St Ninian’s Church

Glencairn & Moniaive Parish Church is a linked charge with Dunscore Parish Church and is within the Presbytery of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright.

The parish of Glencairn & Moniaive is located at the northern end of the scenic Cairn Valley in mid-Nithsdale, which is part of the Dumfries & Galloway region of South West Scotland.

The community is centred around the village of Moniaive.

We aim to play an active part in the community we serve, reaching out with the love and joy of Jesus Christ.

Our vision is ‘To convince all people of God’s love for them’.

On 19th January 2020, the Revd Mark R S Smith was duly elected as our new Minister. Read more about this on our ‘News’ page. Over the past year of Vacancy, the support and guidance of our Interim Moderator, The Revd J Stuart Mill, and all of our visiting Ministers  has been greatly appreciated by the congregation. There will be an opportunity to thank them all properly at a future date.

Opening of Church Buildings

Update on the Covid-19 Pandemic (Coronavirus) Lockdown:

The Church buildings will not be open to the public for a while yet as the stringent demands of the relevant Risk Assessments as required by the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland will take time to implement.

The Board and Kirk Session are working hard to comply with all the standards of spacing and hygiene and hope to be ready as ‘Easing’ progresses. Watch this space.

In the meantime, contact the Minister or the Session Clerk, Nan Tait.  Their numbers are on the ‘Contact’ page.

Read about the Kirk’s latest response and update on the reopening of churches here.

Ongoing cancellation or changes to our Church activities are noted on the following pages.  Other dates shown may have to be altered.


From our Minister

Sunday 27 September:

HELP NEEDED … Glencairn Memories …

Following the sale of Glencairn Church, the Glencairn & Moniaive congregation are putting together a ‘souvenir’ pull-out section for the next Glencairn Gazette. Please let Mark or Nan or any Moniaive Elder have your pictures, anecdotes, and memories – deadline 20th October!

WORSHIP as Lockdown eases:

To ensure that we can all continue to worship together as far as possible we mainly use the internet:

             Zoom video-conferencing for Sunday worship (also by telephone!)

             YouTube clips for meditation and reflection (highlighted in CFN)

             Facebook posts for ongoing encouragement and information

              Email for general contact and updates

– but we’re aware that some of you are not connected to such things.

Each week’s CFN will include the hymns, a few thoughts on the reading for Sunday Worship, and other ideas to enable you to join in the ongoing worship, prayer and study life of the congregations as you are able.

TOGETHER AT HOME – 7pm Sunday & Thursday.

Join in prayer, thought and reflection. Use the weekly prayer and theme from CFNs.   Light a candle. Look at pictures of friends/family/congregation. Listen to restful music.   As we pray through Jesus the Holy Spirit will unite us across the distancing.


Lord Jesus, help us by the Holy Spirit
to give You the Praise and glory You deserve;
not only by our words, but by our actions too;
so that our lives reflect You as our King and Saviour,
and show Your Love, Grace, and Mercy to the world.


Following Jesus’ Way of humility and service to show Him as our King.


At 10.30am – Sunday Worship Together via Zoom.

HARVEST FESTIVAL – financial donations for the Food Bank Bring a picture of some fruit & veg – homegrown or otherwise!

 God Bless & elbow bumps.

Mark RS Smith

Another message from your Minister …

June 2020

Since I last wrote, I have not had the opportunities I had hoped for. I wanted to meet you all in the flesh, getting to know you and the area as we settled into life in Glencairn, Moniaive and Dunscore.

Then … WHAM! … coronavirus sent us into lockdown. It’s been a learning curve for all of us.

We have learnt new terms – self-isolation, shielding, social-distancing. We have gone back to old ways – watching out for neighbours, enjoying our gardens, growing vegetables. We have tried ‘new’ things – Skype, Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp online shopping. We have learnt how much we value those we cannot interact with – family, friends, neighbours. We have appreciated the efforts of those we often take for-granted – doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, carers, teachers, etc.

The impact of the enforced change of lifestyle has been dramatic.

We can hear the birds more, nature seems to be having a new lease of life, roads and streets have been quieter, pollution levels are down (marginally), the little things of life (so often missed or taken for-granted) have become important for us.

I was inducted via Skype on 24th March (after lockdown began) and since then the congregations have had to adapt to a ‘remote’ Minister, mainly seeing me via the various unflattering internet outlets available. We have been able to continue regular Sunday worship via Zoom – pyjamas and coffee in hand are the new Sunday ‘Best’! Our Sunday services are recorded and made available alongside reflections during the week on YouTube. We have been joined by friends from South Africa, Lubuto, County Durham, other parts of the UK and, most recently, Rev David Coleman from Eco-Congregations Scotland. In the midst of the lockdown, isolation and distancing we have become more aware of our outward links as part of the Universal Church!

Our Elders have been working hard to maintain contact with you, though many are themselves shielding, and we have been conscious that not everyone is ‘online’ so have tried to get the weekly Church Family News (CFN) and outline of our worship to as many as possible. Apologies if you have missed out – let us know through your Elder, Session Clerk, or me.

In these strange times many of us have become more aware of our vulnerabilities – underlying medical factors leading to isolation and shielding, contact with the infected leading to quarantine, being outside leading to masking-up and nervous avoidance of others.

We do not know when lockdown will be lifted, whether coronavirus will ‘surge’ again, when we will see each other in the flesh, what the permanent impact of the experience will be (economically, environmentally, educationally, emotionally).

We do know that the uncertainty is not easy.

Yet both vulnerability and uncertainty are parts of regular life, they are just more amplified and focussed at times like this. It might sound trite, but Jesus knows about vulnerability and uncertainty: born as a human baby, fled as a refugee, left home to wander the countryside dependant on the goodwill of people, surrounded by crowds, hated by the authorities, deserted by friends, falsely accused, arrested, flogged, crucified, buried in a borrowed tomb. He broke down cultural barriers – touched lepers, spoke to women. He challenged the religious elite – forgave sins, healed the sick on the Sabbath. He sought to focus people on God rather than themselves, on each other rather than their own interests – lessons we all need at this time.

God Bless & elbow bumps,

Mark RS Smith

PS watch for a ‘real’ Induction celebration once lockdown is over!