Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Written address from our Minister Revd. Bill Bowman

Why did Jesus have two donkeys?

Although Easter is not until 1st April, the month of March contains two very important Sundays in the Lenten Season – Mothering Sunday and Palm Sunday. At first, apart from both being Sundays there doesn’t seem much connection between these two dates in the Church’s year. But there is a connection and the connection is – donkeys!!

If we read carefully the text of Matthew 21:1-7 which tells of the events of the first Palm Sunday you will note that Jesus sends his disciples to borrow two donkeys for his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Jesus tells two of his disciples –

“Go to the village ahead of you and at once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.” (Matthew 21:2)

Why did Jesus have two donkeys – well in those days when a young donkey was being “broken in“ for riding for the first few times to give the young animal confidence, its mother would walk beside it to calm it.

For most of us it is the calming influence of our mothers’ love that has made us the people we are today and so it is right that on Mothering Sunday we remember our mothers and how much we are indebted to them for all their love and devotion over the years.

As Jesus entered Jerusalem with the donkey mother and colt he knew his hour had come. Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week when we remember all that Jesus did for all people for all time through the cross and resurrection. That is the glorious message of Easter which we celebrate on 1st April. We will recall the momentous events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week in words and music at our Palm Sunday Praise Service on 25th March – do come if you can.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion.
Shout O daughter of Jerusalem!
See your king comes to you,
Righteous and having salvation,
Gentle and riding on a donkey,
On a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 21:7-9)


“Thank You” letters

By the time you read this Christmas will be over and the New Year with all its hopes and possibilities will be just getting underway. When I was a boy I associated the period between Christmas and New Year with writing “Thank You” letters. Mainly to several kind elderly aunties who had sent me Christmas … Continue reading “Thank You” letters

Bah!! Humbug!!

“Bah!! Humbug!!” These words we associate with the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens novel, “A Christmas Carol”.  This expression and calling someone a “bit of a Scrooge” are commonly used idioms to describe people who don’t enter into the Christmas celebrations with much enthusiasm. Odd as it may seem, in days gone … Continue reading Bah!! Humbug!!


It is 100 years ago this year that the United States entered the First World War on the Allied side. It was a US Senator, Hiram Johnson (1866-1945) of California who in 1917 observed “The first casualty of war is the truth.” Ironically Johnson died on 6th August 1945 the day the Allies dropped the … Continue reading Truth


We celebrated harvest at Emmanuel a little earlier than usual this year and I am grateful to everyone for their part in making it such a joyful celebration. In early October in the Jewish community another harvest festival called the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot in Hebrew, takes place. This is a week-long festival whose … Continue reading Sukkot

New Year?

September is the month of beginning again. Schools return, university terms start as do all the host of church and secular activities that take a summer break. September to me always seems a more sensible time to celebrate New Year than 1st January which was the date the Romans chose and we have followed on … Continue reading New Year?

The King’s Cave

During our recent holiday on the beautiful Isle of Arran among the places of interest Marion and I visited was what is known as, “The King’s Cave.” This is a cave where it is said in the year 1306, Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce, fleeing from the wrath of England’s King Edward the first, had” … Continue reading The King’s Cave


As I write the General Election is over by less than a week and the Prime Minister is in the process of putting together an agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to secure a parliamentary majority going forward. Needless to say the two sides don’t agree on everything and a compromise will have to … Continue reading Politics?

Fake News

Dear Friends, I am sure you don’t need me to tell you that this month, on Thursday the eighth, we have a General Election and all the main parties have been, for what seems an age now, wooing us for our votes. It is certainly not for me to tell you for whom to vote … Continue reading Fake News

Remember Watergate?

In June 1972 there was a break-in at the Democratic Party’s Headquarters located in the Watergate building in Washington DC. It went virtually  un-noticed at the time but due to the investigative journalism of two Washington Post reporters, involvement in the break-in was traced back to the White House. The attempt to cover up the … Continue reading Remember Watergate?