Netherlorn Churches gets an honourable mention in Parliament at Westminster

Netherlorn Churches got an honourable mention in Parliament at Westminster yesterday – possibly a first! Our link with Malawi was championed yesterday afternoon by Brendan O’Hara MP in a special Westminster Hall Debate looking at the Scotland-Malawi relationship.

Brendan O’Hara said:

” Will he join me in recognising and commending the excellent work of a disproportionately large number of people in my constituency to support the people of Malawi? He has already mentioned the excellent work of Mary’s Meals, but we also have the Mid Argyll Malawi Twinning Group, the Imani Development Foundation in Oban, the Netherlorn Churches’ project “Seed for life. Feed for life”, many secondary schools such as the Rothesay Academy, Dunoon Grammar School, and the primary schools of Strone, Dalmally and Iona.

You can watch the whole debate HERE

Or read the transcript and see photos HERE


£215 raised for Medecins Sans Frontieres and Mercy Ships

Thanks to everyone who supported the evening talk “From NHS to Myanmar and West Africa”. It raised the fantastic sum of £215 which will be divided between Medecins Sans Frontieres and Mercy Ships. Johanna and Martha are hugely grateful for your interest and your very generous donations.

Fun and games at Messy Church on 20th May


SEED FOR LIFE bank account opened. £2271 already raised!


Andrew Namakhoma an Independent Agricultural Consultant  based in Malawi completed a site visit this week to Bemvu where he met with Iain Gatward who is part of our sub Committee and at this moment in time we are eagerly awaiting full reports from both parties which we hope to have this coming week, however initial reports are sounding very positive.

A bank account has now been opened specifically for SEED FOR LIFE. FEED FOR LIFE. details are :

Account name:- KKPC-Seed for Life. Feed for Life.

Sort Code:- 80:17:99

Account no: 10106164

Monies can be paid direct into this account through Bank Transfer or BACS or direct to Denise MacLean our treasurer who lives at Arran Cottage, Ardmaddy. Oban. PA34 4QY It would be helpful when paying electronically if in the reference section that a name can be attached to enable us to see where the money has come from and if you are eligible to gift aid the donation please request the appropriate form at the same time as we can claim another 20% for the fund at no extra expense to the donor.

As you can see from the enclosed chart we have had an excellent start to the fund which is currently standing at £2271.45 in particular from one extremely generous anonymous donor to whom we can only say a huge THANK YOU.

We have the potential of reaching our goal IT IS ACHEIVABLE – let`s go out there and with a bit of effort we will be able to change many of our friends lives over in Bemvu


We are excited to introduce the new brand name for the food aid project suggested by Dikirani and the Bemvu Partnership.

The project which entails Netherlorn Churches raising and sending funding by mid September this year to Bemvu to enable 100 Farmers to be given seed and fertiliser which they will plant and grow on until harvest time next March/ April 2018.

Once the crop has been harvested the initial value of the seed/fertiliser given to the farmer will be repaid back to the Bemvu Partnership Committee who will distribute it again the following Autumn. A percentage of the balance of the harvest will be donated to the local Primary School ( the ambition is to eventually give every child in the school one meal per day during term time) initially only the infants (5-6 year olds) will benefit. What is left from the harvest will be for the farmers` own personal use to feed his/her own family.

This advantages of this project are:

The project has been devised and put forward by the community of Bemvu (it is their own initiative). It is a `self help` programme encouraging people to fend for themselves and has the advantage that people will want to remain in their own environment without thinking of economic migration to foreign countries. The whole project will be organised and operated by themselves (with professional input and auditing from an independent agricultural consultant if required). Except for some small upfront and running expenses all monies raised will go direct to the Bemvu Partnership Committee. There are no middle men.

School children will benefit by receiving one extra meal a day while at school during term time (currently it is common for these children to receive in total only one meal per day, two if it is a good day supplied by their own homes). Relieving some of the hunger should encourage better concentration and therefore improve the standard of learning.

This project is self financing as the money from the harvest once repaid will go back into the fund to finance the following years planting. To qualify this statement money would be required to be sent to Bemvu year on year until the ambition of feeding the 1200+ children in the school each receive one meal per day. Hopefully in subsequent years grant aid will be available but there is too little time to source that in time for this year’s planting. The project should ensure a better standard of living for the residents of Bemvu by ensuring better food security. Makes better use of the land available.

The whole project has been presented to the three Kirk Sessions ie: Kilbrandon & Kilchattan, Kilmelford & Kilninver, and Craignish and all three have committed to raising funds which is welcome news and will make life changing differences to our friends in Bemvu.

To enable planting to go ahead this year money is required to be available by mid September at the latest. Currently we are developing a separate web site for SEED FOR LIFE. FEED FOR LIFE. although the project will be updated on a regular basis on the Netherlorn web page.

We hope that you will all support this worthwhile project which will make such a difference to the lives of the community of Bemvu.

Mission Partner Ruth Shakespeare – Visit to Netherlorn

Mission Partner Ruth Shakespeare – Visit to Netherlorn

Argyll Presbytery mission partner Dr Ruth Shakespeare, medical director at Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi, will be visiting Netherlorn on Saturday 6 May 2017. Ruth will speak about her work at a meeting to be held at Kilbrandon Church, on the Isle of Seil, at 3.30pm on Saturday 6 May 2017. All welcome.



“Our mother in faith” – Minnie Watson, great aunt of Isabel Smith, Kilmelford

“Our mother in faith” – Minnie Watson, great aunt of Isabel Smith, Kilmelford

In the news this week is Minnie Watson, the Scottish woman whose life and work did much to lay the foundations of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya. Minnie’s story has a strong local connection since her great-niece Isabel Smith lives in Kilmelford. Minnie grew up in Dundee in the later years of the 19th century. It was a time when many young people were gripped by a call to serve as overseas missionaries. Among them was Minnie who set out for Kenya in 1899. She went to join her fiancé Thomas Watson, who had already started pioneering the work of Christian mission in East Africa from a base at Kikuyu, near Nairobi. They duly married but their joy proved to be short-lived. The early European missionaries were highly vulnerable to tropical diseases and Thomas sadly died of pneumonia just one year after they married.


We can only imagine what this loss must have meant for Minnie but she determined that she would carry on the work that they had begun together. For the next 30 years she led the work of the mission, establishing a wide network of schools, starting hospitals and building churches. Among the school pupils was Jomo Kenyatta, who would become Kenya’s first President and the father of the current President Uhuru Kenyatta. For Minnie it must have been a tough life – at times facing famine, drought and disease. But from this work emerged the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, which today has three and half million members.

The reason that Minnie has been in the news is that Church of Scotland Moderator Russell Barr has been visiting the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. When Russell met the Secretary General of the Church, Peter Kariuki, this is what he had to say: “Minnie Watson is our mother in faith. She is the image of Christ and sacrificed all her comfort to live among our ancestors. She remains, for us, the icon of genuine Christianity. We love our mother.”

Kilchattan Church Youth Leader Hazel Cruikshanks at SU Drama Camp

Kilchattan Church Youth Leader Hazel Cruikshanks at SU Drama Camp


Hazel Cruikshanks, a youth leader at Kilchattan Parish Church, is taking a leading role at CentreStage, a 4-day Scripture Union drama camp for P5-S1 campers at Scoughall this Easter, from 11 to 14 April. A full camp of 28 campers have booked for this event – 20 girls and 8 boys! The packed programme includes rehearsals, workshops, worship and Bible teaching, onsite activities, a trip to Dunbar, a final performance, eating, sleeping and lots of fun. Hazel and the team will value our prayers for God’s blessing on the camp.

Centenary of Battle of Arras

Centenary of Battle of Arras:  Prayers at Craignish Parish Church, 9 April 2017

The congregation at Craignish Parish Church on 9 April 2017 remembered that 100 years ago on that day the Battle of Arras began. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War with some 159,000 allied troops losing their lives and a daily casualty rate of more than 4,000. Among those killed were two local men, Peter MacGilp from Craignish who died on 16th May 1917 aged 21. He has no grave but is remembered on the Arras Memorial and on the family stone at Kilvaree. And Duncan Campbell from the Isle of Shuna, who died on 23rd April 1917 aged 20 and is buried at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun. Both Peter and Duncan were serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. 44 of the 120 battalions on the British frontline were Scottish. Church of Scotland Moderator Russell Barr led the centenary commemoration service at the Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery in Arras. The prayer he used on this occasion was included in the prayers at Craignish Parish Church.


Arras 100 Prayer 


God of time and eternity

speak to us in the silence of our remembrance

of Your promise of a new heaven and a new earth.


Weaving together past sorrow and future hope

help us be mindful of the debt we owe others

and of the opportunities which lie ahead


As we recall the terrible cost of war

in particular the price paid at Arras

by those who served here

let us also recall Your command to love our enemy

and care for our neighbour.


Renew our faith in Your unchanging purpose of love

and embrace us and all for whom we pray

in that peace which passes all understanding

in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen