Service Changes – Online Prayer and Tain midweek

Morning and Evening Prayer on Zoom

We have some services of Morning and Evening Prayer on Zoom, from this week these are as follows:  

Morning Prayer – Mondays and Tuesdays at 10:00am

Evening Prayer – Thursdays and Fridays at 5:00pm (previously these were at 5:30pm)

All are welcome to join in these services, which will be led by a number of different (mostly lay) people. If you wish to follow them and join in with the responses, etc. then you would find it helpful to have a copy of the Scottish Prayer book.

Outside the Church

Midweek in Tain

The MIdweek Service in St Andrew’s, Tain changes from Wednesday at 6pm to Thursday at 6pm from this week. These services are generally in the hall at the back of the church and all are welcome.

Come Ye Thankful People Come!

As the Season of Creation came to a close, the congregation at St Finnbarr’s Dornoch celebrated their Harvest Thanksgiving Service this Sunday. Our humble offerings to our magnificent Creator God were given extra lustre by our four part choir who helped us to ‘Raise the Song of Harvest Home’!

Ordination of Gordonstoun Chaplain

Philip cutting his ‘ordination’ cake

Yesterday in Inverness Cathedral, Philip Schonken (who is Chaplain at Gordonstoun School) was ordained Deacon by Bishop Mark.

Philip brought with him the school choir who sang the Eucharist, led the hymns and also gave us this wonderful short piece to honour the fact that Philip comes from South Africa.

A joyous occasion finished off with cake and fizz.

Prayers for Creation

Today in St Finnbarr’s we prayed for creation

as we lit our candles we each made our own commitments


together we built a cairn uniting our individual stones to make something bigger and more impactful

Both these being metaphors for ways in which we can make a difference.

​Our Prayer of Commitment

We join with the earth and with each other.
To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other.
To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other.
To celebrate the seas
To rejoice into the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other.
To recreate the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join together as many and diverse expressions
of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth
and the renewal of all life.

Diocesan Prayer Cycle for October


Until 4th October
The Season of Creation
For our World, all of God’s Creation and for Climate Justice

1 October 2021
On the International Day of Older Persons, for the elderly who struggle with their health or loneliness.

2 October 2021
For Mark, our Bishop.

3 October 2021
Thanksgiving for Harvest and Pentecost 19
For the congregation of St. Margaret of Scotland, Aberlour

4 October 2021
For our link Diocese of Quebec.

5 October 2021
For couples who have lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth.

6 October 2021
In Challenge Poverty Week, for those in Scotland who struggle to make ends meet.

7 October 2021
For the 5 million people in Tigray, Ethiopia in need of humanitarian assistance.

8 October 2021
For Diocesan staff.

9 October 2021
On World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, for medics offering end of life care.

10 October 2021
Pentecost 20
For the congregations of Holy Trinity, Elgin; Burghead Mission; St. Margaret, Lossiemouth: Tembu Rongong, Jenny Sclater.

11 October 2021
For preparations for the UN climate conference to take place in Glasgow in November.

12 October 2021
For those who live and work in local prisons.

13 October 2021
For the 702,200 children who attend 2476 schools in Scotland.

14 October 2021
For our local politicians and councillors.

15 October 2021
For retired clergy assisting in the Diocese.

16 October 2021
On World Food Day, for those who today will go hungry.

17 October 2021
Pentecost 21
For the congregation of St. John, Forres: Hamilton Inbadas, Anthony Matchwick.

18 October 2021
Luke, Evangelist
For surgeons and anaesthetists trying to catch up with surgery waiting lists.

19 October 2021
For bold steps to reduce emissions in response to the climate emergency.

20 October 2021
For economists and bankers.

21 October 2021
For children who have additional support needs.

22 October 2021
For those who suffer domestic abuse.

23 October 2021
James of Jerusalem, Martyr
For those who are persecuted for their faith.

24 October 2021
Pentecost 22
For the congregations of St. John, Rothiemurchus; St Columba, Grantown on Spey: Richard Gillings, Jenny Jones, Alison Hart, Tony Sparham. Lay Readers: Deborah Munday, Judith Page and Christine Burry.

25 October 2021
For the people and leaders of Afghanistan.

26 October 2021
For the 37,000 young carers in Scotland looking after dependent family members.

27 October 2021
For those responsible for growing our food.

28 October 2021
Simon and Jude, Apostles
For those pioneering new evangelism initiatives.

29 October 2021
For the Queen and members of the Royal Family.

30 October 2021
For those who are overworked and exhausted.

31 October 2021
Pentecost 23
For the congregation of St. Ninian, Glenurquhart.

SEI Journal on Climate Change

The Autumn issue of the SEI Journal contains seven articles on various aspects of Climate Change and Climate Justice, including one written by James (pp 37-55).

The contents page for this section of the Journal is:

The Crask is Back

Today, on the Feast of Ninian of Whithorn, the 3rd Thursday noon service at the Crask restarted – and a joyous occasion it was too. We offered praise for creation and the congregation of sixteen were in fine voice accompanied by Mike on the keyboard. Afterwards as usual, we shared lunch together.

A huge thank you to Douglas and Denise, hosting us a couple of hours before they set off on holiday, and to Michael, John and Mike. It really was good to be back.

The intention is to hold services on 3rd Thursday of each month whilst conditions allow. Because numbers are restricted, there is a booking system in place – please contact James if you wish to attend one of these services.

Kneel down before all Creation

You may not have noticed that beneath the seats in St Finnbarr’s there are seventy tapestry kneelers with highland themes. They were designed and made over a twelve year period from 1981-1993 by fourteen members of the congregation.

Of these, 12 are mammals, 16 are birds, 9 are plants, 1 is a fish and 1 is a fungus.

During the Season of Creation (1st September until 4th October) many of these ones are on display along the front of the communion rail for all to admire, both the beauty of creation and the skill of the 14 people who lovingly crafted them.

Chess, Coventry and Thanks at Evensong

A splendid service of choral evensong in St Finnbarr’s this evening, when Simon was licensed as Priest in Charge at St Finnbarr’s and Lizzie given her warrant as Assistant Priest in Sutherland and Tain.

In his address Bishop Mark thanked everyone for keeping going over the last 18 months and for caring for one another. He said it was lovely to be back in St Finnbarr’s and to enjoy his first service of choral evensong since March 2020. In responding to the New Testament reading from Revelation, he spoke of Coventry Cathedral and its role as a centre for reconciliation giving hope against the forces of darkness.

Addressing Simon and his new role, he likened what he was doing to moving chess pieces around and mentioned that today he had found a large chess set in the boot of his car,

The choir of four (including Simon and Lizzie) were superb and the congregation also were in good voice. Suffice to say that a good time was had by all and we all look forward to another evensong in the not too distant future.

Our prayers and good wishes are with Simon and Lizzie as they share in ministry in this part of our beautiful diocese.

The collection taken at the service will go to the Scottish Episcopal Institute to help in the training of future clergy and lay readers.