Archive – Alive and KIRKing

Visit of Moderator of the General Assembly


The RT Rev Susan Brown  the last Moderator of the General Assembly visited St Andrew Kirk in April 2019

During the day she met some of the congregation as she walked through some of the history of the Scots churches in Newcastle


Gave certificates on behalf of the Church of Scotland for dedicated service


and opened the Community Garden


The Moderator was also interviewed by Marion Foster on Garden Mania and you can hear it on BBCiPlayer radio as broadcast on 21st April 2019.

The Craft Group is Back

After the successes of  last year the Craft group is back on a Wednesday morning. Everyone is welcome to come. The crafters will be sewing, knitting and helping each other. Feel free to drop in any Wednesday morning between 10.30 and 12.30. Tea and coffee provided.




Many thanks to everyone who gave donations to the food bank and Joseph Cowan Medical centre

Many toys and presents were donated by the Craft group and other members of St Andrew Kirk

Some of the poppies on display for the Remembrance Sunday service.



ALIVE and KIRKing is our on-going outreach campaign which was launched on 17 October 2015 with a Free Music Festival and Ceilidh followed by our Harvest Festival Family Service on Sunday 18 October.  The next ALIVE and KIRKing event is our                    St Andrew’s-tide service and lunch which is on Sunday 29 November at 1045.

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Thanks to Thumb Design for making us so visible.  In fact you could hardly miss us!


And what a start to our ALIVE and KIRKing programme

St Andrew’s was truly ALIVE and KIRKing on 17 and 18 October. Handbells, happy children, Craig Durning, Bayvox Choir and a fabulous ceilidh to round off Saturday evening, ALIVE and KIRKing Festival was described as possibly the best social event we’ve ever had.  And to cap it all, on Sunday our pews were full for our  ALIVE and KIRKing Family Harvest Festival where thoughtful words and engaging activities helped children `of all ages` understand the Harvest message.


Everyone was a winner over the weekend, but especially Molly and Rosie who won our Scarecrow Competition

  ScarecrowHere they are with their entry who `surprised` a number of us sitting just inside the vestibule.  We hope they enjoy spending their vouchers in Eldon Square!


We were delighted that Newcastle City Council supported our event as part of their local consultation exercise. St Andrew’s Kirk has been part of this locality for 110 years and wants to remain a focal point for the community.

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Councillors Ainsley and Mendelson spent time talking residents.


Our range of music seemed to strike the right note with the Heddon on the Wall Handbell Ringers a great hit with visitors of all ages who wanted to have a go.

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Bayvox Community Choir from Whitley Bay kept the audience spellbound with the Kirk acoustics adding to the atmosphere of their a cappella singing.

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Glasgow singer songwriter, Craig Durning’s music, memories and anecdotes were another highlight of the day, while his children’s worship session kept the young audience enthralled.

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Here’s what we put on our leaflets, posters and e-mails:


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On Saturday 17 October St Andrew’s Kirk in Newcastle will be `ALIVE and KIRKing` from 2pm – 9.30pm with live music, fellowship, café and a ceilidh to round it all off.  An important part of the event however will also be a sanctuary area set aside for prayer and reflection.

The `ALIVE and KIRKing` weekend will conclude with the  Harvest Family Service on Sunday 18th Oct at 10.45am


Saturday 17 October

2pm – 2.30pm         Junior Worship led by Glasgow singer/songwriter
(Church)                   Craig Durning

2pm – 3pm               Have a go at handbell ringing with the Heddon
(Hall)                        on-the-Wall Handbell Ringers

3pm – 4pm               Bookhappy

3pm – 4pm              Sets from Glasgow singer/ songwriter Craig Durning

4pm – 4.30pm        Children’s programme finale

 4pm – 4.30pm        BayVox Community Choir

5.30pm – 6.30pm   Vivienne Neville internationally renowned Celtic 
(Church)                    Christian singer

7pm – 7.30pm          Community Hymn sing

7.30pm – 9.30pm    Ceilidh with the fabulous Newcastle Ceilidh band

Throughout the day there will also be crafts to try and buy, a presentation about the history of the Kirk will be showing and Newcastle City Council will be there as part of their local consultation. And to feed the hungry  the Celtic Café will be selling snacks.

The sanctuary will available for contemplation until 6pm.

Sunday 18 October

Harvest Family Service on Sunday 18th Oct at 10.45am



Here’s what our press release said:

Newcastle’s only Church of Scotland proves

it is well and truly


The area’s only Church of Scotland, St Andrew’s Kirk in Newcastle, will prove that, after almost 500 years of Scottish Presbyterian worship in the city, it is still `ALIVE and KIRKing` when it holds its first ever free music festival and ceilidh on Saturday 17 October from 2pm.

Highlights include the internationally renowned Celtic, Christian singer Vivienne Neville, Bayvox Community Choir from Whitley Bay, Glasgow singer songwriter Craig Durning and a special session for children from Bookhappy. The day will start with the harmonious Heddon-on-the-Wall Handbell Ringers and the evening will be rounded off by the fabulous Newcastle Ceilidh Band.

Vivienne, who tours regularly in the USA, has been compared vocally to Enya and Moya Brennan, while Bayvox offers a rousing choral contrast. Craig will be performing a couple of sets as well as leading the children’s programme with junior worship. This will be followed by a lively session from Bookhappy full of songs, rhymes and games based on best-selling children’s picture books. And if you want to try something different then there will be an opportunity to `Have-a-go at Handbells`, or make a Sacrecrow to bring along for our Harvest Competition.

The day will conclude with a free evening ceilidh starting at 7.30pm – tickets can be reserved at the Church on the day.

And to keep the energy levels high, the Celtic Café will be selling snacks with a flavour of Scotland.

Rev Dorothy Lunn, Minister at St Andrew’s said: “This will be a day, not just for our Church community and our Sandyford neighbours, but for all Scots in the area as we celebrate our long-established, unique, presence within Newcastle and we invite everyone to join us.”

As well as music, crafts and activities, Newcastle City Council will also be at `ALIVE and KIRKing` until 5pm to give Sandyford residents the opportunity to talk about improvements to the area.

Councillor Felicity Mendelson for South Jesmond said: “We are pleased to support this event and to see such an exciting programme organised. St. Andrew’s Church is a valuable community resource for the people of Sandyford, as well as those visiting the church, who have access to meeting rooms and the garden. I, and two Ward Councillors for South Jesmond, will have a stall at the event where we will be launching a new survey about living in Sandyford to be posted to everyone in the area. Hopefully residents will provide us with some great insight into how we can better this ward in the future.”

Further information about Vivienne Neville:

Further information about Bayvox Community Choir:

Further information about BookHappy:

Further information about Newcastle Ceilidh Band:

Further information about Craig Durning: @CraigDurning

Are you ALIVE and KIRKing?

Follow us on Twitter @NewcastleKirk

Christmas Services


On Sunday 17th December the Church was full of presents and food parcels which went to the East End Food Bank on Brinkburn Street.


Some of the presents which were made by the Wednesday craft group to go to the children helped by the  food bank.

The  Sunday Service was a Family friendly service and is one of 4 special services for all ages which are held throughout the year. The children all joined in acting out the Nativity Story and the service was lead by our Minister Rev.C Angus Macleod who was visiting us from our linked charge in London.

Sleep in the Park

The Moderator asked for Church of Scotland members to back the Sleep in the Park event. Janet Thomas from Newcastle and her sister Susan from St Fillans in Aberdour answered the call and spent a cold night sleeping in Princess St. Gardens at the beginning of Dec. They raised over £1200 for Social Bite. The Moderator came on the night and they had a photo taken with him at 1am!.



St Andrew’s Kirk supports Church of Scotland’s `Word Of Life` project

‘Word of Life’ is the broad theme of the 2017 General Assembly which started on May 20, and the Heart and Soul Festival, being held on May 21.

The ‘Word of Life’ campaign celebrates this chosen theme by asking members to gather a group of people to each hold up the phrase in a location within their community, take a photo and share on social media using the hashtag #WordOfLife.


The young, and young at heart, members of the congregation celebrate the #WordOfLife in our Church Community Garden which serves the Sandyford area of the city. St Andrew’s is the only Church of Scotland in the North East of England.  

17th Century Scottish soldiers commemorated in Durham

Jane Farr, an Elder from St Andrew’s Kirk Newcastle, represented the Church of Scotland at a recent ceremony in Durham to commemorate those Scottish soldiers who were captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, marched south, imprisoned and died in the City.  Their remains were discovered in 2013 and will eventually be re-interred in a local graveyard.

“Jane Farr, an Elder from St Andrew’s Kirk Newcastle, represented the Church of Scotland at a recent ceremony in Durham to commemorate those Scottish soldiers who were captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, marched south, imprisoned and died in the City. Their remains were discovered in 2013 and will eventually be re-interred in a local graveyard.”

Autumn 2016

Harvest Supper and Family Service

Members of all ages helped us celebrate Harvest at the end of September. A Harvest Supper on Saturday evening was followed by our Harvest Family Service on Sunday 25 September.

Food for thought was a key element on Saturday with delicious offerings to eat and a fun family quiz and activities to feed the mind. Highlights were the Macaroni cheese and fruit crumble as well as the ‘guess the flavour of the crisp’ round.

Our service the next morning was action packed with our young ones helping to complete the splendid Harvest decorations by hanging spice scented dough ornaments on our Harvest tree.  They were kept busy with home made musical instruments  and Harvest worksheets before taking all the food offerings to the front of the church for distribution to King’s Church food bank in Byker. Many thanks to all contributed.

Summer 2016

All set for the `wee ones`!


Our crèche area at the rear of our Church is starting to take shape and we look forward to welcoming worshippers of all ages throughout the summer.



Helping to keep the `Kitchen` supplied

Through our involvement with Newcastle City Centre Churches, during July our Church members have collected supplies for the Newcastle People’s Kitchen which provides `a vital lifeline of food, friendship and a future to the most disadvantaged, homeless and vulnerable in and around Newcastle.` Many thanks to all who contributed.  Find out more about the work of the People’s Kitchen at

Loading the car to take our offering to the People’s Kitchen.



ALIVE and KIRKing Conversation

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Coming Soon

The second part of our ALIVE and KIRKing programme will start in July. Following our inspiring outreach event last October, which has now been shortlisted for an award (see below), our ALIVE and KIRKing Conversation focuses on our members and supporters.  We plan to visit throughout July and August to get to know our members better and invite them to some special events. Our Visitors were commissioned at a special event in the Kirk on Wednesday 22 June and members will receive letters in the next few weeks to explain how they can help shape the future of St Andrew’s Kirk.

Our Local Minister Revd Lunn said:   “We hope that this gives everybody the opportunity to re-engage with St Andrew’s and re-shape our future. As a Church born out of the Reformation and challenged to continue reforming, we need to go on in the 21st century adapting to the age in which we live. Above all it is a time of re-affirming our family of faith here in Newcastle.”

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Our Visitors prepare for the ALIVE and KIRKing conversation

PRide in our KIRK

ALIVE and KIRKing has been shortlisted for a Chartered Institute of Public Relations Award. We are one of three to go forward to the NE England awards ceremony in December in the Not for Profit Category. Find out what we did by looking at our ALIVE and KIRKing section.



Garden update

Our Community Garden is coming into its Summer colour and with the new railings almost complete, the biggest challenge now is the greenfly. Don’t forget – our garden is there for residents and workers to enjoy a breather.

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Cyril tackles the greenfly with diluted washing up liquid but if anyone has any spare ladybirds!

March 2016

Safety our priority

As part of our commitment to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults,  St Andrew’s Kirk has just held a very successful training session with Sheena Clark, our Presbytery Safeguarding Trainer, and 18 of our members who are involved in children’s activities and home visiting. 


January 2016

Robert Burns


Our Burns Night goes National

2016 Burns 6Sixty people sat down to enjoy the food, music and some poetry at our annual Burns Supper on Friday 22 January.  One of our guests was Ian Britton from Premier Radio who was there to record some background for a piece about Burns, featuring our Church, which was broadcast on Monday 25 January.  Find out more about Premier Christian Radio here  


 Ian Britton records one of our pipers for Premier Radio.


 2016 Burns 8 2016 Margaret and girls

2016 Cyril's table  2016 Allan's table

2016 piping the haggis  2016 Burns 9


 Also find out about our early visit to BBC studios on Sunday 17th January – hear about our Church and our Burns Supper on BBC Radio Newcastle iplayer with Ingrid Hagemann – find us at about 2hours 40 minutes.




January 2016


St Andrew’s Goes Global

Following last October’s music festival at St Andrew’s Kirk in Newcastle, the organisers expected some renewed interest from members and locals; what they hadn’t expected was interest from around the world.

Analysis of the church website shows the number of visitors to the site in 2015, as expected, peaked in October with 737.

Local Minister Revd Dorothy Lunn said:

“We achieved a lot of media coverage in October in the run up to our ALIVE and KIRKing music festival so fully expected more people than usual to visit our website.  What we didn’t expect was where the interest came from.

“Since the event our website has had around 100 views from USA and Brazil alone, as well every other continent.

“While we are delighted, if not bemused, by this we continue to focus our efforts on our existing members, supporters and the local community in Sandyford Newcastle.”

Since October, the countries from where people viewed the St Andrew’s website were: Australia, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

 Go to our News from Newcastle section to find out more about what we get up to.

December 2015

  • Members attend St Columba’s Dedication Service in presence of Her Majesty 

November 2015

  • Légion d’honneur for Church Member

October 2015

  • What a Weekend We Had!

July 2015