Pastoral Letter Summer 2008


Dear Friends


When many were committing to memory vast tracts of Shakespeare for their exams some of us at school were learning verbatim Goon Show scripts. One such script came back to me recently when I was reading through Acts 2 at the point when someone asks, ‘What does this mean?’


In ‘A Tale of Men’s Shirts’ Neddy Seagoon is asked, ‘Do you know what this means?’ to which he replies, ‘No!’ He is informed, ‘This means you are a prisoner of the German Army,’ and he says the memorable words with an air of surprised clarity, ‘So that’s what ‘this’ means, I’ve often wondered!’


It is right and proper for us to remember the significance of Pentecost daily and annually so that we never lose sight of the glory of Jesus Christ and live our lives in the light of who he really is. His great concern is expressed in Matthew 16, where he says, ‘I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’


The way he builds his church is quite simply that those who belong to him join together in fellowship as his people and he ministers to them, and they in turn make every effort to grow in the faith and experience of the grace of God in their own lives, and reach out with the gospel of his grace to those who do not know him.  His promise is to protect us from all that the world, the flesh and the devil can do to destroy what God is doing.


The power and dynamism of Pentecost is for those who acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and seek his ministry in the place where he said he would meet with us. That is, in fellowship as we meet around his throne of grace, worshipping him together reading his word and applying it to our lives and putting into effect the gift he has given to each of us to be used for the common good.


It really grieves me that so many people do not ‘see’ or acknowledge the infinite privilege that is ours in meeting with God through Jesus Christ in the place where he said he would bless us which is, according to his word, in the Church fellowship. I know we walk with him individually and are responsible to God for our own spiritual lives. Nevertheless we ought to think deeply and clearly in these days about our meeting together with our brothers and sisters in the faith. What is Jesus doing in these days by his Holy Spirit? What am I to do in obedience to him? Where can I know blessing from God to help me live my life to his glory?


May God richly bless us in our fellowship and pour out his power on us in these days


Richard G Buckley   







Our congratulations go to Aaron and Debbie Buckley on the birth of Samuel Steven.


Samuel was born on  Thursday, 1st May, and weighed in at 9lbs. 9oz., and has already made his debut in church!



THAT MAGNIFICENT MAN IN HIS FLYING MACHINE..........the Minister takes to the skies!







On Tuesday the 29th April after much excited anticipation I finally took a flight from Cumbernauld Airport. The sky west of the airport was black with the threat of rain, and you remember that afternoon ...there was the most magnificent thunder and lightning display (the original ‘son et lumiere’ show). To the east there was a clear sky and sunshine. So after we had put fuel into the tank and pushed – yes, pushed - the titchy plane onto the tarmac we strapped ourselves in. All the instruments were explained to me and we proceeded onto the runway.


Having spoken to me normally, the instructor went into the usual indistinct gravelly voice of a real pilot for communicating with the control tower. The radio reply was equally impossible to understand but the pilot nonetheless obeyed the command, and we began our flight. As if it were a go-kart, we rumbled along the runway feeling every bump, to face into the wind for take off.


The engine was set to the right speed and we began to move swiftly forward and in a few seconds we were airborne and flying...and in a brief time were at 2000 feet!  At this point I wished we could turn towards the west and the storm over Glasgow, but the instructor was concerned for our safety, so we flew east over Falkirk, to the Forth bridges, north over Dunfermline and Knockhill, and back over the Falkirk Wheel.

Soon into the flight the instructor said in his gravelly voice, ‘I’m handing over to you…’ In a pathetic attempt at a gravelly voice I responded - trying to hide me juvenile excitement - and so I took the controls, and for the rest of the flight was in control (though I think the pilot had his hand near them just in case). He would say, “Try this,” or “Try that,” and I was enabled to turn right or left, up or down. At one point he described how to do a fast turn, and invited me to try what he said. Forgetting to keep the nose up we began a steep dive to the left. “No sir, not a good idea on your first flight,” he said, and one could detect a little urgency in his voice.


Thanks to you all for your kindness in this gift and to those who arranged such a present for me. I had fun for an hour flight and saw the panorama of the storm before us as we flew west back to the airport.


Would you believe me if I say the instructor asked me when I had had the controls for a while, “Is this the first time you have flown an aircraft…..?”  No, really, he did!  


 633 Squadron, here we come!...


 Richard Buckley




Thank You


Margaret Whyte would like to thank all who visited her during her recent stay Stobhill Hospital.  Thank you also to Rev Buckley for flowers, the members and friends in the congregation who sent cards, flowers, get well messages while she was there. 


She is now on the mend and hopes to back sitting in the pew in the not too distant future. 


 Margaret Whyte

                                                                VIA : VERITAS : VITA


Rev. Eric J Alexander was born in Glasgow, not far from TPHD, and was educated at the University of Glasgow, obtaining degrees in History, Philosophy, and Theology, graduating with an MA in 1954 and, after further study, graduated in 1958 with a BD.


Recently we had the privilege of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mr Alexander’s licensing to preach the gospel. The word ‘awesome’ is somewhat overused in these days but we could use it to describe the honour of serving God as his people and especially as a minister.



During the course of these 50 years Mr Alexander has served in St David’s Knightswood, Loudon Church in Newmilns, and latterly in St George’s-Tron. In the early 1960’s he began his well-loved ministry at the Keswick Convention starting with the young people’s meeting following his ministry with the then IVF, and later gracing the convention when he gave the Bible Readings on a number of occasions.


Our American friends were always desperate for him to go to conventions, preaching conferences and church services as guest preacher to the extent that he could easily have made such a life his full-time occupation.


It was such a kindness of the Lord that, having been invited to consider churches in London and Canada, the call to St George’s-Tron was so clearly right. In the 20 years of his ministry there, many visitors and students from overseas and the many people from other churches who were able to attend evenings services came to appreciate along with the congregation the clarity and precision of his exposition. But more than that, for the few who were so honoured to work with him we discovered one who was not only greatly gifted intellectually but one who walked with God. He was minister to many ministers even up to the very present day.


In most of the years of Mr Alexander’s ministry he was given the gift of a wife and family who supported and encouraged him which became for so many the model of a Christian family demonstrating the daily and constant provision of God in every way.


We have much to thank God for in calling our dear friend and brother to serve him during all of these years. We at Trinity Possil and Henry Drummond Church are privileged and blessed to have within our membership Mr and Mrs Alexander, who since their return to Glasgow, have graced our congregation with their presence as we worship God together.


Sunday 6th April 2008 was set to mark Mr Alexander’s 50th Anniversary in the Ministry, and to mark the occasion Rev Richard Buckley, who was once Associate Minister to Mr Alexander at the ‘Tron’, presented a University of Glasgow crested Rose Bowl and crested cuff links to Mr Alexander as a token of our gratitude to God for his many years of dedicated service to the glory of Jesus Christ. Attending the service were many people whose lives have been touched by his ministry.

Rev R G Buckley & Isabel Whyte




(Note: Mr Alexander’s first contact with TPHD was on 29th September 1957 when he preached in the Rev William G. Beattie to Trinity Possil, as it was in those days.  His sermon was from 1 Corinthians 2:2.  Almost 40 years later he preached in Rev Richard Buckley.)


                   from Mr and Mrs ALEXANDER




My dear friends,


A few Sundays ago, I settled into my seat in the church, alongside my wife. I did happen to notice one or two visitors there, but thought no more of it.


Then, halfway through the service, the Minister came down to the lectern, and started to speak about the fiftieth anniversary of my Ordination in 1958. To our astonishment, my wife and I were launched into a presentation: she received a spectacular display of flowers, and I was given a quite beautiful crystal bowl, engraved with the Glasgow University crest, and a pair of gold cuff-links, likewise engraved.


I was literally speechless and overwhelmed by these extraordinally kind and generous gifts. How can we possible thank you all?


For us both, the sheer privilege of being members of TPHD and the recipients of such rich Biblical ministry is the greatest of blessings, but we do want to say a very warm and special thank you for these thoughtful and beautiful gifts, and for the great kindness of all who were involved in making such a perfect lunch after the service.


Thank you with all our hearts.


In Christ Jesus our Lord,


Eric and Greta Alexander






                             END OF SEASON REPORT


Mark Girvan reports on a successful year for the Church Football team:


As this season draws to a close, there is already tangible excitement amongst the players as they look forward hopefully to life in Division 2 next season. Having finished a mid-table 7th last season, TPHD had set their sights higher this season, aiming to be contenders for the 3rd Division title.


The season began poorly, with the boys losing their opening game 3-0. They were not despondent, however, as they had been missing at least 3 key players who were still to rejoin the campaign. Just as a steam train builds up momentum, TPHD were able to get some fire in their engine and attain a good level of consistency. They proceeded to go to the next 23 League games undefeated thrusting themselves into contention for promotion. The team have had to be patient, waiting for a slip from one of the two sides who were above them in the table whilst doing their best to put pressure on them. At the time of writing, TPHD sit in 2nd place with 2 games remaining.


While things looked promising in the league, TPHD also made remarkable progress in the Fraser Trophy. TPHD were the only 3rd division side to reach the Quarter-Finals, vanquishing the current 3rd Division champions St Silas 6-3 along the way. Sadly, they could not get beyond the last eight, losing to Port Glasgow, a 1st Division side who proved to be stronger and more experienced. Although the 3-1 defeat was a convincing one, TPHD could take encoragement from the way in which they had genuinely competed with a 1st Division opposition.

The Atholl Cup was ultimately an extreme disappointment for us. Having beaten some strong sides to reach the semi-final we again found ourselves short of 5 first team regulars. As a consequence the team lost by 1-0 against Sherwood-Greenlaw (a team they had beaten 7-2 only three weeks earlier.

The result aside, it was still a proud day for the team, as Gordon and Pete Murch, the father and brother of Andy Murch, were attending the semi-final to present the Andrew Murch Memorial Trophy to last year’s winners Matt Reid and Nick Cunvin-Smith. The congregation will remember that Andrew died suddenly last season at the age of 21. Nick and Matt were awarded this honour for the commitment to the team and reflecting one of the many attributes embodied in Andy Murch.


Andrew’s father, Gordon, spoke of how much Andy had enjoyed playing for TPHD and that he would have loved the cup match, “although he would have hated the score” he admitted. He also praised the attitude of the players and the way in which they had conducted themselves on the pitch, saying that he was “delighted to present this [trophy], it’s an honour”.


Unfortunately, due to publishing deadlines, the results from our final matches against Burnside and East Kilbride Claremont are not included within this report. It is still possible at this stage for TPHD to finish on the same points as the league winners (thereby only losing out on goal difference) – so if you want to know how TPHD fared, you’d better listen to the intimations!


If the tension’s too much for you to bear, then you can check out our website at




My dear friends,


I take this opportunity to express something of my deep appreciation of you all in TPHD. I have called you friends because that is what you are in the deepest and most wonderful sense. I have been very happy indeed to be called one of TPHD fellowship. I could ask for no other accolade, for the whole life of our fellowship is bound up in all of us. We belong to each other. We are family: the family of God our Maker and Redeemer. This was my first thought when I came amongst you just over a year ago and that feeling has grown and been cemented into my whole life. God is good and nothing but good to those who love Him.


On a more concerned note, our world seems to be breaking up. We hear of ‘natural’ disasters wherein hundreds of thousands of people have died. The current events in Burma and China are recent examples of this. Many people seem to do what they will and many folk have suffered grievously. Many acts of terrorism have been carried out by men of no conscience who boast of their acievements while in this terrible cauldron of misery children are suffering and dying for lack of food and clean water. But God is not mocked. In the fulness of time He will bring this carnage to an end and restore His world to what it should be. Young people will be brought up to love good works and do good things instead of contributing to the carnage that is day-to-day living in many lands, including Britain. We are very much aware of the great work our missionaries do, including Theresa in Ethiopia and the Prentices in Belgium, and many more in places like Cambodia and Thailand and several countries in Africa and all across the good earth the Lord has made.

While all these people who try to improve things are so worthy of our deepest admiration, they are greatly in need of our prayers – constant prayers – effectual prayers – so that we, who have so much more and are so greatly blessed in our comfortable homes with all the modern amenities that we often take for granted, should have thoughts of love and care for the afflicted. We are all aware that many give up their comfortable lives to serve others often in hostile countries.


We may not have many material things to give to those who serve abroad nor to those to whom they minister, but we can PRAY, and it seems to me that many more should come and join with the Prayer Meeting folk and cry to the Lord for His blessing to fall on those who give so gladly. So this letter is not a cry for more missionaries, or more money for them or their people, but rather that we as a people of God might pray for His blessing all over the world so that our missionaries might win many souls for our God.


I know Mr Buckley and the elders would be overjoyed at seeing more folk turning up at the PM to bring the lost to the Lord from all over the world. I’m sure too the Lord would be much pleased.


We are so fortunate to have a minister of the calibre of Mr Buckley. His sermons are inspiring. We also are fortunate in having a Session of gifted Elders and are so blessed when they conduct services. And we are so blessed in having Rev E J Alexander preaching for us. He has a wonderful insight into what the Lord would say to us each time he preaches. So for them we thank God.



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