Our Church

What we believe

Central to the Church of Scotland is our love and worship of God through following the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. We express our love for God by our love and practical care for each other and for those we live with and encounter in our daily lives.

We believe the traditional teachings of Christianity, as revealed in the Bible. These include:

  • There is only one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is in control. He created the world, has shown us what he is like, has a plan to save us, and will one day judge everyone

  • We believe the Word of God, contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the supreme rule of faith and life

  • Everyone does wrong things; it’s part of our nature. That means that everyone is in serious trouble with God. We can be forgiven and freed from the guilt, punishment and power of the wrong things we do, but only because of Jesus’ death. Jesus was being punished instead of us, so our wrong has been completely dealt with.

  • We do not deserve God’s forgiveness. And not only does God forgive us for everything, but he looks on us as being perfect, just as Jesus was perfect. All this is obtained only by faith.

  • God does this through the Holy Spirit acting in people’s lives, turning them away from wrong and towards God, and giving them faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in Christians, changing them so that they live more like Jesus, enabling them to live for Jesus in this world.

  • The Church is not a building or an organisation, but is made up of all true Christians throughout the world. Jesus is present in the world today through the Church.

  • Jesus will one day return. He will judge everyone, rightly punishing those who have rejected God’s offer of forgiveness, and welcoming Christians into everlasting glory.

More about Us

The Church of Scotland operates a 'territorial' ministry in which every part of Scotland is served by a church. Elders have responsibility for the caring of our finances, buildings and, more importantly, those who live in our parish.

Our locum minister is a minister of 'Word and Sacrament', meaning that her main roles are to lead worship and administer the sacraments. Our minister also performs many other duties including weddings, funerals, visitations and community work.

The Church of Scotland, as part of the Reformed tradition, celebrates two sacraments - Baptism, where people become members of Christ's 'body', the Church, and Holy Communion, where we believe that Christ meets with us, and renews and refreshes us through a meal of bread and wine such as he had with his disciples on the night before his death.

Bonnyrigg has adopted the model deed constitution of the Church of Scotland. Matters affecting the spiritual health of our congregation are dealt with by the Kirk Session, comprising the elders and minister. Our Christian Outreach Group (COG) seeks to reach out to the wider community and strengthen relationships within the church, the group reports back to the Kirk Session at their regular meetings.

Matters affecting finance or property related matters are dealt with by the Congregational Board, comprising the minister, elders and elected representatives from the congregation, the finance and property committee report back to the board members at their regular meetings.

Our Minister - Rev Louise Purden

Louise was Ordained and Inducted into Bonnyrigg Parish Church on Thursday 23rd January 2020

Louise may be contacted at LPurden@churchofscotland.org.uk

View the ordination 

Interim Moderator - Rev Ian Scott

Ian was Ordained in 1965, having served as Assistant Minister in St Mungo’s Parish Church in Alloa, he took up his first full charge at Holy Trinity, Bridge of Allan (1966-1976). After ministry at Holburn Central, Aberdeen (1976-1983) he was inducted to Greenbank Parish Church, Edinburgh on 26th January 1983, retiring from there on 31st May 2006.

A member of the Boy’s Brigade for most of his life, he served for a number of years as President of Stirling Battalion and latterly as Chaplain to Edinburgh Battalion.

He currently lives in Tranent with his wife Sandra, has a daughter and granddaughter who live in the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Ian was appointed by Lothian Presbytery to serve as our Interim Moderator, guiding us through the vacancy process and providing spiritual support for the Kirk Session and congregation.

Ian may be contacted at igscott50@btinternet.com


Locum Minister – Rev June Johnston

June was appointed by the Kirk Session in November 2018 to serve as our locum Minister during the vacancy. June is an Ordained Local Minister (OLM) and is a Minister of Word and Sacrament, she has previously served as Locum for Balquhidder with Killin & Ardeonaig, and then Tyne Valley during their vacancy. June’s role is to conduct the regular Sunday worship and provide some pastoral care to the Parish.

June may be contacted at june.johnston@churchofscotland.org.uk


Session Clerk – Iain Thomson

Iain has served as our Session Clerk for the past 11 years, he is the official record keeper for the Kirk Session. His role involves preparing for Kirk session meetings and making all the appropriate arrangements for Communion Services, and generally supports the Minister and the work of the Kirk Session. Iain liaises with the Elders and the Roll Keeper to ensure that all members of the congregation have an Elder point of contact for the Kirk Session, through Elder Districts.

Iain may be contacted at sessionclerk@bonnyriggchurch.co.uk


Clerk to the Congregational Board – Barbara Irvine

Barbara has been the Clerk to the Congregational Board for 10 years. She is the official record keeper for the Congregational Board. Her role involves preparing for Congregational Board Meetings and liaising with both property and finance committees on finance and property matters. She deals with all correspondence relating to Board business where required and is a skilled grant application co-ordinator.

Barbara can be contacted at barbarairvine47@yahooo.com


Treasurer - Carol Stewart

Carol has been our Treasurer for 33 years.

Her main duties are to ensure that our income is recorded and banked correctly, and that authorised payment are made promptly.

She liaises with both the Finance and Property Committees on all related matters, as well as maintained dialogues on all financial matters with both Church of Scotland Finance Team and Lothian Presbytery.


Secretary – Moira Gray

The Church Office is located in the Church Halls, across the road from the church.

0131 654 0140 officebonnyriggparishchurch@gmail.com

Moira is our church secretary whose main duties include preparing the weekly order of service and intimations, and dealing with day to day administrative matters. Moira is also our magazine editor, preparing the monthly magazine for printing and distribution.

The Church Office is open on Thursday – 10:00am – 1:00pm


Gift Aid / WFO Convenor – Gordon Lyall

Gordon looks after all the congregations needs relating to effective giving to the work of the church.

He manages the issue and recording of donation through numbered and dated WFO envelopes or by way of standing orders. He records and submits our claims to HMRC for Gift Aid.

If you wish to know more about effective giving, contact Gordon at 4gordonlyall@gmail.com 4gordonlyall@gmail.com

Gordon also serves as the convenor of the finance committee.


Property Convenor – George Lyall

George wears a number of hats within the church family.

As well as being convenor of the property committee, which looks after the maintenance of our fabric, fittings and equipment within the Church, the Halls and the Manse, he also manages our regular hall lets and any enquiries for new lets or occasional use.

When not dealing with property matters, he looks after the Pitcairn Centre, our drop in centre, offering tea, coffee and fellowship to all. The Centre is staffed by volunteers.

George can be contacted at windsong.lyall@gmail.com

Church History

This was the first church to be built in Bonnyrigg.

Thomas Pitcairn, the then minister of Cockpen Parish, left the Church of Scotland during the disruption of 1843.

In 1929 the Free Church re-joined the Church of Scotland and the church was renamed as Bonnyrigg Parish Church.

The congregation then built their church in the centre of Bonnyrigg, opening in 1845 as Cockpen United Free Church. They also built their own school opposite the church, this building now being the Church Halls.

The Church is a Charity

Everything that the Church of Scotland does locally, nationally and internationally depends on charitable giving. As part of the Church of Scotland, Bonnyrigg Parish Church members and supporters must meet the cost of ministry, as well as the upkeep of their buildings and the cost of mission locally and further afield. Through Ministry & Mission contributions to the central funds of the church, they also support those congregations whose income falls short of meeting all their costs.

As well as its work through local congregations, the Church of Scotland is one of the largest social care providers in the country, employing more than 2,000 staff to support some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people. The Church relies on people like yourself to support its work, and every pound makes a difference, especially if given regularly.

Ways of giving

Regular giving is best done through a Standing Order or dated Freewill Offering envelopes. Both are available from Gordon Lyall our Gift Aid Convenor.

UK taxpayers can also increase their giving by 25% at no cost to themselves by completing a Gift Aid Form, there are also available from Gordon.

Contact Gordon at 4gordonlyall@gmail.com

Hall Bookings

Our Church Halls are eagerly sought by both Church and Community groups, they in use seven days a week both day time and evening.

Halls and Meeting Rooms are available to rent in both the Church Halls & Pitcairn Centre.

Pitcairn Centre Facilities

There is a Large Hall with a stage (Loudon Hall), the Pitcairn Centre, and a Small Hall to the rear , the Donaldson Hall.

Enquiries to book any of the facilities should be made to our Hall Convenor:

07787 524353 windsong.lyall@gmail.com