Some upcoming events for your diaries, including:

  • Mindfulness @ Lunchtime

  • Interbeing Buddhist Meditation

  • Bereavement Support Group

  • Chalice Singers’ Rehearsals

  • Poetry for Pleasure

  • Sunday themes in October

  • Our Good Cause for October: St Catharine’s Homeless Project

St Catharine’s Homeless Project

As has become our normal practice, we will be collecting items to act as gifts for the homeless project this Christmas. On 4 or 9 December, please bring a donation from the following list.

Socks and gloves (men’s); hats and scarves; small toiletries, such as shampoo, shower gel, soap, hand cream, tooth brushes, toothpaste and razors (for women and men). All items should be new, not used.

Reverse Santa

It is proposed this year again that we have a Reverse Santa for the children. Santa will arrive, as ever, in full regalia on 16 December but instead of giving each child a personalised gift, each family group, and members of the congregation are asked to consider donating an unwrapped new gift suitable for a deserving child for the Forth Radio Cash for Kids Christmas Toy Appeal. (I need to have these gifts by 9 December. Please click ‘Read More’ for further details).

The UK Sepsis Trust: St Mark’s supports the National Women’s League Project in November & December


Many of you reading this will remember Adam, also known as AdsthePoet, who was a member of St Marks with his parents Zoe and Paul for several years until 2013.

We are very grateful to his mother, Zoe Bojelian for sharing very important information in support of The UK Sepsis Trust, which this year, is our National Women’s League Project .


Adam moved south with his family to be closer to grandparents. Tragically as many of you also know, Adam died from sepsis in 2015 at the age of just 15 years old.

Adam was one of 25,000 children affected by sepsis in the UK each year. 44,000 people die from sepsis in UK every year, five people every hour. But it does not have to be this way. If caught early sepsis is often treatable.

Sepsis is the body’s overreaction to infection or injury. If not treated immediately it can lead to organ failure and death, as happened with Adam. Sepsis can look like flu, a tummy bug or chest infection so can be hard to spot.

The UK Sepsis Trust advise seeking urgent medical advice if an ADULT develops any of these signs:

• Slurred speech

• Extreme shivering or muscle pain

• Passing no urine (in a day)

• Severe breathlessness

• It feels like you are going to die

• Skin mottled or discoloured

For children seek urgent medical advice if a child is:

• Breathing very fast

• Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion

• Looks mottled, bluish or pale

• Has a rash that does not fade when pressed

• Is lethargic or difficult to wake

• Feels unusually cold to touch

If a child is UNDER 5 he or she may have sepsis if he or she

• Is not feeding

• Is vomiting repeatedly

• Has not passed urine for 12 hours

Obviously, these symptoms can occur when someone does not have sepsis, so don’t panic but DO seek urgent medical advice. If you are a health professional also listen and act if a patient or family are concerned. There have been many reported cases, including Adam’s, where the patient and family knew the patient was seriously ill but concerns were ignored by health professionals. Don’t let that happen to your patient. Listen and act fast.

The information about sepsis here came from the Sepsis Trust who are already saving lives by raising awareness amongst the public and health professionals. Donations to the UK Sepsis Trust really do save lives.



Chalice Lighting Words

In lighting this peace candle today, I ask we challenge ourselves to try to value all as “the same one and the same”. If we as individuals could truly give everyone and everything equal value then there would be freedom from disturbance, violence, injustice, war and poverty. I pray we can all rise to the challenge and that there may be peace.

Autumn Outing to Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Our Autumn outing on 28 September began at 09.30 when we boarded our mini coach outside St Mark's. Our party of thirteen including John Reid and Mary McKenna and John and Barbara Clifford who made their own way to Samye Ling. Travelling south through the borders we stopped at Innerleithen to collect our last passenger, Liz. The minor roads from Traquair gave us stunning views, bathed in lovely Autumnal sunshine, when at around 11.30 amongst the backdrop of rolling hills, we caught our first sight of Samye Ling's golden dome of the main temple.

Changing Times, Changing Seasons

As winter grips we look forward to cold crisp days and huddling in by the fire. It’s all change, the colourful T-shirts are swapped for warm jumpers as the trees shed their leaves. We are accustomed to these seasonal changes and trust that spring will come, again, bringing new life and colour to the world. At St Mark’s we are in a period of change. We have a new part time Minister, with lots of energy and new ideas, an interesting programme of services ahead, new service leaders and a new Council.

Change can be difficult for many of us. It means letting go and embracing new ideas, meeting new people and finding new ways of working. At St Mark’s we are starting to consider what really matters to us and what may need to change as we move forward.

Minister makes

As you're probably aware I've a particular interest in self-care and exploring ways in which we can better look after ourselves.

An important aspect of self-care is how we look after our physical body. In particular, what we consume as food can have a profound effect on how we are, not just in terms of fuelling our physical processes, but also in relation to our psychological state and wider emotional wellbeing.

The Opposite of Addiction

by Rev Peter Fairbrother

It is easy to see addiction as something out there, affecting others, nothing to do with ourselves.

Perhaps we might have ways of describing people with addiction to separate them off from ourselves: junkies, druggies, neds, criminals, the wasted. Or as I've heard said, given our church's proximity to where I used to work – the Spittal Street Substance Misuse Clinic around the corner - the addicted being referred to as 'y'know the type of people you come across around here late at night'... said with a shudder and a knowing look. We label defensively to set ourselves apart from those we perceive to carry the affliction of addiction. The 'not us'.

• Yet the truth is we are all addicts in one way or another.

• We are all sometime inhabitants of the realm of the hungry ghost.

• We are all constantly seeking something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfilment.

• We are all seeking ways to fill the void within us.