, and worshipped God alongside more than 700 others. I loved the singing, and found the worship enriching. Everything was based on the theme “Living Stones” (1Peter 2:1-10).

I left the assembly feeling that I have learnt so much about the workings of the Church and all the different people who worship in the Church of Scotland.
I also felt motivated for working in our own congregations and I am proud to be able to say that I am a minister in the Church of Scotland -  a Church that takes her responsibility seriously as a beacon of hope and bringer of change in society.

My wish is that we will all realise that we have important responsibilities in the Church of God as his livings stones – we are all needed to keep this church standing for generations to come.
I regard myself as extremely fortunate to be a stone in the living Church of Christ.
I hope you do too!

God bless,

Holiday Club 2015 - Registration Form

  • 21 May 2015
  • church_admin

This summer our holiday club is called "Polar Explorers" and takes place from Monday 3 August 2015 to Friday 7 August 2015, and, as the name would suggest we have some great expeditions planned, yes there will be snow in Polbeth this summer! So who can take part?

All primary school children including those who are age to start school in August and those who are currently in P7 can register to join us from 1 June 2015.

Places are limited and will be secured on a first come basis, so please do leave it too late to book.

The Registration Form can be downloaded here. Once completed it should be emailed to

United worship in the congregations

  • 6 May 2015
  • liz.dyer

This summer, there will again be united services during the months of July and August.

As before, these services will start at 10am.

The services on the 4 Sundays in July will be held in West Kirk

Services on the 5 Sundays in August will be held at Polbeth Harwood. This in part is to accommodate the work being undertaken refurbishing the organ at West Kirk.

There will also be a united service on Sunday 14th June at 10am in Polbeth Harwood, preceding the annual summer beach outing.

Christian Aid Week

  • 6 May 2015
  • liz.dyer

This May, Christian Aid celebrates 70 years of campaigning for equal rights for each human being in a world where everyone's needs are met; still striving for a world without poverty.

And in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal recently, we can clearly see the more high profile actions of the charity bringing relief to disaster victims. eg Christian Aid is one of the founding members of the Disaster Emergency Committee (D.E.C)

But so much work continues 'behind the scenes' long after events have hit the media headlines. eg  

Much work is currently going on in Sierra Leone helping survivors and communities overcome the challenges in rebuilding their lives after the Ebola crisis.

Aid continues to support those in refugee camps following the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Assistance is being given to communities in Ethiopia which are increasingly being suffering from the effects of climate with more extreme floods and droughts.

Much needed medical aid to children and adults in Palestine is funded and supported by the charity.

And there are so many more projects being carried out around the world with partner organisations supported by Christain Aid.

We mustn't forget, either, the political pressure that is made in areas like the Holy Land; the impact of climate change; the injustice of  tax dodging.

What is so wonderful is that aid is offered unconditionally and doesn't depend on the recipients being Christian or on their culture. In the example of the Good Samaritan, all help given is dependent only on our neighbour's need.

So, this coming week, why not consider helping some of those much less fortunate than ourselves. Envelopes will be available in both churches this Sunday and can be returned preferably on 17th May or any time during May.


May 2015 Letter

  • 5 May 2015
  • nanda.groenewald

Dear Congregations

I hope you are all well. This month I can’t help but make my letter to the Link a letter of thanks…

The coffee morning that I hosted to raise funds for my brother’s medical expenses was an experience I will never forget! I feel completely overwhelmed by all the support I got… Thank you to every single person who attended the coffee morning, to everybody who donated baking and helped on the day, and to everybody who donated money, before, at, or after the coffee morning. The total raised now stands at a staggering £ 3610.35. How amazing is that?!

Apart from the money, it was wonderful to see so many people from the South African congregation, Kirknewton, East Calder, Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk turning up to enjoy a lovely cuppa and cake.

Thank you so much for your generosity, help and support.  I cannot thank God enough for sending me here as your minister. Words cannot express my sincere thanks.

The pound goes a long way in South Africa, which means that the money raised will be able to pay for all the medical treatment my brother needs up to the end of January 2016. This is such a huge relief, for me and him. He asked me to convey his heartfelt thanks to everybody. Thank you also for your prayers.

To me this is an amazing example of Christians standing together to make a difference in the world. In Romans 1:8 the apostle Paul says: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”

And that is exactly what I want to say: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” On Saturday 25 April 2015 your faith was shown in deeds of love and care, and this will be known not only here, but also in South Africa.

May God bless you.

Yours faithfully,