Umbrella in Golspie

The Umbrella group will start meeting again on Monday 31st January.

Umbrella is a Christian social club in Golspie, set up to deepen friendships and build bridges within the Christian Community. Umbrella is independent, not part of, or affiliated to, any denomination of the church.

At Umbrella, Christians meet for a cup of tea or coffee, enjoy the company of old friends and the chance to make new ones. It is open to anyone, whether they go to church, (any church), or not.

Venue: The Stag’s Head (Main St) each Monday 10.30 – 12 noon
Cost: Free! (“Donations box” for contributions towards expenses).

For more information contact Patrick Argyle:

Feast of the Holy Innocents – Tuesday 28th December, 11am at St Columba’s Brora!

Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents are the children mentioned in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 2:16-18.

Herod, perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent his soldiers to kill all male children ages two and under that were in Bethlehem and on the boarders, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah: A voice in Rama was heard, of lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailed her children, and would not be comforted, because they were no more.

We keep this feast in order to honour these children as martyrs – they are the first buds of the Church killed by the frost of persecution; they died not only for Christ, but in his stead” (St. Augustine).

Sing Advent Sing

This evening in Dornoch Cathedral, we ushered in Advent with a gloriously uplifting Advent Carol Service organised by Fr Simon.

A choir of nearly 30 voices and Roddy on the organ, helped the congregation of about 60, sing a number of well-known Advent Carols and they also sang a number of pieces on their own.

Interspersed between the Carols were Advent readings given by five different clergy from the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland, ranging from Genesis to the Gospel of John.

The service gave Glory to God and at the same time raised money for Clean Birthing Kits for parts of the world where many women die in childbirth, as a result of infections contracted whilst giving birth.

This fund-raising is part of a wider effort coordinated by the Rotary Club of East Sutherland and the retiring collection in aid of the charity ImpACT raised over £250 – a huge thank you to everyone who contributed.

O come, O come Emmanuel!

Advent in Sutherland and Tain

Advent Candles


Next Sunday (28th November) is the first Sunday in Advent, marking the beginning of the Advent Season.

An Advent Theme

We are all aware of the many difficult issues that the Covid pandemic has thrown into sharp relief and the heightened concern over our environment and the future that we will leave for our children and grandchildren and the tensions that all of this can create in relationships and for mental health. Against this background, we are planning to focus on a different aspect of Social Justice in each week of Advent.

Advent Candles

Traditionally the Advent Wreath has three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday. These four candles are arranged in a ring with a white candle in the centre. There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the readings in our Lectionary is:

  • Advent 1 – The Patriarchs (and Matriarchs)
  • Advent 2 – The Prophets
  • Advent 3 – John the Baptist 
  • Advent 4 – The Virgin Mary 
  • Christmas Day – Jesus the Christ

The weekly themes of Social Justice will be reflected in our preaching as follows:

  • Advent 1 – The Legacy that we leave to future generations (mirroring what was left to us by earlier generations – including most of our Church Buildings)
  • Advent 2 – Freedom of Speech (the Prophets were often persecuted for what they said)
  • Advent 3 – Consumption (John was very frugal)
  • Advent 4 – Exploitation and Violence against Women and Girls (Mary was a vulnerable refugee)

Advent Study Groups

Our Advent Study Groups will also take up each of these themes week by week.

The groups will be held as follows:

Wednesday Mornings at 11am in St Finnbarr’s Church after the Midweek Service

Wednesday Evenings at 7pm on Zoom

Each of the Sessions will stand alone and so it is perfectly OK to attend in person some weeks and online for others, they are on Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd December.

If you wish to take part in the Advent Study, please let James know, so that he can prepare sufficient copies of materials/arrange refreshments. etc.

Simon and James

Remembrance Sunday St Finnbarr’s Dornoch – 14th November 2021

The community in Dornoch are not able to mark Remembrance Sunday in the usual way this year. The service at St Finnbarr’s will begin with an Act of Remembrance at 10.45am in church. Please let others know about this earlier start time – thank you!

Listen to the Quiet Voices

Bishop Mark looks at the hopes and expectations around COP26 as we seek to care for God’s creation

As I write this, I’m sitting watching the leaves changing colour outside my office window. There’s a tree which is just at the corner of the churchyard at Arpafeelie which always begins to turn first, its leaves slowly, then quickly, becoming golden before plunging to a striking mix of reds then browns.

As I have watched the autumn begin, the plants begin to bed down for the winter in this changing of the season; I remember that once the bare winter is over then the cycle will come round again. We will have the cool, clear spring and then the joyful warmth of summer. So it has been for much of my life. Yet as we have stayed at home over these past months because of the pandemic, I have appreciated the slow but ever-moving changing of the seasons in a new way.

But just as I can anticipate the leaves coming back on that tree, it is becoming clear that in other places around the world many others no longer know what their seasons will hold. People can’t be confident that the rains will come, or know if their land will flood. People can no longer be confident that their crops will grow, or know if they will have the time and energy to harvest. People and places are struggling and dying now because of the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. People are increasingly anxious and increasingly fearful, and there is growing anger and concern for the future.

In Scotland we have a stable climate. As is so often the case, the worst affects of climate crisis will be felt that much more strongly in places where their climate is not so stable. So the changes that I can see, and the emotions which flow through me as I know they flow through many in our Church, are much more pressing in other parts of our world.

I’ve been thinking about those emotions and reactions as we all prepare for COP26 in Glasgow. The hopes and expectations of so many people are that political leaders will listen to the voices of people around the world who are simply frightened for the very ground they stand on and the lives around them. The Scottish Episcopal Church has put in place and will continue to develop processes which enable us to have a much lighter footprint on the ground, and will enable us to make a better use of the resource we have so that we don’t contribute to stripping the environment of those things which produce the very air that we breathe.

There will be moments of tears, moments of anger, and moments of laughter in Glasgow, but I hope there will be moments of prayer. Why are we going? Why is our Anglican Communion delegation gathering? It is because as a church, and as people of faith, that’s what we do: we pray. Our prayers are to God who created this beautiful little planet we all live on. Our prayers are that God will help us to do everything in our power to protect the environment we live in.

With prayer, with conversation and simply by being visibly present, we can use the time to push home the point to political leaders that this crisis is real and that people of the world, especially those with the least ability to affect change, are being impacted by our continual drive for greater consumption, greater profits, and greater power.

We will try and insist that they listen to the quiet voices, voices that might not be physically present, and we will pray again that world leaders make the right decisions for our planet.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will be there along with old friends and hopefully new friends. We will spend our time carefully encouraging, noisily supporting and – I suspect – sometimes loudly reacting to what is happening because to honour God means caring for God’s creation, not simply for what it gives us but so that we can pass it on, healing and restoring, to those who will come after us.

Please pray for all who will gather in Glasgow, for the leaders of the nations and those of us who will bring hope and prayer.

Advent Carol Service on the First Sunday in Advent

Advent Carol Service at Dornoch Cathedral

Sunday 28th November – 6pm

(Please enter via the west door and bring a facemask)

Collection in aid of ImpACT

(Raising funds to provide Clean Birth Kits)

Fancy being in the Choir?

If you are a singer and are interested in being in the choir for this event, please come along to our open rehearsals at St Finnbarr’s Episcopal Church (School Hill, Dornoch) on Thursday 18th November  and Thursday 25th November – 7.30pm until 9pm.

O come, O come Emmanuel!

Church Services on Radio, TV and on-line

Radio and TV Worship Services


BBC Radio Scotland at 7:30 – New Every Sunday: a service of worship

BBC Radio 4 at 8:10 – Sunday Worship

BBC One at 13:15 – Songs of Praise

BBC Radio 3 at 15:00 – Evensong (a repeat of the Wednesday afternoon broadcast)

Monday – Saturday

BBC Radio 4 at 5:43 – Prayer for the Day

Monday – Friday

BBC Radio 4 (LW only) at 9:45 – Daily Service


BBC Radio 3 at 15:00 – Evensong

On-line Worship

An SEC Eucharist Service will be broadcast at 11.00am on each Sunday at:
The service will subsequently be available to download at the above address in video and audio formats.

Our own participative ‘Active Worship‘ service is available for you to join in with.

There are services daily from Inverness Cathedral, available via the Cathedral’s:

for both ‘live’ watching and for later playback.

Season of Creation – Self Directed Reflection at St Finnbarr’s

May be an image of text that says 'SEASON OF CREATION LOVING THE EARTH GOD LOVES'

Hi folks,

As September begins we enter the ‘Season of Creation’ and churches across the globe turn their attention to how the behaviour and actions of humankind are affecting the created world.

Many of us take ‘green issues’ very seriously, but others give little or no thought to what is happening to the planet on which we live – even pouring scorn on those who express their concerns about the very real and present threat to our existence as a species.

At St Finnbarr’s Church (Dornoch) we have put together a reflective walk – with a particular focus on water and the oceans – around the inside of our church building – looking at images and original artworks. Everyone is welcome to come along and take part in this self directed activity and church will be open from 11am – 12noon each Wednesday beginning on 8th Sept and finishing on 29th.

We hope you enjoy this reflection, but we also hope that you are challenged to consider the part you are playing in the climate crisis.

Fr Simon