St Aidan’s Lectures 2023

In 2012 St Aidan’s Church in Clarkston (Glasgow) hosted the first in what has become an annual series of public lectures on a subject relevant to our faith but also of potential interest to a wider public. The 2023 St Aidan’s Lectures will be delivered by the Rev. Dr James Currall (who you may have heard of). The topic will be The Environmental Crisis and the Church. The Lectures will be delivered on Monday evenings, 17 and 24 April, 1 and 8 May, beginning at 7.30pm and for the first time will be delivered both at St Aidan’s and on Zoom.

The questions to be addressed in the four lectures are:

  • How did we get here?
  • Where are we now?
  • Not Zero?
  • Where do we go from here?

The importance of the environment (and caring for it) is becoming more and more central to the life of many people, not only but especially for the younger generation who often look at the Church and think it has nothing to say with regard to the issues that concern them. This clearly has implications for the credibility of our mission in the world. It is, furthermore, an area in which people of all faiths and none have started working together for the future of humanity and the world.

The St Aidan’s Lectures in 2023 will explore some of the past, present and future of the Church’s relationship to these issues and why it has often been viewed as trailing behind the secular world.

Lecture 1 – How did we get here?

The Western Church has only relatively recently woken up to the reality of Climate Change and the Environment Damage that human beings have wrought in our world. So why has the Church been so blind (or at least agnostic) to what for many in the secular world has been glaring obvious for three-quarters of a century?

Redemption in the writings of Augustine and Anselm is primarily Ethical. Humanity has been viewed as distinct from the natural world and Christianity and Salvation largely concerned with Personal and Social existence. The Western tradition has relatively little to say about the destiny of the universe, though there are a few honourable exceptions, such as St Francis of Assisi. 

The Eastern Church, on the other hand has had a different relationship with the natural world. It has seen Redemption as concerned also with the Physical or Natural world. In both Greek and Syrian writing humanity is at the heart of the natural world. Patristic writing sees Salvation more holistically as Personal and Cosmic, Social and Universal. Perhaps we have much to learn from this more holistic approach to faith and worship.

The first lecture will explore this historical background to help us to answer the question: “How did we get here”.

Lecture 2: Where are we now?

In 1999, the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) urged churches to adopt a “Time for Creation” stretching from 1st September to the feast of St Francis on 4th October. and this was endorsed by the European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania, in 2007, which recommended that the period ‘be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change.’ The following year, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invited churches to observe “Time for Creation” through prayer and action.

From that time on, Christians worldwide have progressively embraced the season as part of their annual calendar. Since 2008 Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has compiled a programme of resources to encourage and assist churches to observe Creation Time. In summer 2020, just in time for COP26 in Glasgow, the Scottish Episcopal Church joined this movement, introducing Liturgical material for this Season.

This second lecture will explore where the Church is at the present time in relation to the Environmental Crisis and the extent to which the approaches of Christian Churches differ from or reflect those of other commercial and community organisations.

Lecture 3 – Not Zero?

At it’s 2020 General Synod in December, the Scottish Episcopal Church started talking about environmental issues and committed to working towards Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. A Church in Society Technical Committee then produced guidance for Synod in 2021 to set the direction for practical action and established a committee to take this work forward.

Many organisations and indeed governments have set targets for Net Zero, but does this represent an appropriate and sufficient response to the urgency of the issue? When we start to look for solutions to environmental issues, it is very easy to adopt too narrow a focus and attempt to reduce the environmental impact of one isolated factor, and in the process increase the impact of another.

This third lecture will explore this question and we may well find ourselves outside a Church door in Wittenberg in the company of Martin Luther. That may of course raise the question as to whether or not the Church needs a New Reformation in relation to Environmental Justice.

Lecture 4 – Where do we go from here?

Responding to the climate crisis and the injustice inherent in both its causes and effects, it is much easier to make on one or two minor lifestyle changes, and thereby feel better about it all, than to engage with the real problem. The former is simply a mechanism to ‘greenwash’ our consciences, likely to have little or no effect and may actually do a great deal of harm. What is actually needed is repentance, a turning away from excessive consumption and back to God. Rowan Williams put it very simply when he wrote:

we need to regain a sense that our relationship to the earth is about ‘communion not consumption’”.

Christians have a responsibility not only to take action to contribute less to the problem, but to be prophetic voices in the world. In the words of Walter Brueggemann they have a threefold prophetic task:

The prophetic tasks of the Church are to tell the truth in a society that lives in illusion, grieve in a society that practices denial, and express hope in a society that lives in despair.

What is needed is nothing short of salvation, and not just a narrow salvation of self, but a salvation of humanity and the whole of God’s Creation.

This is the subject of our final lecture.

Walk of Witness on Good Friday (7th April)

The walk will consist of Eight stops, with a variable amount of walking between them. There is room for at least a few cars at each stops and so it will be possible for those who cannot or do not wish to walk the whole route to participate by adjusting the amount of walking required to suit their needs.

The walk will start in the car park adjacent to Kincardine Church in Ardgay and will end at Creich Church in Bonar Bridge, where there will be Hot Cross buns and tea/coffee available. The walk itself will commence at 10:15am and we should arrive at Creich Church by about 11:50am.

At each stop, there will be a Reading from Scripture, a short Reflection and a Prayer As we leave heading towards the next stop, we’ll sing a hymn. We will carry a large rough wooden cross throughout the walk.

The stops are as follows (time are rather approximate):

  • Kincardine Church car park (@10:15)
  • Ardgay Hall car park (@10:35)
  • Drover’s stone near Ardgay Station (@10:45)
  • ‘Stonehenge’ just the Ardgay side of the Bridge(@11:10)
  • Garden adjacent to the Caley Cafe(@11:20)
  • Car Park behind the Bonar Health Centre(@11:30)
  • Grassy area just beyond the Bradbury Centre(@11:40)
  • Creich Church car park(@11:50)

World Day of Prayer – tomorrow 3rd March 2023

Original Artwork by Hui-Wen

May God give us the wisdom and courage to tell the stories of faith that transform lives. 


BroraSt Columba’s Episcopal Church, Victoria Road, Brora2:00pm
DornochOversteps Care Home, Earls Cross Road, Dornoch

West Church Hall, Sutherland Road, Dornoch

Tain AreaKilmuir & Logie Easter Church Of Scotland, on the B817 at Kilmuir3:00pm
LairgLairg Church of Scotland, Church Hill, Lairg7:00pm

All are Welcome at any of these services

For once you were darkness,
but now in the Lord you are light.
Live as children of light – for the fruit of the light
is found in all that is good and right and true.

Ephesians 5:8-9

Nearly there!!!

The fundraising Shelterbox camp being set up in the grounds of St Columba’s church in Brora by Rotarian Alistair Risk and friends, is almost up and running after a false start caused by storm Otto.

The camp will be open for visitors to enjoy a coffee and a chat about the relief work Alistair and friends are supporting in Turkey and Syria from: 10 am on Friday 24th February for at least 2 weeks!!

There is still the opportunity for anyone wants can find £100 in sponsorship to take Alistair’s place in the tent for a night or two. If you want to take up this challenge, just give him a ring on 01408 621609 or visit the tent at St Columba’s Church on Victoria Road (the A9 just north of the station) in Brora.

Pancake Party – Shrove Tuesday – 21st February

Food, Fellowship, and Fun

at our



Shrove Tuesday, 21st February at 7:00pm


St Andrew’s Church and Hall

Our traditionally and very popular Pancake Party and Quiz takes place on Shrove Tuesday in St Andrew’s hall. The Quiz has been prepared and the catering is in hand, so all is now ready.

Points to note:

  • Pancake mix will be supplied but you should bring whatever you like in the way of fillings either savoury or sweet.
  • Please sign up on the list in St Andrew’s Hall or let Canon James know of your intention to attend (and how many people will accompany you) so that seating plans etc, can be worked out and sufficient accommodation and pancake mix can be provided.

World Day of Prayer – 3rd March 2023

Original Artwork by Hui-Wen

I Have Heard about your Faith

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power” 

(Ephesians 1:15-19)

May God give us the wisdom and courage to tell the stories of faith that transform lives. 

One of the World Day of Prayer Guiding Principles is that ‘Prayer is rooted in listening to God and to one another‘.

The theme of the worship service “I Have Heard About Your Faith,” based on the letter to the Ephesians, is an invitation to active listening, which is the ground of our prayers. Following the example of the letter (1:15-19), where the author praises the church for their faith in Jesus and love toward all the saints, the service this year makes this personal through the witness of the saints with stories from the lives of women in Taiwan.   

The service shares the letters of encouragement sent to women who faced suffering and injustice. Their stories of faith concern issues that are shared by women and girls around the world and that continue to challenge us to prayerful action. They remind us of the urgency to protect the environment and have a nuclear-free homeland; to be aware of the gender stereotypes women face when challenging the traditional role in the workplace or in the family, and to care for the healing of the victims of verbal and sexual abuse.

It also encourages us to think about the hidden struggle of the essential workers, who during the pandemic, had to balance work and family in a vulnerable economic situation both in Taiwan and elsewhere. The sisters, who prepared the service, thank God for the natural resources of their island and pray for wisdom in face of the political isolation of Taiwan in the international community. They ask for our prayers. 

Services Locally

BroraSt Columba’s Episcopal Church, Victoria Road, Brora2:00pm
DornochOversteps Care Home, Earls Cross Road, Dornoch

West Church Hall, Sutherland Road, Dornoch

Tain AreaKilmuir & Logie Easter Church Of Scotland, on the B817 at Kilmuir3:00pm
LairgLairg Church of Scotland, Church Hill, Lairg7:00pm

All are Welcome at any of these services

For once you were darkness,
but now in the Lord you are light.
Live as children of light – for the fruit of the light
is found in all that is good and right and true.

Ephesians 5:8-9

‘Anglican’ Christianity: A four-part series in Advent 2022

Richard Hooker

What does it mean to be an ‘Anglican’ Christian? 

Over 40 Churches around the globe, consisting of no less than 85 million people, identify themselves as ‘Anglican’. Yet, Anglicans are divided among themselves in terms of doctrine and practice as demonstrated in the most recent Lambeth Conference (Summer 2022). This Series looks to four staples that Anglicans have classically identified as the bases of their belief and behaviour to highlight harmony rather than discord.

The Series will be offered on the Mondays of Advent 2022 at 7pm (GMT) in four 30-minute webinars, each of which will be posted on YouTube. The Series is meant to be a resource for Anglicans/Episcopalians to use creatively during the Season of Advent, for example as a refresher course for individuals or a conversation starter for church groups, with discussion questions at the end of each webinar.

  1. Holy Scripture: ‘all things necessary to salvation’ and the rule of faith (Monday 28 November)
  2. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds: symbols and statements of faith (Monday 5 December)
  3. The Dominical Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Monday 12 December)
  4. The historic Episcopate: a universal and locally adopted means of unity (Monday 19 December)

Presenter: Revd Dr Michael Hull, Director of Studies and Tutor, Scottish Episcopal Institute, Edinburgh.

Time: 7pm to 7.30pm (GMT) on Monday evenings in Advent 2022.

Registration is free. All are welcome. Register is here.

Advent Study – the Book of Amos

The topic of our Advent Study year is “The Book of the Prophet Amos”.

There is clearly much for us to reflect on in this Book, which is well worth reading even if you don’t make it along to the study group sessions.

Amos, a shepherd and a farmer, found himself recruited by God to be his prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel, though his message extends to other nations, including the southern kingdom of Judah. Amos saw a society and a religion on its last legs, but nobody else did.

Standards in Amos’ society had declined. Authority and the rule of law were despised, national leadership, while revelling in the publicity and privilege of position and quick to score debating- points, wasn’t facing up to the real issues and standards of public morality were at a low ebb.

Affluence, exploitation and profit were the main motivators of those in power. The rich were affluent enough to have multiple houses, while the poor and defenceless were shamelessly exploited or simply ignored.

Religion at the time adored what was traditional, sacrifices were meticulously offered, the musical side of worship was keenly studied but religious observance had become a self-justifying enterprise, self-pleasing and abhorrent to God.

The state of Amos’ society provide the context for his ministry and also invites us to considering that he might have something to say to us today as there are undoubtedly parallels between Amos’ society and our own. 

Groups start in the week beginning 25th November. 

There will be one session after the midweek service in St Finnbarr’s
at 11am on Wednesday mornings 30th Nov and 7th and 14th Dec

A second session will be held after the midweek service in St Andrew’s hall
at 7pm on Thursday evenings 1st, 8th and 15th Dec.

All are most welcome whether or not they’re members of any of our congregations.