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.

SEI May 2019 Newsletter

Janet, Fr Peter CR (Mirfield Principal) and Lisa

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 MAY 2019 News from SEI

During Holy Week three of the SEI community, Lisa Curtice (from Glasgow), Janet Spence (from our Diocese) and Principal Anne Tomlinson, spent time with the Community and College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, experiencing their Holy Week journey. And what a journey it was!

Lisa writes: ‘During Holy Week the first words of the morning were the morning office, and we fell asleep with the cadences of the plainchant in our ears. This rhythm quieted our minds in preparation for the journey ahead. And while we breathed in a warm spring, blossom and birdsong, that inner journey continued softly through sorrow and waiting until it burst into a crescendo of noise and light on Easter morning. This was the day.

Janet writes: ‘I am so grateful to have received support from the St James’ Fund to enable me to spend the Easter Triduum at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield. A time of silence, and modest fasting. And yet this time was a feast: the intense taste of a plain hot cross bun on Good Friday, having fasted since Thursday’s high tea; the darkness at 4.30am making the Paschal Candle flame that we followed into the dark church shine SO brightly; the song of a single bird as we entered the lower church at 4.45am on Easter Sunday; and the exuberant joy and touch of blessed water from the font splashed with abandon as we felt the joy of Christ’s resurrection. Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!

Witness in Bonar & Ardgay

On the warmest, sunniest Good Friday that I can remember, a couple of dozen Christians from a variety of Churches and Christian gatherings met outside the Bonar Bridge Health Centre.  We then walked from there through Bonar, across the bridge and over to Ardgay.  We walked behind a rough wooden cross held high, in witness to the Passion of Christ.  We paused seven times to hear parts of the story in Scripture, to reflect, to pray and to sing.

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A wonderfully moving experience for us all and a powerful reminder to all who saw us as we walked.

Thanks to all who read, reflected and prayed.  Thanks to Malcolm and Emma for the posters.  Thanks to Holly and Adam for the refreshments.  Thanks to those who ferried people in their cars.

Running Home

Meet Mark Calder (seen here with James outside Lairg Church at 7:30am today, Good Friday).

For most people just finishing a single marathon would be a challenge. But marathons aren’t enough for Mark, who lives in Aberdeenshire with his wife and two young daughters. No Mark runs ultra-marathons (which is like several run one after another).  But ultra-marathons aren’t enough either for this intrepid hero, he’s running 14 in one year … That’s superhuman!!

Mark is a Regional Manager for charity called Embrace the Middle East.  Embrace the Middle East is a Christian charity with over 160 years’ experience helping people of all faiths and none to free themselves from a life of poverty and injustice. Together with local Christian communities they’re bringing lasting change to the Middle East through healthcare, education and community development projects.

Under the name Running Home, Mark is running pilgrimage routes across Scotland and the North of England to raise money and awareness about the challenge that Iraq’s Christians face as they try to rebuild their country after war.

As Embrace starts supporting Christian-led projects in Iraq for the very first time Mark hopes as many people as possible will get behind him in this epic challenge.

From Maundy Thursday until Holy Saturday (18-20 April) Mark is running from Bettyhill to Poolewe along St Maelrubha’s Pilgrimage route, calling at the Crask Inn and the Christian Communities  dedicated to St Maelrubha in Lairg and Poolewe along the way.

… that’s just 113.5 miles, which isn’t far is it:-) Sadly James had another engagement and wasn’t able to join Mark on his Good Friday run from Lairg to Dundonnell, but was in Lairg at 7:30am to pray with him and see him on his way.

If you wish to help Mark’s fundraising efforts, you can do so via this page.

If you want to hear more, Mark will be speaking during the Service at Dornoch Cathedral on Easter Day at 6:30pm.

SEI April 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 April 2019 News from SEI.

Megan Cambridge from Moray, Ross and Caithness, spent her Final Year placement working in and with the local Church of Scotland parish in Keith: Keith North, Newmill, Boharm and Rothiemay together with Keith St Rufus, Botriphnie and Grange. Since being licensed as a Lay Reader last autumn, she and the SEC congregation in Keith under the Revd Canon Michael Last have continued to foster these links. She writes: ‘I had the great privilege of leading worship at Keith St Rufus in the first of their week-long celebrations for the 200 anniversary. We had the Keith and District Silver band playing which gave us a rousing start.