Silent Night and not so silent afternoon

A very special and moving Crask Carol Service this afternoon, including a very heartfelt reading of an account of the Christmas Truce in 1914 in the trenches of WW1.  A lovely atmosphere, a packed room a very fitting set of readings, poems and carols, not forgetting the refreshments aftwerwards.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A huge thanks to Kai and Mike for organising it all, to all those who read and played and sang and to Denise and Douglas and those who assisted them with the refreshments.

On the Feast of Stephen

After the business and excitement of Christmas Day, perhaps a peaceful and relaxing St Stephen’s Day, although the prospect of ‘deep, crisp and even‘ snow seems rather remote given the temperature today.

Hereabouts we had very busy gathering at our midnight and Christmas Day services and there is still time to sing more carols at the Carol Services at The Crask on Thursday @ 2pm or at St Andrew’s Tain on Friday @ 3pm.

Many blessings for the remainder of Christmastide.

Come to me … and I will give you rest

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’  Matthew 11:28-30

Almost 30 people met at the Crask for a service that was best summarised by the Gospel for today – that wonderful passage above.  We celebrated the Eucharist, shared lunch together and yes, found rest for our souls. That in summary is what the ministry at the Crask has been about pretty much ever since Kai and Mike took on this isolated wayside Inn on a dozen years ago and is now being continued by Douglas and Denise.

We welcomed eleven folk who came on a (mini)bus trip up from Inverness Cathedral and also a couple from Germany who are travelling around in their campervan, as well as people from around the northern parts of the Diocese.

Douglas and the team sustained us, whilst also catering for a fair number of others passing by and feeling peckish.  If you have never been to a service at the Crask, you can always find one on the third Thursday of the month at noon and you will be most welcome.

We are at One

Douglas and Denise with presenter Sarah Mack

Today, a crew from the One Show (on BBC1) were at the Crask filming a piece following on from the press coverage of the Dedication and Commissioning of the Ministry St Trolla’s last weekend.  The result will be aired as part of the One Show on BBC1 on Monday (30th April) at 7pm (segment actually at about 7:25pm).

Crask dedicated to St Trolla

At today’s service of commissioning and dedication at the Crask Inn, Bishop Mark dedicated this community of worship, welcome and spirituality to St Trolla.  St Trolla (or Triduana) lived in the 7-8th centuries and is thought by some to have been one of several abbesses who accompanied St Regulus to Scotland when he brought the relics of St Andrew from Constantinople. She is also thought to have accompanied St Boniface on his mission to Pictland in AD 715.  St Trolla is commemorated in two places in East Sutherland, including St Trolla’s Chapel at Loth near Brora.

It was a splendid gathering of nearly 80 people who shared worship, fellowship and a wonderful spread lovingly prepared by Douglas and his team.  Bishop Mark dedicated the Crask for its twin tasks of welcome and hospitality and worship and spirituality and in so doing he sprinkled holy water at the entrance and in the principal rooms.

After which we celebrated The Eucharist:

All those involved in planning and ensuring the smooth running of a memorable occasion are to be congratulated (including fixing such glorious weather), +Mark, Denise and Douglas and their band of helpers – well done:-)

In his masters steps …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Two dozen hardy souls braved the elements, “thou the snow lay round about deep and crisp and even” to Kai and Mike’s traditional readings and carols at the Crask on Thursday (even if a couple of days late for the Feast of Stephen).

We sat around a furnace of a stove, sang, listened and of course shared in Kai and Mike’s legendary hospitality – scones, mince pies, tea, coffee and all the rest.  Thanks to everyone,  it was truly wonderful.

A lovely gentle service at the Crask

The December Crask service attracted a sizeable congregation including several people who had not been before.  We reflected on the journey towards Christmas which starts at the Annunciation (March 25th) and culminates in the Word becoming Flesh in a manger in Bethlehem.

Don’t forget the traditional Carols at the Crask service and fellowship next Thursday (December 28th) starting at 2pm.

Have a blessed Christmas.