The Scottish Government now advises that people should minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations, and smaller gatherings.
The Church of Scotland has intimated that gatherings for worship should cease until further notice, with effect from Tuesday 17 March 2020.
Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available.
A LETTER FROM OUR MINISTER
The Manse of St John’s Kirk and St Leonard’s in the Fields
The Glorious Twelfth of August 2020
Let no-one be a stranger within these walls
Dear Friends in both Congregations and those who join us from across the globe,
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: so wrote St Paul in those far-off New Testament days to the early Christian communities as the Christian message reached new hearts to offer hope and salvation. Today our hearts need that re-assuring Gospel affirmation, that Christ is beside us, to comfort and restore us.
In our very different context I wish also to encourage you as you Go with God into new ventures, new expressions of faith, new opportunities for service, worship and witness.
Since March our Church buildings have been closed, but our victorious, infectious Faith has continued to flourish. These recent months have been different and uncertain but, as regards Worship, have allowed flexibility as I have explored new avenues to enable online worship to be available each Sunday since Mothering Sunday, 22nd March. Many of you have spoken and written about this new way being a pointer to the future: and all of this has happened without worship in a building: surely, when one considers that there are seven Church of Scotland buildings in Perth, there is food for thought.
As of 15th July, the government’s view, as with the Church of Scotland’s direction and guidance policies, was that Churches could be re-opened for Worship and private prayer, after protocols and procedures were put in place at local levels, through Presbyteries and Kirk Sessions. St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields Kirk Sessions discussed the re-opening of their respective Church building.
St John’s Kirk Session wished to do so as soon as was practicable and conveyed that decision to Presbytery who in turn authorised the re-opening as of Sunday 30th August at 9 30 am.
St Leonard’s in the Fields Kirk Session also wished to re-open but not yet. At the September meeting of the Kirk Session the matter will be discussed and a decision made then in the light of current medical advice/opinion.
Therefore, from 30th August there will be one thirty-minute Service at 9 30 am in St John’s Kirk for a maximum of fifty persons. This Service will be live-streamed.
Alongside this thirty minute Service, Online [recorded] Worship]will continue to be available each Sunday- remaining on both Church websites indefinitely.
I am only too aware that many do not have access to the internet and the contact with the Congregations will have been sadly lacking: we hope that one way of keeping strong links will be to have DVD/CD recordings of Services, to be delivered to those who wish such contact. If this is something you wish to receive, albeit on a monthly basis, please contact me or your Session Clerk who will forward to the relevant person.
Alex Stewart and I send you every good wish and hope that you would feel at ease to contact us about any matter, as we go forward together in faith, trusting in Him who will never leave us.
My very best wishes as you hold fast to Him who stays beside us always.
The Reverend John Murdoch
Minister of St John’s Kirk of Perth linked with St Leonard’s in the Fields, Perth
The Reverend Alex Stewart
Reverend John Murdoch
As Minister I want to invite you as you read these lines to come inside this very special Church and meet the Congregation of a Kirk which has immense significance historically and nationally. It is a Kirk at the heart of Perth, with a community of faith which offers Worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30am or on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm.
Here we worship and serve God within ancient walls which tell of God’s grace and care over centuries and also within the Parish and community surrounding this sacred and holy place of pilgrimage, peace and prayer. Many visit St John’s every day and last year over 10,000 people entered the Kirk from almost every part of the world. I invite you to be part of our Kirk life where I hope you will find an oasis for Christian nurture, friendship and worship in our midst.
St John’s is an ancient and sacred space which allows you to be still, to sing, to pray and to commune with God as His Living Word in Jesus Christ is proclaimed by Grace.
Please, do come and join us as we do our best to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
"Let no-one be a stranger within these walls"
We invite into these ancient walls all who search for God and who seek the transforming love of Jesus Christ in Sacraments, in Scripture and in fellowship – with silence, prayer and music to uplift.