A New Deacon in the North

On Saturday, Revd Ellie Charman was ordained Deacon by Bishop Mark in Inverness Cathedral (Ellie is in the middle next to +Mark). It was good to have Revd Tembu Rongong from the Edinburgh Diocese (also the Convenor of the Provincial Youth Committee) as preacher.

Ellie will serve her curacy with the congregations in Thurso and Wick guided by Fr Chris and so many of you will get the opportunity to meet Ellie in the next wee while – perhaps at the Regional Synod in Dingwall on 29th September.  In the meantime I am sure that you all join with me in welcoming Ellie to the North and wishing her well as she starts her ordained ministry.

New Priest in the Diocese

This afternoon in St Anne’s Church in Strathpeffer, Revd Julia Boothby was presented to Bishop Mark to be licensed as Priest-in-Charge of Invergordon, Dingwall and Strathpeffer.

A large number of members of the congregations, Julia’s family, some people from her previous parish (North Mymms near Hatfield in Hertfordshire) and clergy and laity from around our Diocese packed into St Anne’s.

It was a lovely service and splendid fellowship (and food) was shared in the Strathpeffer Community Centre afterwards.

Welcome Julia (and David) it’s lovely to have you amongst us and to have another priest in the northern part of the Diocese.

SEI December Newsletter

The Scottish Episcopal Institute, which is responsible for training priests, deacons and lay readers in our Church, now produces a monthly newsletter.  If you are interested in what the Institute and its students (including our own Don Grant) are doing, you can read about it here SEI December Newsletter.

Ordinand Visit

This week, Anna and I have had the privilege of having three Scottish Episcopal Institute ordinands staying with us.  They were visiting as part of their Summer School, when those in training for ministry from all over Scotland (24 in total) descended on the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness, to find out what shape ministry has hereabouts, reflect on what they saw and what they experienced and think about what it might mean for their understanding of ministry.

Harriet, Jenny and Andy stayed with us and we visited Tain, Invergordon (in time to see HMS Elizabeth), Dornoch, Ardgay, The Crask Inn, Lairg and Croick Church.  Along the way we prayed together, celebrated the Eucharist, enjoyed splendid hospitality, dined in the company of people with much experience of ministry in rural areas, met many different people and as our picture shows, sampled cake in Dornoch Market (and to be honest in a variety of other places).  We explored ministry as presence, as hospitality, as listening, as caring and as prayer.

Harriet, Jenny, Andy and James and very grateful for the love, the care, the generosity and the good humour of everyone who help us to learn a lot from them and from each other.

Our Bishop Mark is now the Primus

On Tuesday (27 June) the Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church elected the Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness as Primus. Bishop Mark says “I am humbled by the confidence shown in me by my colleagues and I will seek to serve the church as Primus with love and strength.

I am deeply privileged to be the Bishop Moray, Ross and Caithness and am very aware that it has been 82 years since a Bishop of Moray became Primus. I pray that I may be worthy of this trust. I will continue to serve in my beloved highlands while I also step out into new and exciting journeys of faith in both Scotland and the wider international church.

Bishop Mark (56 ), who will now be referred to as The Most Rev Mark Strange, is the youngest member of the College of Bishops and was consecrated Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness in 2007. Bishop Mark succeeds the Most Rev David Chillingworth.

Brought up in Aberdeen, where he was both a choirboy and server at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Bishop Mark studied Divinity at the University of Aberdeen, attended Theological College in Lincoln and has served in both the Diocese of Worcester and in the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. For a number of years Bishop Mark was also Convener of the church’s Youth Committee and ran the annual summer youth camps at Glenalmond.

Bishop Mark takes up this role as a Primate within the Anglican Communion at a point where the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to permit same sex marriage, a decision which is expected to be on the agenda of the forthcoming Primates Meeting in Canterbury, a meeting which Bishop Mark will attend.

published in Inspires Online