Carols, Carols and more Carols

This evening we had a splendid Carol Service on Zoom: two organists, six readers, nine carols, 28 Zoom connections and 45 people taking part (well what did you expect if an ex-statistician reports on proceedings:-).

Zoom behaved itself, broadband connections delivered the speed that they were supposed to, the readers all unmuted and muted at the right times and read clearly, the music was played beautifully and if the singing in each of the other households was anything like it was in this one, there are no words to describe it!!

Suffice to say a wonderful time a coming together as the Body of Christ was shared, praise was offered to God and everyone got thoroughly in the mood for Christmas – what more could any of us desire?

A huge thank you to Simon and Jamie, to Douglas, Rosemary, Ann, Carol, Caroline and James and to everyone who joined in the celebration – some even stayed on for a drink afterwards.

Food Bank Collections

The Christmas Foodbank Collections in

St Finnbarr’s and St Andrew’s

collected a massive

197.7 Kgs

of food, toiletries and Christmas Goodies,

to be distributed to families in need this Christmas.

A huge thank you to everyone who organised,
contributed to and supported this effort
and to those who donated money also.

Well Done.

Making a Canon

On the Feast of St Andrew (30th November 2020) James was Installed as a Canon of The Cathedral Church of St Andrew, Inverness.

James makes his declaration before +Mark

I, James Edward Patrick Currall, appointed to a Canonry in the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, Inverness, do solemnly promise, as in the sight of God and God’s elect Angels, that I will diligently and faithfully fulfil the duties of the same, and sedulously observe the Statutes and cause them to be observed by others.

We all ask for God’s help

O Lord, save this your servant
Who puts their trust in you.
Send them help from your holy place.
And evermore mightily defend him.
Let the enemy have no advantage over them.
Nor the wicked approach to hurt them.
Be unto them a strong tower.
From the face of their enemy.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
And let our cry come unto you.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

+Mark calls on the Holy Spirit

O Lord, of your mercy stretch forth the right hand of your Majesty over your servant James, that he may seek thee with his whole heart, and that those things which he asks faithfully he may obtain effectually through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

James is led to his Stall by Provost Sarah

From Land’s End to John O’Groats

Revd. Deborah Sandercock-Pickles, who is Priest in Charge of St Margaret’s Church Prestwich and St George’s Church Simister in Bury near Manchester, was in the shielding category during the first lockdown.

In a moment of madness, she decided that she would run from Land’s End to John O’Groats by running around her garden. At planned points she stops and explores the area electronically and visits a local place of worship (virtually of course). Whist she is ‘there’, she prays for the parish and their mission and ministry.

Well she has now ‘arrived’ in Sutherland via Tain and has enjoyed visiting our churches on-line. She writes:

I pray that God will bless the work that you are doing and encourage you as you seek to serve God in Dornach, Brora, Tain, Lairg and Tongue
You are in my prayers. Every blessing, Deborah

Deborah Sandercock-Pickles – 27th November 2020

We wish Deborah well for the remainder of her ‘trip’ and can only recommend that she stops off at The Crask Inn for its legendary welcome and hospitality. Our prayers go with you Deborah – haste ye back once you can travel for real.

St Margaret’s, Prestwich

A Seat in the Choir

Inverness Cathedral Canons’ Stalls

On 30th November I will be led by Provost Sarah to my stall in the Cathedral and installed as a Canon and member of Cathedral Chapter at a Eucharist to celebrate the Feast of St Andrew. The service will be live-streamed via the Cathedral Facebook page.

St Drostan’s Stall

My stall is dedicated to St Drostan, who was Abbott of Deer (in Aberdeenshire). Saint Drostan lived around 560 to 630. He was a follower of Saint Columba of Iona and spent a significant period in Aberdeenshire. He later retired to spend time in prayer and contemplation in Glenesk where there is an Episcopal Church dedicated to him and a self-catering lodge/retreat house.

St Drostan’s Church

We know about him because he appears in two old manuscripts, the Book of Deer an illuminated manuscript whose origins date back to the 900s, and Breviarium Aberdonense, (the Aberdeen Breviary) produced by Bishop William Elphinstone in Aberdeen in 1510. His name is also attached to various churches and to other places, such as St Drostan’s Well at Aberlour in Speyside, now the water source for Aberlour Distillery.

Aberlour Distillery

Grant them Rest Eternal

Tonight we remembered those who we have loved, but see no more; our friends, our relatives and those who have gone before us in faith.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

New Heating at St Finnbarr’s

St Finnbarr’s ready for All Saints

For a number of years we have been talking about replacing the heating in St Finnbarr’s, since the Diocesan Architect considered that it was in need of replacement.

Well it’s finally happened and the old assorted collection of radiant heaters hanging on chains have been replaced by dark infrared heaters attached to the roof beams. The new heaters on on a time clock so there’s no need for someone to go down to the Church on dark cold nights to put the heating on, it should all happen automatically.

It is now all finished and the congregation have had their first taste of what it will be like in future. By all accounts they were warm enough and didn’t feel that the new heaters detracted from the overall appearance of the Church.

Thanks to Jimmy who did the work so swiftly and without the need to cancel any services and to Margaret for all her work in getting tenders, etc.

We should be able to look forward to a warmer winter this year!!

Harvest and Thanksgiving

Today in St Finnbarr’s, St Andrew’s and St Columba’s we gave thanks for the harvest and for all God’s gifts to us. We may be finding things a bit tough just now, but that doesn’t stop us giving thanks for what we have and for God’s goodness to us, in fact it is in times like these that we need to recognise our need of God and be thankful for the constant presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives and the lives of those around us.

These flowers were in St Columba’s, but there were stunning flowers in both St Andrew’s and St Finnbarr’s as well (but I didn’t get photos of them:-( Thanks to everyone who exercised their considerable talents with their autumn flowers and fruits.

Charities Shop to Re-open

Opening

The St Finnbarr’s Charities Shop in Dornoch is scheduled to re-open for business this week.

Initially the shop will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm from October 16th.

The Shop

Great efforts have been made to make the shop safe for customers and staff so we would ask that everybody follows the ‘rules’ carefully. As you will be aware, the shop is small and although it has been reorganised, the number of customers who can be in the shop at any one time is strictly limited. Staff will be on hand at the door to guide you and answer any questions that you may have.

Donations of Items

It would be appreciated that if you have been saving donations of items for the shop that you drop them off during opening times only and in fairly small quantities as we don’t want to be swamped and have limited storage space.

Welcome

We look forward to welcoming everybody in the coming weeks, meanwhile keep safe.

Three in One

St Columba’s in Brora has been open for Individual Prayer on a Sunday afternoons for many weeks now, but on today (27th September) the Eucharist was once again celebrated in the “Tin Tabernacle”.

It was a lovely occasion, where we marked a Trinity of events. St Columba’s opened for worship after three years of closure due to fire on 28th September 2019, so this weekend marked the first anniversary of resumption of worship.

It was of course our first service since the start of lock-down in March, some six months ago.

Finally, it was the last service of Don Grant’s period of curacy with us and fittingly, he was presented with a painting of Brora beach, to remind him and Silvia of their time with St Columba’s. Thank you Don for what you have done in Brora over the last twelve months and we all wish you well in the next phase of ministry based out of the Cathedral in Inverness.

We weren’t of course able to have a party to celebrate these things but Claudia spend this morning making individual ‘cup-cake’ birthday cakes with a candle in the middle for each member of the congregation – thanks so much Claudia.

Thanks to everyone who helped to prepare the Church, the flowers and provide us with lovely music during the service and of course everyone who was there filling the Church to almost its (COVID) capacity. St Columba’s will now be open for worship each Sunday at 4pm.