Parish Magazine


Dear Friends,
This is my final pastoral letter at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church.   I remember the thrill and excitement of being called and inducted as your minister nineteen years ago in October 2000.   While a student at the University of Edinburgh, Shelagh attended Mayfield Church in the 1980s under the exceptional ministry of Bill McDonald and was very pleased to return!   Our son, Murdo, was born one month later on the night of my first meeting of Kirk Session.   I missed the first meeting:  a good start!
There have been many formative, creative and stimulating events at Mayfield Salisbury over the years; too many to mention here.   Each and every event has been possible only because of the many committed, gifted and generous people in this church.  The people, the congregation, are the church.   Ministers come and go.   I am particularly indebted to those who helped shape and deliver the many festivals we organised:  meditation and prayer, ageing and faith, science and religion, pilgrimage, sacred music, and religion as poetry.   And the congregation is truly blessed with such a dignified, inspiring and beautiful worship space.   Sensitively refurbished with the addition of gold stars set in the night sky and situated high above the Communion Table, the Sacrament at the centre of the cosmos, many times visitors have told me that the sanctuary is a place of welcome, beauty and peace.
For myself, my ministry has been most marked by discussions about biblical interpretation, science, personal spirituality, and interfaith dialogue.   Above all, it has been the outstanding privilege of my professional life to preach each week to such an engaging congregation.   The encouragement and thoughtful response have helped deepen my own thinking and nourished my inner journey.   Mayfield Salisbury’s support through my continuing academic study enriched my ministry immensely:  MTh and MPhil at the University of Edinburgh and PhD at the University of St Andrews.   It is a treasured prerogative of parish ministry to share special and tender moments with individuals and families at life-changing moments:  baptism, marriage, personal joys and sorrows, dying and bereavement.  At this point of departure, many people come to mind, not least many of the tremendous people who have died:  these are memories of love and friendship.
I am grateful for the support, grace and dedication of the Elders and office-bearers over these years.   Mayfield Salisbury is blessed with an incredibly gifted ministry staff team, both paid and volunteer:  Kay and Hillary, Walter and Kate.   Public worship is enriched at the early service with volunteer musicians and at the later service with the magnificent Chamber Group and choir.   Special mention needs to be made of our Church Manager, William.   Our longest serving employee, William does so much to ensure the smooth running of Mayfield Salisbury.   Mayfield Salisbury is blessed to have him and I have been blessed to work alongside him.
Edinburgh and the manse at Seton Place will always be remembered as our home when Murdo was growing up; it has been a gift to him to live here.   Week by week and day by day I have been supported through thick and thin by Shelagh.   My life and ministry would not have been anything like as enjoyable or successful without her:  her advice, confidence and unsolicited grammatical corrections!
After nineteen years, it is the right time for me to move on.   Mayfield Salisbury has moulded my life and means so much to me but I do not want to stay too long.   As I reflected recently on my departure to a friend and colleague, he kindly said, ‘Scott, I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but Mayfield Salisbury will be fine without you!’   And so you will.   Be assured of my continuing love, prayers and affection.   It has been great!
And, if you are ever in Ayr…….
Every blessing,
The whole magazine can be downloaded Here

Service of Induction for the
Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth

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Induction of Dr Forsyth at 4.00pm
As I mentioned in my mid-week email, the service can be watched on Zoom or on Facebook. You can also dial in by phone to listen. In addition, we will try to make a CD available for those who cannot use these methods.

Joining by Zoom requires a (very straightforward) registration process to be done in advance. Simply click this link: HERE, fill in your details, and you will receive a confirmation email containing information including a joining link. The email also has an option to add the details to your online calendar.

The service will be streamed live on Edinburgh Presbytery’s Facebook page: HERE.

To join by phone, call 0131 460 1196 and use the webinar ID 889 1902 3719 followed by #. The call is charged at a local rate and will let you listen to the proceedings live (but will not operate as a ‘catch up’ service).

Please note that all of these options give you access to the live service and are not ‘on demand’ (ie you need to watch or listen at 4.00pm on Sunday). William will try to make a recording which can be distributed on CD for anyone who cannot manage to listen live and wishes to hear the service at a later date. The CD will need to be posted out so there will be a short delay. Please contact William or me if you, or anyone you know would like one.


Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


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  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
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  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
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  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
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  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.

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