Did You Know


Each of us has lots of memories, some are stronger and more vibrant than others. At times we can be caught off guard by our memories that come flooding back. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch can all bring memories and history right into the present.

Some of my memories are cherished ones like my grandmothers baking with me when I was a child, running in the prairie summer breezes, the stars in Black Hills night sky at church camp, songs of my youth, the first time I met my now husband, the smell of our new-born babies, and so many more. Some memories hold pain, hurt, shame and heartache – I know each of us have memories that some of us would rather not have.

The memories, the stories, my history, have formed and shaped who I have become. I know there is a part of me that has been there all along – my spirit, my essence, my spark. However, the intricacies of life, the people, the places, the experiences, become the beautiful patchwork that becomes our life. I am grateful for all that has shaped me up to this point in time. All the joys, sorrows, and even challenges, are part of my story.

In the midst of life and especially the hard times, it is hard to see where the journey of our days will take us, but I also know from speaking to many people that even in the hardest times glimmers of hope can be seen. These glimmers are often the kindness of others, the caring touch or word, help given, or even a simple smile, and help us to remember we are not utterly alone.

As a Christian, I believe that through it all God is with us. We even have a favourite story to tell of God being with us. It is a story we tell over and over again in Church. We remember it especially in December. The Bible is filled with memories of God’s relationship with the whole world and our story is being written within that ancient story. Our bit of the story is being lived in its own unique way. The songs we sing, stories we tell, caring ways we reach out, are becoming part of the beautiful patchwork of humanity’s history. And I believe that it is also weaving into the great God-story too, of how God so loved the world. As you remember, and journey forward in your life, may you know love and joy even in the midst of heartache and sadness.  Peace, Ellen.

Kippen Parish Church invites you to join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 11.15 a.m.

We also have a few special celebrations and occasions coming up:

Messy Harvest on Sunday 22nd October at 3pm to 5 pm in Church House

Remembrance Sunday 12th November 10.50 am at the War Memorial then to Church for 11.15 am.

Messy Family Tree on Sunday 19th November, 3pm to 5 pm at Buchlyvie Church

No-Rehearsal Nativity (for young and young at heart) Sunday 17th December 11.15 am

Carols by Candlelight on Sunday 17th December at 7.00 pm

Messy Christmas at Gartmore Village Hall on Saturday 23rd December, 3pm to 5 pm followed by carols at Gartmore Church

Christmas Eve (Sunday 24th December) Morning worship at 11.15 am and Watchnight at 11.15 pm

Christmas Day Celebration of Song and Story at 10.00 am.

Rev. Ellen Larson Davidson
Kippen linked with Norrieston
Parishes – Church of Scotland
Registered Charities: (Kippen) SC004286 & (Norrieston) SC028719

The Manse, Main Street
Kippen, Stirling FK8 3DN
01786871249 / 07412578997


Did You Know


Helping you

McLaren Leisure have recently received funding for a community home energy-saving programme called the Trossachs Energy Saving Team (TEST) project. It is based in Rural Stirling Housing Association office, Doune, with whom the project is partnered, to deliver this free service.

The project is an environmental one designed at reducing carbon-related emissions, and therefore associated bills, brought about by home energy usage and funded by the Scottish Government’s Carbon Challenge Fund for the Trossachs & Teith region and peripheral boundaries.

TEST will be linking trained volunteers with residents by offering practical advice for reducing energy usage, tackling problems regarding condensation and help on using heating controls. We shall also be undertaking Home Energy Checks which will be referred to Home Energy Scotland for possible reductions through government grants such as for insulation.

Are you, or anyone you know of, interested in this project either as a resident needing advice or a volunteer willing to help.

What McLaren Leisure Can Offer Volunteers

Energy Awareness (6281-01) City & Guilds Level 3

First chance for home energy improvements

Training on Home Energy Checks

Training on climate change issues

Volunteering with TEST will not only improve your knowledge of home energy issues for yourself but further improve your CV for greater employability choices. It will help your community too.

If you would like to volunteer, receive energy-saving advice or would like more information please contact me.

David Payne

M: 0778 759 7012     T: 01786 841101

E: davidp@mclarenleisure.co.uk


Did You Know

Stirling Rotary Club

Many people in today’s society hear about Rotary from either being at events or reading about Rotary in the media whether that be through the press or the growing social media channels. However, it would be true to say that unless you were a member or related to one you really would have no idea what Rotary was about or what function it served in today’s society.

Rotary is a worldwide movement which covers the whole globe and supports the largest charity in the world (Rotary Foundation) which has also for certain projects combined with Bill Gates in achieving wonderful results throughout the world especially in Africa.

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of Service as a basis of worthy enterprise and to encourage and foster:

  1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.
  2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
  3. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal business and community life.
  4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

These are all lofty ideals which were set away back at the beginning of the last century when working practices and traditions were totally different from what they are now. Although they are in the main still applicable it would appear to suggest that only those in employment can be a Rotarian. Nothing nowadays could be further from the truth. Many Rotarians are retired but still wishing to be involved in a movement which promotes the objects mentioned above and their involvement is critical to the charitable work of Rotary. Stirling Rotary Club would like to encourage those who are currently in employment or retired to become members and enjoy both the charitable work and social interaction which takes place at the weekly luncheon meetings and the social events that take place throughout the year.

The Rotary Club of Stirling is involved in many fund-raising activities notably the annual Golf AM/AM (this has raised almost £275k over the past 30 years) and the club’s involvement in having a very successful stand at the annual Gardening Scotland Event held at Ingleston Edinburgh. This has resulted in particular over the past year in funds being donated to local and national charities namely:

  • Euroscola Arion Swimming Club – funding transport and providing drivers for disabled people to be taken to swimming at the Peak in Stirling.
  • Prostate Scotland
  • Artlink Central
  • 5th Stirling Company Boy’s Brigade
  • Young Enterprise Forth Valley
  • The Food Train
  • Rotary Foundation General Fund
  • Rotary Foundation Stop Polio Now
  • Castleview School Raploch
  • Stirling School of English
  • Rock Talk (an organisation that records books and newspapers and circulates to over a thousand-blind people every month who cannot enjoy reading).

These are only some of the organisations Stirling Rotary Club has supported, but the emphasis is on donations to local charities who provide vital services to the most vulnerable in our society and who are affected by the reductions in public spending and the changes to the Social Security system.

May I encourage you or even groups of you to consider coming along to one of our lunchtime meetings (12.45pm every Friday in the Golden Lion Hotel Stirling) or to contact your local Rotarian who is a very valuable member of our club and she will give you even more information. Her contact details are: Jane Wilson, Beechwood, Fore Road, Kippen FK8 3DT: Tel no: 01786 870412

Please also look at our website for even more information: http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=56 or just simply key in Stirling Rotary Club to any search engine.





Did You Know

Kippen Playgroup

It’s been a busy few months for Kippen Playgroup and Toddlers, not only with the regular sessions, but also with our AGM and the ever popular bottle stall we run at the Street Fayre.  We would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to the community for helping us, once again, by donating an extraordinary amount of bottles and then supporting us by visiting the stall on the day. We managed to raise an impressive £685 for playgroup and toddlers, with 10% going to the over 60’s Christmas dinner fund. So thank you…and remember to stash all those unwanted bottles for next year!

Springtime for the children at Kippen Playgroup has provided a great opportunity to connect with the natural world and our fully qualified play leaders, Jane and Pam, have been encouraging the kids to go all green-fingered by planting sunflowers, creating personal gardens and adding to Kippen’s stunning blossom display by making their very own cherry blossom tree at playgroup.  There’s also been much interest in caterpillars and butterflies, and of course springtime’s star of the show…the mighty tadpole! The children have been experiencing one of life’s earliest rites of passage by watching, in shock and awe, the metamorphosis of the common frog; and, as we all know, it never fails in its wonder.

With ponds and their inhabitants being de rigueur, we had our annual outing to June Waley’s garden for some pond dipping, guddling and mini gorge walking. The children get so much joy from it, whatever the weather, and we are forever grateful to June that she lets them descend on her garden with such vim! The opportunities for learning in this environment extend all the way from a respect and love of the natural world right through to the basics of staying safe at the side of the pond, how to use the nets and how no good ever comes from splashing others when they’re not expecting it! Children who are allowed to take part in this kind of experiential learning will develop confidence and the ability to assess and manage their own risk. Communication, cooperation and resilience all improve simply by having fun playing in a garden and guddling around in a burn.

Kippen Playgroup is about to break for the summer after another busy and successful year, but if you are interested in enrolling your child for next term then please get in touch with Jane Bain via kippenplaygroup@gmail.com. During term time we run two Playgroup sessions per week: Tuesdays and Fridays 9:30-12pm. Two years to pre-school welcome.

Our burgeoning toddler group continues to be a welcoming and friendly get together where mums, dads, grans and grandads can pop in for cake and a chinwag whilst the kids get on with the serious business of playing and forging friendships. We’ve seen a flurry of brand new babies recently, which we’ve found can either cause overwhelming broodiness among other mums or the total opposite! Either way everyone is enjoying some newborn cuddles whilst the ‘new mums’ get to actually drink their tea and perhaps even have a biscuit! We meet at the village hall every Thursday throughout the year, 10:15-12pm, and we welcome little ones from birth to pre-school. Just drop in!

Did You Know

Ski Team – Sion Bingham

Sion Bingham, aged 20, has been a member of the British Telemark Ski Team for 3 years.  He races on the Telemark World Cup circuit and has competed in 2 senior and 3 junior World Telemark Championships.


Racing in France: Giant Slalom section of the race

Telemarking is a discipline which crosses the boundary between normal alpine skiing, ski jumping and cross country skiing.  It is the original form of skiing, where the skier’s heels are not fixed to the skis. The races are an interesting composite of a Giant Slalom, a ski jump, where the racers are required to jump about 30m and with a big-time penalty if the line is not reached, a banked 3600  “loom” and a cross country skating section.

Sion’s summer programme is based around improving his aerobic fitness, strength and conditioning and balance work.  This programme has been devised with advice and support from Andrew Patterson of Framework Clinics.  Framework have helpfully also fixed his many injuries as and when required! All this support has been very much appreciated.

You can follow Sion’s racing and training by liking his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sionbtelemark/.

Simon & Jean

Did You Know

Making Wine from Kippen’s famous “Big Vine”

By Jeremy Pemberton-Pigott

When the famous Kippen “Big Vine” was finally cut in 1964 by Selby Buchanan, over a century of village heritage was resigned to the history books only to be read about by future generations. Some people in the village tried to preserve the “Big Vine” by taking cuttings to grow the vine for themselves in their own greenhouses. After living in the village for 12 years, I was interested in getting a hold of cutting for myself and tracked down one of the many recipients of the original cuttings Fiona and Lindsay Macdonald that had the vine flourishing in their greenhouse. I took a number of cuttings but only 3 survived.  I planted 2 in my own greenhouse and the other was given to Gartmore House to cultivate in their large greenhouses. Five years later I was interested to see if it would be possible to make wine from these grapes that were now producing a healthy crop of grape bunches.

Grapes_01.jpgGrapes still green mid-summer

The grape variety that the cutting was taken from is the Gros Colman variety, the vine which most famously produced nearly 4,000 bunches from one vine in the original Kippen Vine. They were originally produced in Kippen as eating grapes. I researched on the internet to see if there was any history of wine production using this grape variety. There was very little mention of wine production with the Gros Colman apart from in the late 1800’s in India. Some hybrid varieties of the Gros Colman had gone on to be used for wine production in France but again, very little information was to be found.

Grapes_02Turning red in the Autumn

“Hey, well why not give it a go!” I said. My vines had not expanded enough to produce enough grape bunches  to make a significant volume of wine, so I combined crops with my original donor Fiona Macdonald  and set about harvesting the grapes in October 2014 when most of the grapes had turned from green to dark red and as the leaves were falling off the vine.

Grapes_03                 Grapes_04

Bunches “a plenty”                                              Grapes being harvested

After cutting the grape bunches from the vines, I picked the individual grapes off the stems and placed them in a plastic VAT. It was tempting to employ local “Kippen ladies” to press the vines in the traditional manner with their feet, but instead decided to crush the vines using a potato masher.

The finished product has a similar colour to a dark Rose. It has a naturally sharp flavour which can be softened by adding sweetener when bottling. I wait to see what it will taste like once it has fully matured. Perhaps a tipple in the summer of 2017 is the time to try!

Bottled and ready for drinking

If you are looking to produce your own home made wine, I can recommend Stirling Health Food Store on Dumbarton Road in Stirling who provided excellent advice to novice winemakers and brewers and sell all of the equipment needed for any form of home brewing. I also made some Bramble Wine which uses a similar process.




Did You Know

Frae the Kirk

Messy! Imagine the sharp intake of breath when I mentioned the words messy and church in the same sentence. Both the shocked wide eyes and narrowed accusing eyes when I brought out a vial of glitter into worship. I know the feeling because, sometimes, I react that way when my kids suggest a messy activity.

‘Mummy let’s bake, let’s paint, let’s fill the sink with soapy water and splash like crazy’ (not an actual quote). My mind jumps to the messy aftermath and the arduous clean-up, but should it? I admit to times when I have shied away from messy activities because it might be too much work. I look back with sadness at the adventures, laughter and memories I’ve missed because of the mess.

Life is messy! Trying to keep things ‘perfect’ and in order should not be the goal of childhood nor of adulthood – nor should it be the goal of being church. I know the cleaning teams of the church and others may have words with me later, but I believe that following Jesus in real life is messy and complicated. That is part of the reason I enjoy Messy Church and playing with my children. In the mess is where profound moments of inspiration, connection and revelation appear.

Have you ever been digging in your garden and come across a creature in the dirt, been washing the car and seen a rainbow, been baking with children and hear their laughter, held a hand with someone struggling and seen a smile mingled with all the tears? Wonder, awe, hope, love, joy and learning find us in the messy places of life.

In the church we are sometimes seen as ‘having it all together’ or being orderly, but underneath the caricature I see the very human, very messy, but also very lively community trying their best to be faithful to God and to each other. Perfection is not something we will see this side of eternity. Messy is life. Messy is love. Messy is faith. Messy is community.

In Kippen and Norrieston churches, we are joining together with other local churches to do Messy Church. We do creativity (mostly messy), singing (not always pitch perfect), Bible stories (often very noisy) and we share food together. It’s church but not as you know it, and to be honest we’re still figuring it out, too. Would you care to join us sometime? Next Messy Church is at Kinlochard Village Hall on Sunday 20th August 2017 from 3 pm to 5pm. All are welcome, messy and neat-freak alike, young and old, confident and confused, saint and sinner.

Blessings, Ellen

Rev. Ellen Larson Davidson
Minister, Kippen linked with Norrieston
Parishes – Church of Scotland
Registered Charities: (Kippen) SC004286 & (Norrieston) SC028719