The Independent Glenlivet and Inveravon News Group

Welcome to THISTLEdown

Your local independent newspaper for Glenlivet and Inveravon published every March, June, September and December.

THISTLEdown covers a very large area including Marypark, Cragganmore, The Braes of Glenlivet, Ballindalloch, Glennrinnes and Kirkmichael and Tomintoul.

Our December issue is now available.

Our March 2021 issue will be published on Saturday 6th March 2021. Deadline for adverts 15th January and for copy 26th January 2021.



Read our latest articles online here:

Download the THISTLEdown taster .pdf here

Kirk News

Sunday Worship – All welcome
Inveraven 9.30 am Tomintoul 11.15 am
Margo Stuart (Session Clerk) 01807 580239
Rev Jim MacEwan (Interim Moderator) 01479 821116
Barbara Black (Parish Assistant) 01479 821641

Well, Christmas is just around the corner, but with Covid-19 restrictions on life and movement still in place, it is difficult to foretell how we will be celebrating. Some have already expressed anxieties about how and where they can celebrate, will it be safe to travel, will they be allowed to entertain guests – and at the time of writing we have no answers.
It has been an uncertain time since lockdown started in March, planning ahead is difficult and we are learning to work with, and enjoy, what we have.

After consulting the congregations in Inveraven and Tomintoul during the summer it became clear that, although on-line and media alternatives were appreciated, most wanted to be back in church on Sundays and to experience whatever we could manage in terms of worship. So, on 6th September Tomintoul Church had its first Covid-compliant service, followed by Inveraven two weeks later. It took a lot of hard work, the churches had to be measured and seating planned out, 2 metres apart – so those usually empty front pews had to be used! A band of hardworking volunteers scrubbed and sanitised till the churches gleamed and facilities for hand sanitising and contact tracing were provided.
Being out in front was an unusual experience - masked faces well apart – but you could tell by the eyes - everyone was smiling! It was good to see folks who had only spoken by phone and email for months enjoying a socially distanced blether.

Despite the ban on meetings we have fairly successfully managed one Zoom meeting and the decision has been made to sell the vacant manse and to redevelop the church hall in Tomintoul. Despite difficult and changing times the congregations are thinking ahead to a future for the church and its work in this area.

Margo Stuart, our Session Clerk, tells me that the hall was a busy place in past days, home to the Women’s Guild, Whist drives, Sales of Work, the Flower Festival, Sunday School, and for Services while work was done on the Church building. She recalls an active Youth Club who, under the guidance of teacher Gillian MacPherson, painted the mural that decorates the interior. Maybe you were one of the painters? It would be good to see the hall back in action and becoming a part of community activity again.

Normally, I would be highlighting the Christmas Eve Service which fills Inveraven Church each year, but sadly we have had to cancel this. It is hoped that the carol singing outside in Tomintoul may be able to go ahead, but we don’t know yet.

However we spend Christmas, let’s cast our minds back to the baby who was born in the midst of social chaos in a stable in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. He too lived in difficult and dangerous times – the Son of God, sent to be the light in the darkness. That light is still shining for us today. May God’s Blessings be on you all.Barbara Black, Parish Assistant, Tomintoul, Glenlivet and Inveraven
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