There is an act of worship every Sunday in Stenton Kirk at 9-30am and in Prestonkirk at 11am. The Sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of February, June and October and after morning worship on the first Sunday of every other month.
There are four acts of worship in Whittingehame – a Summer and Harvest ‘Songs of Praise’ held on the last Sundays of June and September respectively, a celebration of the Sacrament on Maundy Thursday and a Watchnight Service on Christmas Eve.
Children are welcome at all our services. At Stenton, there is no Sunday School. Instead, children are invited to participate in the first part of our worship. Thereafter, there is a related activity for them to enjoy in the companionship of Margaret Jeffrey or Libby Jeffrey in the hospitality area at the entrance to the kirk.
In Prestonkirk, there is a Sunday School. When it is on holiday, there are acts of worship for all ages or the children are invited to participate in the first and last parts of our worship with a related activity in the middle. This takes place in the Stables in the company of two members of the congregation from a team of six.
Elders and members of the Board are responsible for the Ministry of Welcome. Members of the congregation participate in a Ministry of the Word and, more recently, a Ministry of Intercessions. There is a generous team of people who decorate both kirks with flowers. Coffee is served after worship in Stenton and before worship at Prestonkirk.
Throughout the year, there are special acts of worship – Thinking Day (February), Cradle Roll Ceremony (Mothering Sunday), Kirking of the Gala Day Court (June), Harvest (October), Time to Remember (Advent), Christingle (Christmas Eve). There are services on every night of Holy Week and an Act of Remembrance is held at all three War Memorials within the parish on Remembrance Sunday. Pre-school services are held in Advent and Lent and there’s an Advent Workshop for children with the ‘Unwrapping of the Nativity’ on the day before the first Sunday in Advent.
People can be baptised at any age within the Church of Scotland. Normally, a person is baptised in infancy but older children and adults can be baptised too. Baptism marks our entry into the church and celebrates the undying love of God for us all. The minister is happy to speak to parents and individuals about this marvellous opportunity.
When people desire to reciprocate the relationship established by God in the Sacrament of Baptism, they have the opportunity to make confession of their faith. This usually follows a modest period of instruction and familiarisation and concludes with an act of confirmation in the kirk. This includes a declaration of assent to the vows of church membership. The minister is willing to arrange opportunities for teaching, discussion, exploration and reflection on what it means to be a Christian and to commit to a particular congregation within the Church of Scotland.
Couples who get married in our parish do not need to be members of the kirk. Their belief in God and their desire to know more about the distinctive contribution which Christ has made to our understanding of marriage is sufficient. The minister is happy to meet with couples and discuss in more detail what is involved in this most beautiful of Christian rites.
In bereavement, people living within our parish are invited to contact the minister to arrange a funeral. People don’t need to be members of the kirk to avail themselves of this opportunity. It is seen as a long-standing service to the community.