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.

Diocesan News – April 2019

The April 2019 Edition of the Diocesan Newletter is now available.

In it, Bishop Mark writes…

This Newsletter comes to you at the halfway point of Lent, a time of refreshment and relaxation, a time to gather and give thanks for Mother Church, a day when your Lenten fast can be lightened. I hope that you have been enjoying your Lent, finding extra time to be in the company of God, in prayer and in action.

It is always good to see what is going on in the diocese, and there are so many opportunities to use our gifts. It was good to be at the Cathedral Hall recently to see Provost Sarah and Emmanuel enrolled as Beaver Leaders and then to watch them enrol the nine beavers at the new Cathedral Group. I was also glad to inspect the new toilet and small kitchen at St Pater’s, Thurso, to join the vestry of Elgin and Lossiemouth as they interviewed for a new priest. To be with the Lay Readers who spent a day at Arpafeelie and to meet with Incumbents at St Michael and All Angels.

I am going on a short retreat during the fourth week of Lent before heading to Jerusalem where I have been invited to Preach in St George’s Cathedral on Palm Sunday, I will be back for the Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday and will celebrate Easter at both the Cathedral and at Lochinver.

Please pray for me as I will continue to pray for you as we continue our Lenten journey.


Diocesan News – March 2019

The March 2019 Edition of our Diocesan News is now available.

In it, Bishop Mark writes…

Dear Friends

I am writing this from Glasgow as I prepare for their Diocesan Synod tomorrow.

We have just returned from Kenya where Jane and myself addressed the African Primates retreat and I had the privilege of preaching in St Stephens Cathedral Nairobi. The fellowship and worship of the retreat revealed the level of affection the SEC is held in across the Communion. The congregation of St Stephen’s wanted me to tell you all that they are now praying for this diocese and all the “lovely Christians in Scotland”

I spent some time in Caithness recently and am still overcome with joy when I travel our diocese, places of great beauty both in scenery and in the affection shown by our communities.

Bless you all for your prayers and fellowship.


Diocesan News – February 2019

The February 2019 Edition of Diocesan News is now available.

In it, Bishop Mark writes…

Dear Friends

As we continue our journey through the year we are now ready for Candlemas and our Choral Evensong on Sunday 3rd as we welcome a new Synod Clerk and a new Honorary Canon, please try and be with us at the Cathedral. In this period, I will be leading services of confirmation in Elgin and at Gordonstoun School, if you yourselves have not been confirmed and would like to consider it please speak to your priest. I will also be leading worship in both Wick and Thurso on the 10th February.

Provincial and Communion business will keep me busy in February, a trip to Kenya, a Provincial Primates meeting in Armagh and the Diocesan Synod in Glasgow and Galloway to mention the highlights, please continue to keep Jane and myself in your prayers.

We are looking at new opportunities for study and training in the diocese, so please watch this space and consider what it is you might want to offer to the service of God in our wonderful diocese.


Diocesan News – January 2019

The January Edition of the Diocesan Newsletter.

In it, Bishop Mark writes…

My Dear Friends,

Happy New Year to you all.

As it is the new year I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know some of the times that I will be away in the next term.

I will be having my usual weeks in Edinburgh during January and February.

I am in Kenya for 5 days in February, attending an African Primates retreat, then I will be in Armagh for a couple of days attending the Regional Primates meeting.

In March there will be time spent in Glasgow as they and I seek a new bishop for the Diocese.  We are also expecting the “Our Common Calling” group to be visiting us in the Highlands, they will be arranging a programme that will include visits to some of our churches.

In April I will be heading for Jerusalem and we will be there leading up to Palm Sunday returning home on the Wednesday in Holy Week, this will mean that the Chrism Mass this year will be at 11.30am in the Cathedral on MAUNDY THURSDAY (18th April).



Diocesan News – December 2018

Bishop Mark writes…


My Dear Friends,

I am delighted that for the first time in a while we have a Diocesan What’s on Leaflet. lt is always so easy for the Charges and Congregations of the Diocese to lose track of what is going on and to miss opportunities to support each other by sharing and visiting each other’s events.

I am always surprised by just how busy you all are and it is good to be able to hold each event in my prayers, no matter how far from home I might be.

May I thank you all for the hard work and dedication you reveal in your service of God, it makes me proud to be Bishop of this Diocese. May I wish you all a joyous Christmas when it arrives. I hope to catch up with many of you in the year ahead.



Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.

A stimulating and uplifting St Gilbert and St Boniface Regional Synod yesterday.  For those of you who cannot imagine that those two adjectives can be used in the same sentence as Regional Synod, just look at the expressions on the faces of those who were there.

We started with a celebration of St Michael and All Angels, led for us by Revd Julia, followed by refreshments and a chance to make new friendships and renew old ones.  At the business meeting that followed, once the usual administrative matters were out of the way, Synod discussed two more substantive matters and very much were DOERS as they set up groups to work on motions for Diocesan Synod.  … and that was all before lunch!!

After lunch Ley-Anne Forsyth (in the foreground above) spoke movingly and passionately about Child Poverty in the Highlands and in smaller groups we again looked at what we could DO to help in our communities.  Ley-Anne said that she had hoped that she could set us alight in her session, but found that we were at the very least starting to glow before she started and well ablaze by the time we finished.

St James says in his Epistle:  “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. … Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

On the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, this Regional Synod might reasonable be described in these words by Bernard of Clairvaux:

but even if the splendour and glory of the holy angels before God is beyond our comprehension, we can at least reflect upon the loving-kindness they show us. For there is in these heavenly spirits a generosity that merits our love, as well as an honour that evokes our wonder. It is only right that we who cannot comprehend their glory should all the more embrace their loving-kindness in which, as we know, the members of the household of God, the citizens of heaven, the heirs of paradise, are so exceedingly rich.