Open Day – buzz and a collection

As part of Tain Gala Week, St Andrew’s Church was open yesterday to allow people to look around, have refreshments and conversation in the hall, sit peacefully in church, listen to organ music and have a hymn sing-song.

There was a great buzz amongst both the visitors and he helpers and it seemed that a good time was being had by all.

Later a good-sized congregation joined us for Evening Prayer and Later for our mid-week Eucharist, if you wish later on join us in prayer.

There was a collection plate and a total of £35 was collected for the Ukraine appeal. Our picture shows the Ukraine candle that we light at each service and some of the wonderful flower arrangements that there are in church at the moment.

It was nice to welcome visitors to the area and local people into the building yesterday and a huge thank you to eveyone who contributed to preparing food, playing music, arranging flowers, providing welcome and leading worship. 

Let’s hope this is the start of something that we feel that it’s manageable for us to do on a number of occasions through the year. 

Dornoch War Memorial Centenary

It is now over a century since the Great War, came to an end in 1918. In the period shortly after the war, war memorials were established in most communities to commemorate those who had lost their lives in the war. After the Second World War, additional names were added to those memorials and some have had names added in relation to subsequent conflicts.

Most of the memorials were built and dedicated in the period 1921-1922 although one or two were a little later (Creich – 1923 and Helmsdale – 1924). As a consequence many will be marking their centenaries over the next year or so.

On Friday 24th June, we held a service of Commemoration and Rededication at the Dornoch War Memorial at the foot of Poles Road. On top of this impressive memorial there is a magnificent sculpture of a 5th Seaforth Highlander at Beaumont Hamel in about 1916. It was produced by Alexander Carrick and shows the soldier looking south towards the battlefields. 

At the service, pipes were played, prayers were said, wreaths were laid and we had a two minute silence as we remembered the fallen. Young people planted small wooden crosses one for each of the 100 names on the memorial and the Young Curators group from History Links told a little of the story of the memorial.

This pattern is likely to be repeated across our region over the coming months:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them. 

photo by Lynne Mahoney

More pictures at the Northern Times.

Trees Duly Planted

This afternoon at St Columba’s, the outgoing President of East Sutherland Rotary (Linda Graham), in incoming President (Elizabeth Sweetman) and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Sutherland (Monica Main) planted trees for Ukraine, World Peace and Her Majesty’s Jubilee respectively.

Canon James led a short service of Dedication and Blessing, the large congregation sang out, ably competing with the traffic on the A9, passers by stopped to see what was happening and tea and many delicious cakes and biscuits were enjoyed by all.

And Piper April Sutherland demonstrated why she has been accepted to study at the Royal Conservatoire for Scotland after the holidays.

Well done to everyone – a huge thank you to all those who helped the Rotary to raise £5000 to send Shelterboxes to help the refugees from Ukraine.

God of Wonder,
as we gather together to bless the earth
and celebrate the potential of the trees before us,
we pray that they may serve as a living witness
to our commitment to heal our common home
through long-lasting, bold changes.
Grant us the courage to continue to take this stand
for the sake of the goodness of your creation,
and the inspiration and delight it provides us.
Through Christ, your Son, our Lord


Jubilee Weekend Celebrations

A lovely celebration of the life and work of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Tain Parish Church to round off the Jubilee weekend. The service was led by Canon James and both Lord Lieutenant Joanie Whiteford and MP Jamie Stone took part.

On Saturday there was a splendid street party on Cathedral Green in Dornoch.

Tea, cakes and music, all in the sunshine.

It is finished …

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 19:40-42

In Brora we Prayed for Peace

Today we had the latest in our series of services Praying for Peace in our troubled world and especially for the people of Ukraine.

and afterwards Alistair showed us around the Shelterbox accommodation which will be his home until Friday and which Canon James blessed with Holy Water (along with Alistair himself).

If you are passing through Brora, do drop in to see Alistair in the grounds of St Columba’s on Victoria Road (the A9 north of the centre of Brora). He will show you around and take any contributions that you wish to make to his fund-raising to buy similar Shelterboxes to house refugees from Ukraine.

If you can’t make it is person, you can contributed via his Just Giving page.