Church Magazine 202203

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Services take place at 11am in the Sanctuary.
Services are also live streamed on Facebook, to watch live or later. At present, the regulations ask you to take a lateral flow test prior to coming to formal worship,, and to stay at home if it is positive. We are still wearing masks, sanitising our hands and signing in. (These are not needed for the Guild meeting.)

March meeting of the Guild
Date: 8 March, 2 pm
Venue: Open Doorway, Guest Speaker, Linda Gill
Please enter by the top door in Pilrig Street

Leith Churches Together service
Ebenezer Church, – March 10th, 1pm.
All Welcome, please bring a packed lunch

Flowers in the Sanctuary

We have moved to a system of seasonal artificial displays most Sundays, and fresh displays for significant events in the Church calendar. We are still sending flowers or plants to members and friends to support them through joyous or difficult times.
There have been three donations to the flower fund in February.

From our minister:

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26
Dear All,
Many of us hate delays and would do everything in our power to avoid them. Sadly, during the past two years we have all had to delay numerous events from holidays and family celebrations to hospital appointments and haircuts. So many things were either cancelled or postponed that we face a backlog of delays in trying to accomplish them all.
As the easing of restrictions continues in public places, restaurants, shops, sporting stadiums and schools, many of us will be keen to see a return to normal activities in the church. However, none of us can be complacent and we must continue to ensure that we place the highest priority on safety in all that we do as a congregation – especially when it comes to caring for the more clinically vulnerable people within the life of the church. As Paul reminds us, we all have a responsibility to care for one other and to support one another in both good and in more difficult times. It is our intent to keep some protective measures in place until we are sure we can provide a safe environment for everyone.
At the same time work is still ongoing to repair the damage done to our halls by the fire, but we are hopeful that this will be completed within the next month or so. When the repair work is completed, we will be able to start planning for the return of Sunday morning teas/coffees and other similar church activities. We realise that these delays will be frustrating for some individuals who want things to move faster – but they will also give some security to those who think that restrictions are being eased too quickly.
As Paul reminded the community of faith in Corinth, we are all different. We all have different skills, different views, and different opinions. Yet we are all in this together: as individuals, as families and friends, and as a community of faith. As the community of faith in Pilrig St. Paul’s we must continue to look out for the needs of one another as we work together in re-starting our fellowship and missional activities over the coming months. Let us take each step carefully and rejoice together as we move forward on our shared journey of faith.

We are looking for some more volunteers for the welcome team, anyone willing to help, including those who were on the rota pre-covid, please email

Edinburgh and West Lothian Presbytery
Presbytery Plan Update

In the February issue of the church magazine, we gave details on the proposals for the new Presbytery Plan. Since then, the Presbytery has held an online consultation session to discuss some of the issues raised by Kirk Sessions and the Presbytery Planning Team have said they will respond to individual Kirk Sessions in due course.

A representative group of elders from Pilrig St. Paul’s, Leith St. Andrew’s and St. Margaret’s has met to discuss some alternative proposals to the Presbytery Plan that may provide a more viable and mission orientated future for the congregations involved.

We will keep you informed of any further news in future issues of the magazine.


We have received thanks from many members for prayers, flowers, cards, visits, phone calls, texts and support received following illness, celebrations, bereavements and accidents.


Ronnie lived a life of faith and service to others, we remember and give thanks for his life and we pay respect to him and all that he stood for.

He was born on the 22 December 1932 the only son of Mary & George Gilfillan and was baptised in South Leith Parish Church.

Ronnie and his mother Mary moved back into the family home in Lorne Street after Ronnie’s father George sadly died when Ronnie was just 3 years old. Ronnie grew up within the caring and support of his family, including his grandparents. Mary his mother did a great job as a single mother, helping him feel at home in the wider family and giving him the grounding that would serve him well throughout his life. On a Saturday afternoon he enjoyed playing cards and dominoes with his grandfather and his uncles.

He was close to his cousins and over the years he maintained a strong connection with them all and their families, including many happy Sunday dinners shared together as each family took turns of hosting everyone. Ronnie attended Lorne Street Primary School and Sunday School at St Paul’s Parish Church, both just across the street from home.

Later after leaving school he took up a job in the office at the Scottish Gas Board and worked with Scottish Gas all his working life, except for his two years of National Service with the RAF at Warrington in Lancashire. He progressed well at work, moving to the Organisation & Methods Team supporting efficiency in the working of the engineers. Later Ronnie moved to the Personnel Department, rising to be a Senior Manager before taking early retirement in the early 90s.

It was at work in the Scottish Gas Board offices at Waterloo Place that Ronnie first met Ella about 70 years ago. Last year they celebrated 64 years of married life! Quite an achievement!
Ella and Ronnie set up home together in Waverley Park. A few years later Linda was born and the family moved to live in Piersfield Place until Lorna was born, prompting a move to Paisley Terrace. Ronnie loved the family home there and was very proud of what he had provided for his family.

Family was always important for Ronnie from his earliest years and as he developed through his teens he also found role models in the Boys’ Brigade, taking part in all the activities and making many friends and forming a life long connection with the BB. When called on to take a leadership role himself, Ronnie was keen to do so and along with his life long friend Mel Winton they ran the Lucky 4th together for 14 years. Under their leadership the Company won the Colours for a record number of times. Paying back what they had both received as boys, they supported the growing young men, leading by example and making a real difference in the lives of those they were leading such that many still acknowledge their time in the Lucky 4th as ‘the making of them’. Ronnie was always pleased to hear about how the boys in their care fared in the outside world and to know that he had had a part in it.

Nothing Ronnie was asked to do for family or friends was ever a chore for him. He lived to serve others and do the right thing by them with a smile. He was always ready to support family with understanding and compassion, when needed .

St Paul’s Church was important for Ronnie as he lived out his Christian faith with compassion and commitment. He was ordained as an elder in 1960 and took over as Session Clerk in 1987, also serving over the years as Clerk to the Congregational Board, Finance Convener and Stewardship Convener. Ronnie and Ella made good friends through the Church and often socialised and enjoyed short breaks with them over the years.

Ronnie’s family focus was fulfilled with the arrival of his and Ella’s two grandchildren – Stephanie and Daniel.

Having retired early, Ronnie was able to take an active part in caring for Stephanie as she grew up – looking for new experiences -new places to visit and just enjoying spending time together.

Later when Daniel was born Ronnie loved nothing more than a trip to Windsor to catch up with how Daniel was growing up and developing – always impressed with how tall Daniel had grown and what he was now able to do.

His grandchildren were a joy for Ronnie and they gave him much pleasure over many years.

In retirement Ronnie joined Probus and was an active member undertaking the role of president and vice president over a good number of years making many good friends.

Ronnie’s main focus however in his spare time was looking after his family and ensuring that the house and garden were kept in good order. He always was happiest in spending time with his family around him. Some of the happiest times were on family holidays – to Lytham St Annes, Lanzarote and Menorca although packing the car was often a bit stressful.

With the advancing of age it was agreed a few years ago to move from Paisley Terrace to a flat at Clifton Mews. This worked out really well. In more recent times Ronnie’s health began to fail and he moved into Victoria Manor Nursing Home but still he was more concerned for others than for himself – how was Ella? Would she be OK? – offering Linda to share his meal in hospital in case she was hungry when she was visiting. He was always pleased to hear news from or have a visit from good friends made over the years at Church, Boys’ Brigade and Probus.

All those who nursed him in hospital or in Victoria Manor said how lovely he was to care for.

Ronnie was special to his family and also held in high regard and respect much further afield, through his ability, with lightness of touch combined with appealing directness, to make others feel valued, appreciated and loved.

His service to others was second to none. Whatever the task, he sought the best outcome for all, no matter how much effort it took from him.

I am sure we can all concur with Ronnie’s family as they say –

Ronnie, we salute you for all that you did for others in your life, the joy that you brought us, the love you shared. It was an honour to know you and be part of your life.

A loving husband, father, father-in law, grandfather, relative and friend, former BB Captain of 4th Leith – fellow member and Elder of St Paul’s and Pilrig St Paul’s Churches, colleague at Scottish Gas, a gentleman who gave service to others throughout his life and was loved and respected by all whom he met, Ronnie will be greatly missed but his example gives us all hope and strength to go on caring and serving others with compassion as he did.

We give thanks to God for the life of Ronnie Gilfillan and we entrust him into God’s eternal keeping and peace.

*This is a very much abridged version of the Tribute given by the Rev John Tait at the funeral. I apologise for not naming Ronnie’s many close relatives and friends. Thanks to John and the family for allowing me to use this information. Editor

Hello Everyone,

We continue to send cards and flowers or plants to those who are ill or recently bereaved. Thank you to everyone who keeps us up to date, and who contributes to the flower fund.

We look forward to a change in the regulations which will make it much easier to attend Church, hopefully in the near future. There is information about this and progress after the fire in the minister’s letter. Meantime we welcome back a few low numbers activities in the Open Doorway.
The tramworks are still ongoing, which affects public transport down Leith Walk and parking, making it difficult or impossible for some members to attend., but we can see progress.

Catriona Blackwood
Pastoral Committee Member and Magazine Editor
554 6183

You can now join a WhatsApp Prayer Group to receive daily prayers. To join, email with your name and phone number. You obviously need to be signed up to WhatsApp on your phone as well. We are also looking for people who are prepared to write prayers for the group, please let us know if you can do that too.

Please consider making a donation by visiting our website and donate using the PayPal button.

We have also set up a JustGiving page and the url is
We do have to pay a handling fee for any donations received through PayPal or JustGiving so don’t receive the full amount donated.

If you shop online you can support the church when you shop on Amazon. If you are using their webpage can you go to and you can select Edinburgh: Pilrig St Paul’s Parish Church of Scotland as the charity. For certain purchases we will receive up to 1.5% as a donation. You can now change the settings on their app and select the same charity name.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mark Wexelstein
Email Phone 0131 665 6881


Radio, TV, Internet Audio and Visual clips and some live streaming worship services that you can listen to and watch from home:
Thought for the Day:

BBC Radio Four Sunday Worship:

Songs of Praise:

Recommended Podcast:

WordPress site at where you will find prayers, reflections and other items provided by the Ministers from the four Leith churches.

Church website:
Facebook page:
If you wish to follow the readings that we use in church each Sunday you can access them at

For information regarding Girl Guiding and Scouts:
Sign up to our mailing list here:

Prayer Corner

Please remember in your prayers members and friends of the congregation who are ill or infirm at this time. A full list is available in the printed version of the magazine.
Please let the minister or me know of someone to include in this section. Catriona Blackwood


1b Pilrig Street Edinburgh EH6 5AH

Church Office  0131 553 1876 

We are keeping up with those who have regular hall bookings and organizing their safe return, when possible.

We welcome articles and thank you letters from members and friends. Articles are published in both the printed magazine and on-line, unless otherwise arranged with the editor (eg. where personal information is concerned, including the names in the prayer corner, it would normally be omitted from the on-line version). All contributors must provide their name, please, which is normally attached to the article. We reserve the right to edit articles. Changes other than spelling or grammar will, where possible, be discussed with the contributor. The views expressed are those of individual contributors and not necessarily those of Pilrig St. Paul’s Church or the Church of Scotland.

General information re donating to Pilrig St Paul’s and information re articles for Pilrig St Paul’s magazine can be found near the back of the magazine.


Scottish Charity no. SCO07277