Services at Christmas 2021

  • Thursday 23rd DecLessons and Carols
    • St Andrew’s Church, Tain at 3:00pm.

  • Friday 24th Dec – Christmas ‘Midnight’ Services 
    • St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 8:00pm and
    • St Andrews, Tain, at 10:00pm.

  • Saturday 25th DecChristmas Day Services
    • St Maelrubha’s, Lairg at 8:30am,
    • St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 10:00am and
    • St Andrews, Tain at 10:30am.

  • Sunday 26th Dec – Services
    • A Joint Service in St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 11:00am
      (there will be NO SERVICES in St Maelrubha’s, Lairg or St Andrew’s, Tain)
    • Christmas Service at St Columba’s, Brora at 4:00pm

Advent in Sutherland and Tain

Advent Candles


Next Sunday (28th November) is the first Sunday in Advent, marking the beginning of the Advent Season.

An Advent Theme

We are all aware of the many difficult issues that the Covid pandemic has thrown into sharp relief and the heightened concern over our environment and the future that we will leave for our children and grandchildren and the tensions that all of this can create in relationships and for mental health. Against this background, we are planning to focus on a different aspect of Social Justice in each week of Advent.

Advent Candles

Traditionally the Advent Wreath has three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday. These four candles are arranged in a ring with a white candle in the centre. There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the readings in our Lectionary is:

  • Advent 1 – The Patriarchs (and Matriarchs)
  • Advent 2 – The Prophets
  • Advent 3 – John the Baptist 
  • Advent 4 – The Virgin Mary 
  • Christmas Day – Jesus the Christ

The weekly themes of Social Justice will be reflected in our preaching as follows:

  • Advent 1 – The Legacy that we leave to future generations (mirroring what was left to us by earlier generations – including most of our Church Buildings)
  • Advent 2 – Freedom of Speech (the Prophets were often persecuted for what they said)
  • Advent 3 – Consumption (John was very frugal)
  • Advent 4 – Exploitation and Violence against Women and Girls (Mary was a vulnerable refugee)

Advent Study Groups

Our Advent Study Groups will also take up each of these themes week by week.

The groups will be held as follows:

Wednesday Mornings at 11am in St Finnbarr’s Church after the Midweek Service

Wednesday Evenings at 7pm on Zoom

Each of the Sessions will stand alone and so it is perfectly OK to attend in person some weeks and online for others, they are on Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd December.

If you wish to take part in the Advent Study, please let James know, so that he can prepare sufficient copies of materials/arrange refreshments. etc.

Simon and James

Advent Carol Service – 28th November 2021

Advent Carol Service

in Dornoch Cathedral

Sunday 28th November – 6pm

(Please enter via the west door and bring a facemask)

Collection in aid of ImpACT

(Raising funds to provide Clean Birth Kits)

All are welcome, so come along and join in.

O come, O come Emmanuel!

Remembrance Sunday St Andrew’s Tain – 14th November 2021

The service at St Andrew’s will begin promptly at 10:45am with an Act of Remembrance including a two minutes silence at 11am, so please be in your seats by 10.45am this week. All are very welcome.

As usual there will be a ceremony for the laying of wreaths at the war memorial in the Collegiate Church in Tain. This will start with prayer at 12:15pm, James, Charlie and Joanie will be participating in this ceremony, but others are welcome to join us or stay in the hall for coffee .

Remembrance Sunday St Finnbarr’s Dornoch – 14th November 2021

The community in Dornoch are not able to mark Remembrance Sunday in the usual way this year. The service at St Finnbarr’s will begin with an Act of Remembrance at 10.45am in church. Please let others know about this earlier start time – thank you!

Service changes this week – 1-7 Nov 2021

St Andrew’s Tain Midweek Service

The St Andrew’s midweek service will be on Wednesday rather than Thursday this week at the usual time of 6pm but in the Church rather than the Hall.

St Columba’s Brora Sunday Service 7th Nov

There will be no Sunday Service in St Columba’s on 7th November as the clergy are occupied with the

Golspie Community Memorial Service

in the Fountain Road Hall, Golspie

at 4pm

Normal Services will be resumed next week.

Advent Carol Service on the First Sunday in Advent

Advent Carol Service at Dornoch Cathedral

Sunday 28th November – 6pm

(Please enter via the west door and bring a facemask)

Collection in aid of ImpACT

(Raising funds to provide Clean Birth Kits)

Fancy being in the Choir?

If you are a singer and are interested in being in the choir for this event, please come along to our open rehearsals at St Finnbarr’s Episcopal Church (School Hill, Dornoch) on Thursday 18th November  and Thursday 25th November – 7.30pm until 9pm.

O come, O come Emmanuel!

Service for All Souls (2nd November)

As part of our Season of Remembrance, members from across our churches will be joining together at St Finnbarr’s in Dornoch on Tuesday 2nd November at 6.30pm for a special service at which we remember those we have loved and lost.

At this special service the names of the departed will be read aloud. We have lists of names from previous years, so if you have provided names already they will be read, we will also add the names of all those whose funerals we have conducted in the last year, but if there are additional loved ones that you wish us to add please let us know.

If you can’t make the service but would like someone’s name added to our lists, please email either or or telephone Fr Simon on 01408 633614 or Canon James on 01862 881737 (please feel free to leave a message if there is no answer)!

Keep Warm for the Homeless

In February there was a lively and very moving funeral for a lovely member of the St Andrew’s congregation – Renate Krueger.

Renate was born in the very north of Germany in 1950 and was adopted by a very loving couple, Dr.Heinz Krueger and his wife Annemarie. They gave her everything they could and loved her dearly. After a career in psychotherapy, Renate moved to the Highlands in 1997 with her husband. She had many very challenging times during her marriage and a particular problem that she had to confront. After several years struggling and facing her shadows she was saved by God s grace and the fellowship of Christian people.

Looking back at her life, a couple of years ago she said that

everything seemed so much clearer, an intricately woven blanket, with patterns and colours not always matching, but still making a beautiful picture … there might even be holes in it, ragged edges, unfinished rows, different patterns and material of wool … but somehow it all fitted together and made sense.

That metaphor seems particularly apt since Renate was a compulsive knitter and as someone who for a time had been homeless, she knitted scarves that she sold to raise money for homelessness charities.

When Renate died she left a stock of knitted scarves “with patterns and colours not always matching, but still making a beautiful picture”.

We are offering these scarves for sale for a suggested donation of £10 which will be passed on for the purpose of making life better for those that were so close to Renate’s heart – the homeless.

Scarves will be available in St Finnbarr’s and St Andrew’s for the next few weeks so just speak to Caroline Barnes or Beatrice Somers if you would like to look at a selection either for yourself or for a Christmas present. If you are in our Lairg, Brora or Tongue congregations get in contact with James or Anna and we will arrange to find you something to meet your requirements.

This, we feel, is a fitting way to remember Renate and honour her commitment to those less fortunate than herself but let us give the last word to Renate:

I needed God for advice, guidance, courage, strength, help and love – He needed me to tell him of my passions, desires, aims in life and together, in co-operation, HE gave me what I needed, not what I wanted. He knows me best, even before I did and I listened to Him, more and more and the more I listened, the better my life began to unfold… He had plans for me – and they were not always my plans, but my deepest desires came true. THANK YOU GOD 🙂

For beautiful times of joy, love and happiness… for meeting wonderful people on my journey… for special moments in awe of Your creation… for tender moments with my beloved animals and peaceful times in my garden and at the sea, for beautiful music, swimming and dancing… those were the things I loved… and much more… for all of my life and the friends who were at my side – and those who taught me important lessons, also for pain and sorrow and finding blessing in the most challenging times, but most of all, for you, God and Your unconditional love and never giving up on me 🙂