Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Written address from our Minister Revd. Bill Bowman


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 first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Johnson’s comment is all too true. Every nation, including our own, use propaganda and what Donald Trump has dubbed “Fake News” to their own advantage.

Lies hold people and nations captive in a web of duplicity, Jesus told his followers “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between truth and fiction. The founder of another world wide religion, Buddha is quoted as saying his last words before his death, “I go on searching for truth.” Jesus on the other hand said, “I am the Truth.” (John 14:6) It is in the person of Jesus we see the ultimate truth and the truth Jesus embodies is that God is Love and what he asks of us, his children, is to, “love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Despite the lengths mankind has throughout the centuries gone to deny it with countless wars, atrocities and the subjugation rather that the liberation of their fellow human beings, the truth remains that God is love and in the end the truth will be revealed that “Three things last forever, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On Remembrance Sunday we shall join in the nationwide two minutes silence to commemorate those who have laid down their lives in war in the cause of truth and freedom. But let us not just remember those brave souls for a couple of minutes and then forget till next year. Rather let us resolve to live our lives in the promotion of justice and peace, freedom and truth and may we as Christ’s church work to build a society which will be a fitting legacy to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning – we will remember them.”





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?


At this time of year the snowdrops are in full bloom in the manse garden and they seem to get more and more each year. They remind me of my native, Ayrshire, as snowdrops grow in abundance there along the hedgerows and in the woods at this time of year. But the snowdrops also remind … Continue reading Snowdrops


I am writing this in the week in January when the Prime Minister has been making a major speech on the government’s Brexit strategy and the term “trade deal” has been bandied about freely. I am sure it wasn’t necessarily the intention of the PM but it is a timely reminder that “Fairtrade Fortnight” is  … Continue reading Trade

Standing on the threshold

I think this is the first time since I became your minister that I am writing my letter for the January magazine after Christmas. I thought the services over the Christmas period at both Elmers End and Emmanuel went well and it was wonderful to welcome so many who do not come to church at … Continue reading Standing on the threshold


I heard a caller say on a phone-in radio programme earlier this month  “2016 has been a frightful year.” They were referring to the uncertainty brought about by the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as the next US President. The continuing war in Syria and the terrorist attack in Nice and other … Continue reading Faith