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Photos from first week of holiday clubs!

The 2015 Step Out teams kicked off their summer programme last Monday (13th July), with holiday clubs  in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Dumfries, Dumfrieshire, and Brechin in Angus

The Coatbridge Baptist holiday club enjoyed all sorts of fun including arts and crafts, games and singing.

As the Brechin had the theme, Kitchen Tails, there were plenty of squeaks being made about the club's mascot, Murray the mouse.

The clubs continue this week; with Knightswood Baptist in Glasgow's West End playing host to a Step Out team, as - so stay tuned for more updates during the summer.

Keep instantly up to date, by following their page here.























































Vacancy: Selkirk Youth Worker

Selkirk Baptist Church is looking to appoint a Youth Pastor to oversee their church children's work and also non church-children outreach. They are happy to talk to anyone who feels called to this work.

If you are interested please check out the job description on their website and get in touch by email: h h

Review: Home For Good by Amie Aitken

Songwriting can be transformative for a person's story. 'Home For Good' puts Amie Aitken's adoption story to music. A break from the more booming upbeat soul singles of the earlier 'Audience of One' EP, like Meet My Maker, this has a fairly stripped back yet bubbly, hope-filled pop sound that fans of Jimmy Needham and Lily Allen will immediately fall in love with. Amie's backing band carry the song with some solid pieces of acoustic guitar leading the way. The addition of a violin works really well in the quieter instrumental bits, with a lovely reflective solo.

Lyrically she's speaking to children and young people who are looked after in foster care or who've been adopted. The chorus rings out, "You may love pirates on the sea or ballerinas, but that's alright with me", expressing the dreams she and many others grow up with. It's couched in a rich theology of God desiring to adopt people into his family, reminding us we were made in His image. One verse sticks out: "And someday soon we'll read our story. We'll see where your pages meet mine. The author of creation knew us all before he wrote our hearts to intertwine." It's carefully crafted, alluding to the life story books which are often put together for children who have been adopted or fostered. It will find a home for good on your playlist.

Home For Good is out now and available to download here. Click here to view the video.

Rory Martin

Jim Murphy: Newton Mearns 'most active Christian community in Scotland'

Left to Right: Kirsten Oswald (SNP), Jim Murphy (Labour), Rev Brian More, Graham Cowie (Liberal Democrat), David Montgomery (Conservative) and Robert Marlyn (UKIP)

Left to Right: Kirsten Oswald (SNP), Jim Murphy (Labour), Rev Brian More, Graeme Cowie (Liberal Democrat), David Montgomery (Conservative) and Robert Marlyn (UKIP)

Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy has called Newton Mearns Baptist Church the ‘most active Christian community in Scotland.’

The incumbent candidate for the seat of East Renfrewshire made these comments at the close of an election café run by the church on Friday night. 

He said: “This is the best and most enjoyable so far, out of all the hustings I’ve been to. 

East Renfrewshire is a thriving and flourishing area, with a vibrant multi-faith community. 

“We have strong Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, who are all growing. 

“This Christian community is the most active and vibrant in the constituency, if not the whole of Scotland.”

200 people filled out the main hall, and were entertained by live jazz music and served with light refreshments. 

Murphy was in attendance alongside Kirsten Oswald (SNP), Graeme Cowie (Liberal Democrat), David Montgomerie (Conservative) and Robert Marlyn (UKIP).

In a break from an often rowdy hustings format, it was a more relaxed atmosphere where candidates shared with one another and the audience their personal convictions and motivation for being in politics and wanting to shape society.



Chairing was Lead Pastor, Reverend Brian More, and he drew from a pool of 30 questions taken from the community in the last two weeks.

Topics ranged from, whether morality and politics should mix, personal responsibility and the role of the state, to the treatment of immigrants. 

Four young people from the local high schools also had an opportunity to make their voice heard, although unlike the independence referendum they don’t have a vote this time round. 

In response to a question from one of them on the voting system, Murphy made a surprise suggestion that ‘Britain should be run from Glasgow’. 

This was immediately met with cheers from the audience. 

However, he was quick to stress that this was ‘a personal, rather than a manifesto commitment. 

Among the crowd was Russell Macmillan, head of East Renfrewshire Good Causes. 

Many of the points raised struck a chord with him.

He said: “It was a very good format, where all the candidates got to voice their opinions and convictions uninterrupted. 

“I was pleased to hear they agreed that immigrants should be treated as human beings and the criticism given toward the groundswell of negative attitudes towards them. 

We should love everyone whether they’re from another country, race or background. 

He added: “We need the community to come together, because there are so many gaps and so many people who fall through the net. 

“We as a charity have to take over for when the state stops, the best of which only provide just above the level the state provides. 

“In this era of austerity there are so many people who are struggling. 

“One of the fundamentals of the Christian faith is to love your neighbour. 

“There are a whole raft of people, coming to my door on extremely low incomes, who aren’t eligible for emergency food aid, but what we’ve found is that by giving a small gift of 30 food items, it’s helped single parent families and whole households where there’s nobody working to save the money they’re getting on benefits and allow them to buy a new pair of shoes. 

He added: “It’s a sad reflection on society.” 

“Society is judged by how it treats the least well off. During this time, we need politicians to remember those who fall through the net. 

“I’m not so sure as a wealthy country, we’re particularly good at that. 

“I hope that the person whoever gets elected realises that there’s a greater need to come together to love your neighbour and those at the bottom of the society.

The evening was sponsored and organised in conjunction with the Evangelical Alliance Scotland, whose National Director Fred Drummond said: “This is the perfect example of when Evangelical Christians are passionate about politics that works for the good of all of society, and when it comes to voting they’re not going to be backing the party which just benefits themselves the most. 

“The high level of engagement contrasts with a high degree of distrust in politicians and their promises. 


“It’s time for politicians to rebuild trust with all voters, but in the next few weeks evangelical voters are likely to be wary of grand promises made by any of the political parties.”

Details of hustings in your area can be found here



Bristo Baptist Church: a quarter of a millenium of ministry in Scotland's Capital

A transcript from an article in The Scots Magazine, Volume XXVII, Page 614, reads “On Monday, Nov.25. (1765) [year date inserted by Rev Garry A Ketchen], an Antipaedobaptist administered the ordinance of baptism to two adults, in the water of Leith, hard by Canonmills, near Edinburgh, in the following manner. The two persons being first stripped, were clothed with long black gowns, and then went into the water, along with their minister; who, after repeating some words in their ordinary form, took them by the nape of the neck, plunged them down over head and ears, and kept them for a little time wholly under the water.”


The minister who performed this ordinance was Robert Carmichael, a former pastor of the Glasite church in Glasgow who, after corresponding with another minister, Archibald McLean, had become convinced of believer’s baptism by immersion and was himself baptised on 9th October, 1765, in the Barbican Meeting House in London.


The two who were baptised at Canonmills near Edinburgh on 25th November 1765 were soon joined by five others. They were Dr and Mrs Robert Walker, Joseph Strachan, Elizabeth Brown, Margaret Harley, Joseph Wainwright and J. Harlaw. These seven, along with their pastor, Robert Carmichael, constituted the first Baptist Church in Edinburgh. This church is still in existence today; it is Bristo Baptist Church, Edinburgh.


Second Oldest Baptist Church in Baptist Union (after Keiss in Caithness)

Over its 250 year history the church has worshipped and met in, and ministered from, a number of different locations in Edinburgh such as the Magdalene Chapel,  Richmond Court, St Cecilia’s Hall, the Old High School in Infirmary Street, the Pleasance Baptist Chapel, Bristo Place and of course our present building which is located on Queensferry Road in Edinburgh.


As you can imagine this is a very exciting and significant year for us as a church as we look to celebrate our 250th anniversary in November 2015. Various events are in the process of being planned which we will publicise later in the year, though you may want to note that there is a Scottish Baptist History Project day conference at Bristo on Saturday 21st November 2015. We are also delighted that our General Director, Rev Alan Donaldson, will be preaching at our morning service on Sunday 29th November which, coincidentally, happens to be my 1st anniversary as pastor of Bristo.


As a church we would love to hear from anyone who has been part of Bristo Baptist Church over the years especially if you would like to share some inspiring memories of your time at Bristo. If you have any artefacts, books or old photos of Bristo that you would like to share with us then please contact us either through the main church number, 0131 332 3682, our church e-mail address,, or through our website at


Also, if anyone has had any experience of producing short DVDs for mission distribution purposes then could you please contact me as I’m considering making one that will both mark our anniversary and also be used as a mission tool in our local area. 


Please remember us in prayer in this important year and please let us know if you can attend any of the events or services that we will be publicising. Please remember also our sister church, Granton Baptist Church, who celebrate their 75th anniversary in May this year. We have been seeking to work closer together and have had very successful joint Christmas Eve and Good Friday services. The leadership teams from both churches have met on a few occasions and have been discussing how we may support, encourage and resource one another in ministry and mission. For example, on a practical level, each church will be providing a cleaning team to serve at the other church’s main anniversary event in order that the church members/adherents can fully enjoy their own church’s anniversary without having to be concerned about who is doing the tidying up. We are also exploring a joint prayer ministry outreach and have also arranged a joint church conference in September this year, inviting outside speakers to help us reflect on how we might work better together spreading the Good News of the Gospel.


A busy time ahead but, I pray, a very fruitful one.


Rev Garry A Ketchen