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Our groups

Our church members work as a team to maintain and run St. Thomas' Church.  If you are interested in helping with Church life in any way, please contact us.

The Vestry

Members of the Vestry help the Rector with the day to day running of St. Thomas'.  The Vestry meets four times per year. 

The Choir

For the latest news on what the St. Thomas' Choir and Augmented Choir have been working on, see Choir Notes.

St Thomas’ Choir (meantime suspended due to COVID-19}

The St Thomas’ Choir exists to enhance the worship at St Thomas’ by leading the congregational singing during the weekly Service, especially the hymns, and by providing other suitable music during the services. This includes the singing of an anthem during Communion, usually two or three times a month. 

Members of the choir give their time and their skills voluntarily. They sing for the weekly Service at 11.15 am, and come to Choir Practice most Thursday evenings. Hymns are sung in parts, usually with a descant, and these are practised, along with the anthems which are also sung in parts.

Singing in the Choir is a considerable commitment, but rewarding; choir members get to know each other, and have the opportunity sing together, and to learn a variety of anthems.  At present the choir is small, and more members would be very welcome. All parts are needed, soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Although we have some skilled singers in the Choir, this should not put off anyone who feels their singing is more basic! What is needed is enthusiasm and commitment, there is plenty time in practices to go over parts if people are not sure of them, or have difficulty reading music. Although it is preferable that members should be able to come most weeks, there is also a place for anyone whose commitments make this difficult.

Anyone interested should get in touch with Sheila Maxwell, preferably in church, or by email (see Contact us).

St Thomas’ Augmented Choir

For the last few years, the regular Choir has been augmented by other singers and has taken part in three special events each year. There has been a serious event, usually before Easter, and the music has included Stainer’s Crucifixion, Harold Moore’s ‘The Darkest Hour’, and this year there was a Choral Evensong, with Canticles by Basil Harwood, and the anthem ‘O for a closer walk with God’, by Stanford.

In July there has been an ‘Evening of Praise’ during the Aboyne and Deeside Festival, when there have been hymns for everyone to sing, led by the Augmented Choir, Solos and Readings, and two or three anthems sung by the Augmented Choir.

This is followed by the annual Carol Service, with carols for all interspersed with Readings, and three or four special carols sung by the Augmented Choir.

The Augmented Choir is much less of a commitment, as singers are invited on an ad-hoc basis for each event. Some people come regularly to sing with us, others only rarely, but all are welcome. The singing tends to be rather more advanced, and singers need to be comfortable with this, but there is opportunity for plenty of practice. Practices for this have recently been mostly on Monday afternoons, for several weeks before the event. (It is accepted that not everyone will manage all the practices, so long as they are comfortable with the music in the end)

Anyone interested in joining is very welcome, the larger the choir, the better. You can get in touch with Sheila Maxwell (see Contact us), and all included on the list are invited to sing about a couple of months before each event.

The Family Worship Group

There are regular meetings of the Family Worship Group to discuss services for children and families.  Anyone who feels they would like to contribute will be very welcome to join in - please contact us for more information.

Family Worship Group report, November 2020

This year, we made the decision to concentrate our efforts with young people on a series of special events, rather than spreading our energy too thinly. We organized a “make your own” Christingle buffet which was enjoyed by a small group of children, who had great fun. The Crib Service was a huge success with over 160 attendees. Sadly our plans for Easter were curtailed. 

Our team is small but several members have  worked tirelessly behind the scenes and in church preparing craft materials and coming up with great ideas to engage younger people.  

We are planning a virtual Crib Service recorded on Zoom and available on Youtube. We need volunteers to read parts from the script and maybe to sing a verse of a carol so we can all join in. 

We are also making DIY Christingle in bag sets. If you would like one for a child/grandchild/friend or yourself, please tell Vittoria by the end of November so we can make the correct number. 

Prayer Chain Ministry

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians Ch. 4 v. 2.

A small group meets for prayer as requested.  The group prays for anyone who requires it, which may be for healing, guidance, strength in a difficult situation or for thanksgiving.  Prayer can  be for yourself or for someone else (with their permission).  Confidentiality is maintained at all times.  The group members are eager to be contacted at any time for prayer, visitation or simply for a listening and sympathetic ear.  Please consider joining us in the uplifting and essential ministry of prayer.  We really need as many as possible to support our Prayer Group.  For further information, please contact us.

Taking care of our church

Most members of our congregation play a part in taking care of our church in one way or another.  The following are just examples of the many ways that people help.

The Sacristans are responsible for setting up the Altar and side shelf for everything required for Communion, including the correct colours depending on the time of year.  Water is placed in the carafe for the Minister and the candles are lit in the correct order.  The Sacristans set out the Ministers robes and enter the service in the Service Book.

We are fortunate to have a cleaner who comes regularly to spruce up the church.  Everyone then comes together once a year, usually in November, for a 'Big Clean' to do the more hard to reach or difficult jobs.

We have several members who contribute to the Maintenance Group, who clean gutters, flush drains, do small repairs, organise bigger repairs and manage the woodland surrounding the church. They also oversee the management of the Burial Ground. 

Many others work hard to play their part, including the Flower Group, who keep the church beautiful and colourful throughout the year with displays reflecting both the Church calendar and the seasons, the Coffee Group, who ensure that refreshments are available to welcome all after services, and of course our Bell Ringers who once again are welcoming all to church whenever possible!