Holy Oils

Janet provided the bottles, Tanya engraved them, Sarah filled them and James made an oak stand for them to sit in – St Andrews now has a new set of Holy Oils thanks to teamwork.

Three different oils are used in the spiritual life of the church. The oils are blessed by the bishop at a special service – the Chrism Mass – at Inverness Cathedral during Holy Week and then distributed to all the churches in the Diocese.

The three oils are:

The Oil of the Sick (Inf). This is used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It signified the grace of strength, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties of illness or old age and renews trust and faith in God. This is the oil that is used in what called the Last Rites.

The Oil of Catechumens (Cat). This represents liberation from sin and God’s protection for someone starting out on their journey of faith.

The Oil of Chrism (Chr). It is used during Baptism and Confirmation, It signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit on the newly Baptised or Confirmed.  This oil is usually mixed with a sweet smelling perfume called balsam. To show its importance it is referred to as being ‘consecrated’ rather than just ‘blessed’.

The Final Blowout!!

If you were after a final ‘blowout’ before Lent, then St Andrew’s Tain was the place to be on Shrove Tuesday! Church members and friends gathered together in the evening to share a feast of home cooked pancakes stuffed with a wide range of sweet and savoury fillings.

A special quiz (which included identifying ten smells and ten objects by feel only) had been prepared for our education by an intrepid member of the congregation and even greater fun was had trying to name all the different bits of ‘kit’ used on the altar during Mass.

Two teams – The House of Laity and The House of Clergy – took it in turns to toss the pancakes. “Mmmm”, said one hungry diner, ” the clergy definitely make pancakes that are more holy” (as in ‘full of holes”)!

Our thanks to everyone who contributed to this final bit of frivolity before Lent – such fun and a great time was had by all  !

We Came and All was Ready

This year the World Day of Prayer Service was beautifully crafted by the Women of Slovenia under the slogan “Come all is ready“.  And indeed it was – in Tain, Dornoch and Lairg.  Splendid ecumenical gatherings in all three in which people from across the denominations took active parts.  Thanks to everyone involved at all three places – they were very special reflective, prayerful and joyous gatherings.

those invited
Those Invited

The service was based on: Luke 14:15-24The Parable of the Great Banquet, when those invited all made their excuses and the Master of the House ordered his servants to “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.”  The table was set following the guidance of the Women of Slovenia, to include symbols of their culture: bread (in the shape of a cross), wine, water, salt, carnations and rosemary.

those who tasted the dinner
Those who Tasted the Banquet

After the services what else but sharing the banquet prepared by the hosts:

Discrimination, prejudice and bullying?

The Anne Frank Trust is dedicated to create a society safe from prejudice and discrimination, mainly through its work in schools and prisons.

On Thursday evening those who attended the latest ERICG meeting were each asked to reflect on a different quotation from the remarkable diary written by this young Jewish girl whilst in hiding from the Nazis. The presentation, with few spoken words needed, relied on emotionally powerful video clips of current victims of oppression and prejudice, in the form of anti-semitism, homophobia, and bullying of those perceived as ‘different’, interspersed with photos of Anne and her life: a normal young girl, leading a normal life…. until the day her family had to go into hiding.

The effect on the audience was palpable, there was much animated discussion both during and after the presentation, with everyone expressing a determination to do their utmost to fight discrimination, prejudice and bullying wherever they meet it, along with the realisation that, even here in this relatively peaceful and beautiful part of the world, these things still exist.

Community Fridge now open in Tain


The average UK family wastes £810 a year by throwing away food and drink, and £3 billion is wasted by the food sectors. Despite growing awareness of food waste, there are few easy ways for people or businesses to get food near its ‘sell by’ date to others.

A Community Fridge is a public space where food can be shared in a community, anyone can put food in and anyone can take food out, there are no pre-conditions. The main aim of Community Fridges is to reduce food waste, so if you have spare food or need food, or just want to make sure that food doesn’t go to waste, this is for you.

They also enable people facing hardship to have easy access to fresh, nutritious food. This project is open to ALL within our community. This is a non-judgemental, friendly community project bringing folk together to ultimately reduce food waste. Community Fridges are also social spaces where people meet others in their communities over a cup of tea or coffee and provide a space where those suffering from social isolation can find someone to talk with.

There is now a Community Fridge in Tain, located in the Guide Hall in Gower Street in Tain.  A couple of supermarkets have agreed to contribute food that is close to sell by date or otherwise surplus, so come along.

Opening Hours:

Monday 10am – 12 noon

Tuesday 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday Closed

Thursday 4pm – 6pm

Friday 2pm – 4pm

Saturday 10am – 12 noon

Sunday Closed

Contact details:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TainCommunityFridge/

Email: taincommunityfridge@outlook.com


Candles, Fellowship and Food

Today in St Andrew’s, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas), with a ‘Bring a Friend to Church‘ service, followed by fellowship and food.  Quite a lot of ‘friends’ joined us for what was a very joyous and uplifting service.

A big thank you to all our visitors and to the congregation of St Andrew’s for doing so much to make them welcome, looking after them both during the service and afterwards in the hall with food and conversation – true Hospitality.

Last Friday was the Feast Day of St Brigid (or Bride).  Brigid was born in 5th century Ireland.  She established a double monastery for men and women in Kildare around 470AD as a centre of education, pilgrimage, worship and hospitality.  Brigid’s spirit of hospitality was legendary. For Brigid, every guest is Christ – “Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ“.

Carols and Taindeer

A joyful sound came from St Andrew’s, Tain this afternoon as we retold the story of the Incarnation in readings and Carols at our Carol Service.  The the leaders, readers and congregation were in fine voice, but the prize for the best jumper must go to the organist:-)

As the picture implies there were refreshments – mince pies and mulled wine – but clearly Simon has finished his, or else the reindeer got to them first:-)

Thanks everyone you all did a splendid job.