The Kirk in Crisis: Five Centuries of The Church in Scotland

A Series of Talks by Dr Andrew Carter followed by discussion about the Church’s history and what it means today

Image kindly supplied by the trustees of The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Meetings held at St Ninian’s Church, each one starting at 7.30pm:

  • Monday 15 July 2024 – Unreformable? The Scottish Church Before the Reformation
  • Monday 22 July 2024 – 1560 And All That: John Knox and the reformation
  • Monday 29 July 2024 – Who’s in Charge? Part 1. The King vs The Kirk 1560 – 1638
  • Tuesday 6 August 2024 – Who’s in Charge? Part 2. Presbyterians vs Bishops 1638 – 1689
  • Monday 12 August 2024 – Disruption! The 10 Years Conflict, 1843 & The Free Church

All welcome to attend what should be a fascinating series of talks.

A Summer Break for Regular Activities

The following regular activities will be taking a break over the summer weeks:

Craigsbank Toddle Tots – Last meeting for this session, 26 June. Resumes Wednesday 21 August 10.30-12.00

Toastie Thursdays – Resume Thursday 22 August

Junior Music Makers and the Singers groups – Resume in August – exact date tbc

Our heartfelt thanks to the leaders of these groups. We wish you all a relaxing summer ahead!

Have you found our place to stop and rest?

Anyone walking in Fauldburn Park, East Craigs, will spot a handsome new bench.

Huge congratulations to our ECO Group and especially to Anne Currie for all her hard work securing this new bench for Fauldburn Park. Time to take a load of and watch the world go by.

Purchase of the bench was kindly supported by Edinburgh Airport Community Fund. The park ranger helped to choose the best spot.

A Summer Community Picnic to LIFT THE HEART

Our Summer Community Picnic on the afternoon of Saturday 22 June was a great success. It was held in Fauldburn Park at East Craigs and we were blessed with a great turnout of families and perfect weather for our afternoon of fun and games.

Anne sends her thanks to all for covering every eventuality and for the extra support of Tim, Harry and the Good Samaritans who were ‘on call’ at the crucial time!! 

Fun kids activities included:

Football Challenge; Touch Rugby; Parachute Games; Treasure Hunt; Rounders and Races.

Service recognised… at last

As we come to a crossroads in the life of Craigsbank and East Craigs, we look back on the lives of some of those who started with us in infancy.

On the baptismal roll records that line the wall behind the cross at Craigsbank, the first name is Michael William Wood. The second is Margaret Adams Campbell. We have, i suspect, lost sight of both of these individuals. The third, Ronald Macpherson Small, was baptised in the then new, stone hall-church in 1938.

Craigsbank offered him a grounding in the lessons of the bible and Christian guidance for life. His father was an elder at Craigsbank and his grandfather would go on to help lay the foundation stone for the sanctuary in later years. His older brother, Ian (or Kiwi to many) returned to Craigsbank and was an elder there until his death. Ronald became known as ‘Sam’. He was in the Scouts at our church thoughout his childhood and early adult days, and performed in many a play on the stage of the Craigsbank hall.

Following school (Heriots), Sam did his national service – a peacetime conscription – in the navy and truly travelled to lands so distant that few of us will see them. His service took him to the Republic of Fiji and New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Singapore and Kenya, Aden, and the Gulf of Aqaba, and through both the Panama and Suez canals on HMS Ulysses – a Type 15 Anti Submarine Frigate F17. And, on one occasion, into a fighter yet in the skies above.

It was a life he cherished but also one which took him to Christmas Island as part of Grapple Squadron for the Nuclear Tests (the largest bombs of the British hydrogen bomb programme). On April 28 1958, at the age of 20, he sat on a naval boat in his shorts – the summer uniform -with no protection. He was faced away from the explosion until instructed to turn towards it, 60 seconds after the blast.

At the time, it was simply an order carried out. They even played football on the island after the test.

It took 66 years for the government to acknowledge the sacrifice made by those serving in the area who became part of the experiments. At the beginning of this year (2024), they received a commemorative Nuclear Test medal. Through the post. Sam was one of the 1717 to receive the medal in recognition of his service at that time. It is estimated that around 40,000 British personnel witnessed the nuclear testing alongside military personnel, scientists and civil servants from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Kiribati.

The certificate accompanying the medal simply states:

This Nuclear Test Medal is presented to you in recognition of your significant contribution to Britain’s nuclear test programme.

Sam has gone on to enjoy a very full life, well lived. He and his wife Elinor adopted two wonderful boys, now young men with families of their own. The couple moved to Musselburgh and live there together still, surrounded by their grandchildren.

Sam returned from the navy to set up his own business in the building trade, providing employment to many over decades (and returning often to Craigsbank to re-lay carpets and resurface wooden flooring). He has been heavily involved in the Rotary Club and the golf club and always has others at the forefront of his mind. He is generous of spirit and time and love and has been a grand example to his friends and extended family over the years.

Seven days, so many ways to make a difference

Edinburgh’s fundraisers are on day two of their major annual campaign to support vulnerable communities around the world.

Craigsbank and East Craigs held a coffee morning as part of Christian Aid Week 2024. The baking was outstanding and our thanks go to the organisers and all who attended. A full report on money raised will follow.

Money raised during Christian Aid Week will help the organisation’s partners empower vulnerable communities to find practical and sustainable ways out of poverty.

This year’s appeal – from 12-18 May – is focussing on work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa. Heavily reliant on agriculture, it’s also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides. The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges: more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 when it first offered humanitarian assistance to people surviving the civil conflict. Now, alongside local partners, the organisation helps establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). These community-led groups mean people can save and borrow money, making small businesses possible, offering reliable and diverse incomes so families can eat regularly, get medicine when they need it, and build safer homes.

Thirty-five-year-old Aline Nibogora is the chairperson of a VSLA which supports some 25 families in a remote village, in Makamba Province. Aline escaped an abusive marriage only to find herself on the streets begging for a place to stay.

Her life changed when she went to a three-day, Christian Aid-funded community workshop. With a small start-up loan, Aline began trading avocados and peanuts locally. She’s now a grocery wholesaler and living on her own plot of land where she’s building a home for her family. In the next five years she hopes to expand, so one day she can buy a mill. This will provide a source of income without the need to transport heavy goods over long distances.

Christian Aid Week offers seven days and so many ways to make a difference – to find out more, visit

Remember, Christian Aid envelopes will be available at the door before and after the service on Sunday. but click here for a new and easier way to donate to Christian Aid