Today is Monday 23rd May 2022.

Moments of note in 2017

Bea & Ray Nicholson - Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

It was with some sweet sorrow that we said adieu to Bea & Ray Nicholson on Sunday, 22 October 2017. Both have been instrinsic parts of St Andrew's Wallace Green for 13 years. It is only because we like them that we are letting them move to Saltcoats! Bea and Ray moved from Hampshire to Foulden in 2002 and slowly became involved with our church. An extract of Bea's speech is below.

'One miserable January night in 2002 when I was, once again, stationary on the M25, that I mooted the idea of giving up this lifestyle and moving. We spent hours looking at maps; I wanted to come to Scotland and Ray, as a Geordie, was keen on the English north east. We both felt inexplicably drawn to this part of the UK and 15 years ago this week, with no work organised, just faith that it would all work out, we moved the 250 miles to Foulden.

'It was soon after we came here that I met a lady, Margaret Deans, who would become my spiritual director until her death; I was wary of church feeling that everyone was comfortable in their faith, so it would be no place for me and I had a zillion unanswered questions. Margaret reassured me that even the most faithful had questions and I should find somewhere that I felt comfortable asking. One place I did feel welcoming was the local Guild and I will soon reach my fifteenth year of that membership!

'Come forward to 9 May 2004 when I was working just outside with the Border Marches but had an hour’s break so, in my walking gear, decided to try the service here, just on the off chance. I cannot tell you how unphased the welcomers were, despite my attire, and the gentleman to whom I sat next. The Minister, Paul, was fairly new to post but felt comfortable enough with the congregation to explain that he and his wife, Val, would need to keep the service short and rush down to Cambridge for the birth of their daughter’s twins. There was known to be a problem. The outpouring of love from the pews which returned to them both was palpable!

'I started attending regularly and slowly became involved in the life of St Andrew’s Wallace Green. It soon became apparent to me that it had been God drawing us up here; there was a plan after all and it wasn’t just some random whim of ours! I was encouraged to ask questions, both in the Bible Study Group and at other times too. Ray’s undoubted talent with flower arranging and creating displays meant that he too became welcomed and involved.

'Which brings us to today. For reasons not relevant now, we have once again been drawn to move but this time to the west of Scotland. I am confident this isn’t a whim, that there is a purpose and we are both quite excited to see what that will be.

'This is our last Sunday and, although there is much more I could say, I won’t

'We did want to take this opportunity to thank you for your love and acceptance over the last 13 years. It has had a profound impact on us both so, it is with a mix of emotions that we find ourselves saying goodbye and God bless you all.'

The Guild, the Choir, the Elders, the Session and, most importantly, all the Congregation will miss Bea and Ray but, of course, we wish them well and look forward to either visiting them in Saltcoats or seeing them on any visit to dear old Berwick-upon-Tweed.