SEI July/August 2019 Newsletter

The Scottish Episcopal Institute, which is responsible for training priests, deacons and lay readers in our Church, produces a monthly newsletter.  If you are interested in what the Institute and its students have been up to, you can read all about it in July-August 2019 News from SEI

At the end of General Synod there was a Valedictory Eucharist for the 2019 leavers. They are listed here from back left, followed by the initial of the Diocese in which each will serve.
Don Grant (MR&C)
Jenny Holden (A&O)
Kathryn Sanderson (MR&C)
Jane Edwards (Ed)
Jean Souter (A&O)
Sue Ward (Ed)
Roxanne Campbell (Br)
Annie Hughes (StAD&D)
Peter Woodifield(Ed)
Susan Henderson (URC)
Katrina O’Neill (MR&C)
Harriet Oxley (G&G)

The service was a truly joyful act of worship, made all the more so by the wonderful playing and singing of first year ordinand, Dr Lesley Penny, and fellow musicians from St Mungo’s Balerno. Afterwards students, their families and friends, staff, and the Convenor of the Institute Council, the Rt Revd Kevin Pearson, enjoyed lunch together at Mamma Roma’s restaurant where they were joined by five of the SEI Ambassadors and two clergy who have supported SEI hugely through the past year by giving their deputising fees to the Training Fund.

Sharing Lunch Together

The congregation of St Finnbarr’s and some also from St Maelrubha’s met together for a bring and share lunch after the services on Sunday.  Prior to that, Bishop Mark presided and preached in both congregations and so Jane and he were also able to be able to be part of the lunch party.  In spite of the weather forecast, the sun shone from time to time and it wasn’t as cold as we expected, but there were only a few hardy souls who trusted that their lettuce would not blow away in the strong breeze and lunched outside.  Suffice to say, a good time was had by all.

SEI June 2019 Newsletter

The Scottish Episcopal Institute, which is responsible for training priests, deacons and lay readers in our Church, produces a monthly newsletter.  If you are interested in what the Institute and its students have been up to, you can read all about it in June 2019 News from SEI

The final residential weekend of the 2018-19 session took place at the end of May, its focus being ‘Vocation’. The Rt Revd Anne Dyer led two separate sessions on that topic with the Leavers and the Continuing Students respectively, while the Revd Dr James Currall gave a session to the whole cohort entitled ‘Married to the Church?’ That’s him above with his Diocesan Advisee, Janet Spence.

It was also Don Grant’s final residential weekend.  Here he is relaxing with Bishop Mark after preaching in Inverness Cathedral. Don will be ordained in September and serve his curacy at St Columba, Brora.

Diocesan News – July August 2019

The July & August 2019 Diocesan Newsletter is now available.

In it, Bishop Mark writes…

Dear Friends

I am writing this letter as I sit in my study at Arpafeelie, the weather is a typically Highland summer, moments of intense sun and blue sky followed by a rain squall. In many ways that is what the church is like. Moments of intense beauty and joy quickly followed by moments of anxiety and storm.

It had always been like this, read the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters to the Churches and you will see much of the same. In the last few days of meetings and pastoral visits , I have had moments of joy and deep prayerfulness as well as times of fear and anxiety as things shift around me, just like the weather, just like the power of God’s Creation. The question I have to ask myself is, ‘Would I want the weather to be always the same, continuous sun or continuous rain?’ ‘Well no, I love the sun and I love the effect of the rain.’ At Arpafeelie you can see the weather coming and I love to sit and watch the clouds form, move over and the sun break through.

Therefore would I want the life of the diocese to be always a moment of sunshine or does it need the power of the occasional squall for us all to remember how important the church is to us. Moments when the senses are heightened by the freshness of the garden after a shower of rain, moments of joy when worship is intense because we gather together again after the storm.


Charities Shop Distribution of Monies

The distribution of funds from St Finnbarr’s Charities Shop for this year is now complete.
£16,200 has been distributed among the following to 26 local groups:

  • Alzheimer Scotland (Dornoch Dementia Cafe),
  • Caithness and Sutherland Womens’ Aid,
  • CALA,
  • Citizens Advice Bureau,
  • Dornoch Academy Additional Support Team,
  • Dornoch Academy School Library,
  • Dornoch and District Community Association,
  • Dornoch BRIG (Dornoch Beach Regeneration Improvement Group),
  • Dornoch Brownies,
  • Dornoch Cathedral Boy’s Brigade/Shipmates,
  • Dornoch Firth Group,
  • Dornoch Flowers and Fairs,
  • Dornoch Primary School Additional Support Team,
  • Dornoch Youth Cafe,
  • East Sutherland Rescue Association,
  • Enlightening Youth Group (run by Free Church and Christian Fellowship),
  • Friends of Oversteps,
  • History Links,
  • Lawson Cambusavie Memorial Hospital Friends,
  • Little Lambs (Free Church Playgroup),
  • Maggies Highland,
  • Meadows Patient’s Comfort Fund,
  • Migdale Hospital Comfort Fund,
  • SSAFA, Sutherland Care Forum,
  • Support in Mind Scotland (Golspie Gatehouse),
  • Sutherland Schools Pipe Band.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped to raise the money by working in the shop or donating goods for sale – the above groups really appreciate your efforts, as do we in St Finnbarr’s.

Taizé Retreat Day

Taizé Retreat Day


The Crask Inn

A guided day retreat including music and prayers inspired by the work of the Taizé Community – led by:

Rev Simon Scott and Rev Ellie Charman

Friday 19th July 2019

10.30am – 3.30pm

£20 (Lunch Included)


The Hello! project developed from a conversation at the Highland TSI Conference in May 2018 which had a focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing. As a group we spoke about community connections and what we believe to be the simplest way to connect ourselves and others in our communities. The simple gesture of saying ‘HELLO to people that you meet in the street or elsewhere.

From this conversation a project idea developed and this has been supported by a small amount of funding gratefully received from HTSI. The idea is to spread the word and encourage people across the Highlands to say ‘HELLO’ to one another. It’s that simple!!

The project was launched at Ar n-àite café and the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness on Friday 10th May. A wide variety of people dropped by and shared in chat, craft activities, tea/coffee, sandwiches and cake and of course said Hello!!


Say Hello! and help someone feel less lonely today.

More details from James, who was part of the project team.