Did You Know, Uncategorized

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

Did You Know, Uncategorized

Rural Watch Scotland and Wildlife Crime

I am Laura Robertson the Wildlife Officer for Forth Valley Division based at Callander Police Office. I have been a local police officer for 10 years.

My current role is to investigate Wildlife Crimes e.g. Hare Coursing, Poaching, Raptor Persecution, Badgers, Bats etc. Should you require advice please contact me on 101 but to report an ongoing incident, it’s also 101.

The rural communities of Scotland are amongst the safest places in which to live, work or spend time. Much of the crime prevention advice available through Rural Watch Scotland is equally relevant to urban or rural areas, but some issues are unique to rural communities:

Protecting Livestock

Securing Farm Machinery

Theft from fuel tanks

Securing tools and horse tack

Protecting wildlife

Rural Watch Scotland, in partnership with the National Farmers Union of Scotland give relevant and useful advice to the Police.

What does Rural Watch Scotland do?

Alert messages are sent to members informing them of any incidents in their area. It’s free to register and it will ask you how you want to be contacted (text, phone or email).

When an incident is reported to Police on 101 or 999 (for an emergency). An officer will attend the incident and it will be recorded on the Rural Watch Scotland website IMMEDIATELY alerting all members in the area.  Sharing this information allows members to be aware of what is going on and take swift appropriate action making our communities safer.

More information is at


Bunty's Thoughts, Uncategorized

Bunty’s Thoughts


After her house became overrun with book sculptures of hedgehogs and trees Bunty has now turned her creative talent towards knitting scarfs for charity.

Bunty is pictured wearing her prototype…. albeit it would wrap around 3 of Bunty.

If you would like to donate a ball of wool (unused) for Bunty’s scarf creations you can contact Ali on 07748 651564 for details of where you can drop off.

Ali Thom

Did You Know, Uncategorized

1st Carse Cubs – Kippen

1st Carse Cubs, based in Kippen, was established at the end of August 2016.  We have grown from strength to strength in a very short space of time and have managed to pack a great deal into the last few terms.

We enjoyed hosting our Bonfire and Fireworks night on 1st November, which was well attended and raised some funds for some very worthwhile, local causes.

The Cubs learnt First Aid and basic rescue skills from Trossachs Search and Rescue who brought their dogs along to stage a rescue of two of our young leaders, in Kippen woods which was great fun and taught the boys a lot.

Additionally, amongst other things, we had a trip to the Woodland Light Experience, have been having fun with indoor cricket, had a visit from John Coyle to learn all about bees, had a visit to Stirling Observatory and a shot at “Summer ice”, in the reading rooms and much, much more…..

On the 7th & 8th April we took 12 Cubs and a young leader on our first ever camp.  This took place at Beechwood Scout Hall, in Stirling and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended.  Activities included Kayaking, tent pitching, we played cricket, capture the flag and enjoyed several other activities too.  The boys had a brilliant time and everyone left happy (and exhausted)!

We are looking forward to taking a stall at Kippen Street Fayre and hope that you will stop by to visit our Cubs and leaders.

1st Carse Cubs meets during term times, on a Tuesday evening from 5:45 until 7:15pm.  During the winter months we tend to meet in Kippen Village Hall but with the days getting lighter, and hopefully with better weather on its way, we will be doing as much outdoors as possible, usually meeting up at the football pitch to enjoy the great outdoors.  We are currently at capacity and have a waiting list for those wishing to join.

We would like to thank the local community for their continued support.  If anyone has any skills or activities they’d like to share with our group please get in touch.

For more information please contact:

Derek Shanks, 1st Carse Cubs Leader


Tel: 01786 870046 or 07470 331622

Did You Know, Uncategorized

HMRC & Apple Gift Card Fraud

The fraudsters are using the following contact methods to defraud people:

Voicemails: Fraudsters are leaving victims automated voicemails stating they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out for their arrest, unless they make payment via iTunes Vouchers.

Spoofed calls: Fraudsters are cold calling victims using a spoofed 0300 200 3300 number and convincing them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC.

Text messages: Fraudsters are sending text messages requesting victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.

Fraudsters are using iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and sold on. The scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone to them.

Action Fraud has been working with Apple (http://www.apple.com/uk/shop/gift-cards) and HMRC to warn people about this type of fraud.

How to protect yourself

HMRC will never use text message to inform about a tax rebate or penalty.

HMRC will never ask for any payment in the form of iTunes Vouchers.

HMRC will only post out a P800 tax calculations, in circumstances of under or overpayment of taxes, if you’re employed or get a pension.

Payments using iTunes Vouchers may not be recoverable.

Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should not trust the number you see on your telephone display as proving the caller is genuinely calling from HMRC.

Be protective of divulging other personal details such as National Insurance number, passport number and bank details over the telephone.

If you receive an unexpected call, whereby the caller requests an advance fee in the form of iTunes gift cards, the call should immediately be terminated.