Thought for the day 14 September

14 September

New rules/ regulations/ guidelines (which category exactly are they?) come into effect across Great Britain today – though (apart from variations between the different nations) in some areas (like here) there are local, tighter ones. The aim is a simple, understandable set of rules – but whenever you devise a ‘rule’ someone will always come up with a situation that requires an exemption. Hence why we have libraries of case law and legal rulings (not to mention protracted negotiations with small children!) A number of people say ‘just use your common sense’, which seems reasonable – till you come across someone with a very different understanding of ‘common sense’ from your own. Maybe we need to keep in mind the second of the Great Commandments ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’: treat others with respect (so don’t put them in danger) and treat yourself with respect (so don’t put yourself in danger)


Lord, help us to remember always to be positive, helpful and constructive in attitudes and behaviour towards ourselves and others


PS It’s Open Doors/ Heritage Month so over this week and next we’ll share some short snippets about Dumbarton, its surroundings and its history


The Antonine Wall was built between 142 and 154 AD on the orders of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. It ran between Old Kilpatrick and Bo’ness. It was 39 miles long and had 16 forts. It was 3-4m high and 5 m wide, built of turves or soil, with a wooden palisade on top. There was a wide ditch to the North and a military road to the South.

It was abandoned in 162AD, re-occupied in 208 by the Emperor Septimius Severus, and then abandoned a few years later. It has UNESCO World Heritage status.



Weekly Prayer Diary

Week beginning 13: For Children and Teachers…

  • We pray for wisdom and courage amongst those in authority to make good decisions as they aim to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in which to learn. May they be sensitive to the needs of staff and children. And, if necessary, be willing to adapt their approach to education; keeping everyone safe whilst delivering the best platform for learning under the circumstances.

  • We recognise the enormity of the task facing teachers and Early-years Child Development Workers as they return to the classroom setting. We give thanks for them and pray for resilience and protection over them as they seek to meet the learning needs of children and young people.

  • We pray also that, despite the challenges and changes, the school learning environment will remain a welcoming space for all; where love and respect for one another is valued and nurtured at all levels.

  • We think specifically on those who are attending their school for the first time whether as a P1, S1 or newly transferred student; we pray that they will cope with the many challenges facing them and make good friendships with their classmates. We ask that their experience will not be dominated by fear and anxiety but will instil in each student an attitude of tolerance and resilience

  • For parents; we pray that each parent will feel encouraged to play their part in assisting the school, especially at this time, to provide a high standard of support and education to children.

Thought for the day 12 September

12 September

It’s cold, it’s very wet. Who fancies a socially-distanced meet-up in the garden or park? At least we have modern technology to help us keep in touch (telephones, social media, e-mails etc). No, it isn’t the same as seeing someone face to face, but without it… It is easy to lapse into ‘negative’ mode. If we are going to get through this winter then we need to work on the ‘positive’ mode – and help others to do that too. Can you name 10 things that you are fortunate to have (eg friends, neighbours, a roof over your head, food for the table etc)?


Lord, it can be hard to feel positive on cold, wet days, but compared with so many people we have plenty for which to be grateful. Help us to appreciate what we have and focus on the positive things – and help those who are struggling to do that


Thought for the day 11 September

11 September

What to reflect on today? It is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and in addition to the awful events of that day, we continue to live with the consequences of what flowed from it. Or should it be the wrangles over the Internal Market Bill and dealings with the EU, the ethical issues raised and practical consequences that could flow from it? Or the introduction of stricter guidelines on indoor and outdoor meetings, and the consequences for employment/ the economy/ the future of some businesses, for mental and maybe physical health? In all of that, and much more, one word recurs, ‘consequences’. Everything that we do or say has ‘consequences’ (intentional or unintended) for ourselves and others. We are becoming used to preparing ‘risk assessments’ for just about everything, and even if we baulk at the thought of filling out a written one, consciously or sub-consciously we do it all the time. So maybe our reflection for today is to remind ourselves that everything we do our say has ‘consequences’ for us and others – and to pause and think before we speak or act, and think what might happen as a result


Lord, before we say or do things, help us to reflect on what the consequences might be

Updated press release from West Dunbartonshire Council

Following the message sent yesterday, there has been a change to the rule in Scotland announced by the First Minister. Please see details below:


Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic accelerating, the number of people allowed to meet up in Scotland has been cut to six.

Until now, eight people from three households had been allowed to meet indoors in Scotland, and up to 15 from five households outdoors.

This will change to six people from two household, and will apply both indoors and outdoors – including in homes, gardens, pubs and restaurants.

Children under the age of 12 will not count towards the total, however.


Other planned changes have been put on hold for now, including opening of theatres, soft play and so on.


These measures are essential to avoid further spread of the virus and are similar to measures introduced in England earlier this week.


We would encourage all residents in West Dunbartonshire to take heed of these changes along with the local restrictions in place also.


Further information on local measures can be found here


Further information on changes in numbers of households meeting announced yesterday can be found here:


West Dunbartonshire Council Press Release on Covid-19 restrictions

Local Covid-19 restrictions continue in West Dunbartonshire


Residents in West Dunbartonshire are being reminded of local restrictions which prevent them from socialising with other households within their



The Scottish Government has confirmed that Covid-19 cases have continued to rise and as a safety measure the restrictions announced last week will remain in place for at least another seven days. The restrictions were introduced on 1 September to prevent the further spread of the virus in the community.


Public Health Scotland experts confirm that the evidence points to the significant factor driving transmission locally is people meeting up in their homes without following the existing guidelines. During the restrictions, people in the area are again unable to meet other households indoors either in West Dunbartonshire or in other authority areas.


Only essential indoor visits in care homes and hospitals will be permitted, although outdoor visits are still possible at care homes.

In addition, if one household member is identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, the whole household must now self-isolate for 14 days.


Although people from different households can continue to meet outdoors and in hospitality settings, they must adhere to existing guidance. For indoor meetings this guidance states households should be 2m apart and should not meet in groups that exceed three households, or eight person limit.


For outdoor meetings the guidance states households should be 2m apart and should not meet in groups that exceed five households, or 15 person limit.


People who are providing care or essential support can make indoor visits but must take extra hygiene precautions and those who have formed an extended household can continue to meet indoors with enhanced hygiene measures in place.


Residents who were previously shielding have been advised to strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures.


Council Leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, has urged everyone to strictly follow the guidelines to protect loved ones and the wider community from the virus, to avoid taking risks which coud lead to a further outbreak. This could include something as simple as having a cup of tea in someone’s house.


Quotes from Jonathon McColl “If we all adhere strictly to these new measures, we will have the best chance of suppressing this virus and avoiding the need for any stricter measures being imposed on us.

“As a Council, we will continue to follow the advice of both Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government and will continue to share information with residents via the Council’s website and social media pages.”


The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.


Further information on restrictions can be found here:



Information from West Dunbartonshire Council

Dear Stakeholder


Hope this finds you well.


Please see the link to our latest Newsletter    Social Security Scotland – September Newsletter         which has information about all the latest developments including ….


cupcake with number two candle


This week marks the second birthday of Social Security Scotland.  We were formally established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 September 2018.


Child Winter Heating Assistance

Regulations were laid last week for our new benefit – this is a payment of £200 to families with the most seriously disabled children to help with winter fuel costs.



REMINDER about our Pregnancy and Baby Payment which is one of 3 payments that give extra money to low income families during the early years of a child’s life.



NEW  Scottish Child Payment

This new payment which has just been announced is likely to generate significant demand so we’re inviting people to submit applications from November onwards.


Independent Advocacy Service

On Tue 30th June the Scottish Government launched an independent advocacy service to support disabled people to access benefits. 

This hyperlink will take you to the Independent Advocacy Service Factsheet which is designed to help you share information on the new service with people who need it.


Please use this hyperlink to visit our Social Security Scotland  website for lots more information including lots of  Stakeholder Resources for your use.


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any additional information or clarification on any matter.





Social Security Scotland

Ground Floor

220 High Street


G4 0QW

Working Days Mon-Thursday






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Thought for the day 10 September

10 September World Suicide Prevention Day

Many of us will have known someone who took their own life, or attempted to do so, or know family or friends of someone who did. Losing a friend or loved one is always hard, but when they have taken their own life anger and guilt can be much worse, and there can be long-lasting consequences. Some may have at times been in a similar ‘dark place’ themselves. It is something that can be very hard to talk about. What can we as individuals and a community do to respond: be ready to listen, be ready to assure people that they are accepted and valued for who they are, challenge stigmas and negative attitudes to people struggling with set-backs in their lives or with the pain of suicide?


Lord, we thank you for your unconditional love and care, accepting us as we are. We remember today those who carry the pain and scars of suicide, and all who are currently in a ‘dark place’. We thank you for the work of mental health teams, charities and volunteers who work to provide support, and pray for them. Help us as individuals and a community to acknowledge the issue, and strive to know how we can respond and provide support too


Thought for the day 9 September

9 September

When I was training to be a minister, at the end of one service someone coming out thanked me for the sermon (it does happen occasionally!): I can’t remember what the topic was, but he was a lecturer in Law at Glasgow Uni, and something I had said had given him an idea for a lecture. I suspect that anyone who is a lecturer in law or ethics need only refer their students to the daily news, and they have ample topics to consider for tutorials, exams questions, dissertations and post-doctoral research! EG ‘Looking at the cases of Extinction Rebellion and Brandon Lewis’s statement in the House of Commons, when is it permissible to break a law, and when is it not?’


Lord, following the law, and not following the law, was an issue in the Jewish community before Jesus, in the Gospels we hear him having debates on the topic, and the early Apostles had them too. It has probably been an issue in other faith communities, and in groups where there is no faith. Maybe there are no ‘hard and fast’ rules on the subject. Help us, and others, as we try to think it through