Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2023

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January – the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is also customary to have at least one service to which Christians from all Churches and Fellowships are invited.

Accordingly there will be a service in St Andrew’s Church in Tain at 3pm on Wednesday 25th January.

St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Manse Road, Tain

Wednesday 25th January at 3pm

All welcome to join together in Unity

For this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we are guided by the churches of Minneapolis as we seek to explore how the work of Christian unity can contribute to the promotion of racial justice across all levels of society. Through this resource, the CTBI writers’ group has also focussed our attention on the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which falls this year. The work of restoring hope through justice undertaken in Stephen’s memory continues to inspire and change lives for the better.

As we join with other Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer we pray that our hearts will be open to see and hear the many ways in which racism continues to destroy lives, and to discern the steps we can take as individuals and communities to heal the hurts and build a better future for everyone.

Services on Sunday 1st January

On New Year’s Day – the Feast of the Naming of Jesus,
there will be just two services:

8:30am at St Maelrubha’s, Lairg (in Lairg Parish Church)

11:00am a Joint service at St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch.

There will be no service at St Andrew’s, Tain

Malcolm Guite wrote this lovely sonnet to mark the Feast of the Naming of Jesus:

I name you now, from whom all names derive
Who uttered forth the name of everything,
And in that naming made the world alive,
Sprung from the breath and essence of your being.
The very Word that gave us words to speak,
You drank in language with your mother’s milk
And learned through touch before you learned to talk,
You wove our week-day world, and still one week
Within that world, you took your saving name,
A given name, the gift of that good angel,
Whose Gospel breathes in good news for us all.
We call your name that we might hear a call
That carries from your cradle to our graves
Yeshua, Living Jesus, Yahweh Saves.

Malcolm Guite – From his collection “Parable and Paradox” published by Canterbury Press

Services at Christmas 2022

  • Sunday 18th Dec – Christingle Service
    • St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 4:30pm

  • Friday 23rd DecLessons and Carols
    • St Andrew’s Church, Tain at 3:00pm (followed by seasonal refreshments)

  • Saturday 24th Dec – Christmas ‘Midnight’ Services
    • St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 7:30pm and
    • St Andrews, Tain, at 9:00pm.

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

  • Wednesday 28th Dec – The Holy Innocents
    • St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 10:30am

  • Thursday 29th Dec – Christmas Service
    • Christmas Service at St Columba’s, Brora at 12 Noon (followed by food and fellowship)

All are welcome at any of our services.

Warm Spaces in Dornoch

During the week from December to March, a variety of community spaces will be open to provide a warm space.

The Days, Times and Places are listed in the poster below.

DEC ’22 . MAR ’23


10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm


DORNOCH HUB – 1 Argyll Street
10am -12 Noon


WEST CHURCH HALL – Sutherland Road
11am – 3pm


DORNOCH HUB – 1 Argyll Street
11am – 1pm

12 Noon – 3pm


10am – 12:30pm


Tain Carol Service – 23rd December 2022

A Service of Lessons and Carols

for Christmas

 St. Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Church

Glebe Crescent, Tain

FRIDAY 23rd December


Followed by Mulled Wine, mince pies & other seasonal refreshments


‘Anglican’ Christianity: A four-part series in Advent 2022

Richard Hooker

What does it mean to be an ‘Anglican’ Christian? 

Over 40 Churches around the globe, consisting of no less than 85 million people, identify themselves as ‘Anglican’. Yet, Anglicans are divided among themselves in terms of doctrine and practice as demonstrated in the most recent Lambeth Conference (Summer 2022). This Series looks to four staples that Anglicans have classically identified as the bases of their belief and behaviour to highlight harmony rather than discord.

The Series will be offered on the Mondays of Advent 2022 at 7pm (GMT) in four 30-minute webinars, each of which will be posted on YouTube. The Series is meant to be a resource for Anglicans/Episcopalians to use creatively during the Season of Advent, for example as a refresher course for individuals or a conversation starter for church groups, with discussion questions at the end of each webinar.

  1. Holy Scripture: ‘all things necessary to salvation’ and the rule of faith (Monday 28 November)
  2. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds: symbols and statements of faith (Monday 5 December)
  3. The Dominical Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Monday 12 December)
  4. The historic Episcopate: a universal and locally adopted means of unity (Monday 19 December)

Presenter: Revd Dr Michael Hull, Director of Studies and Tutor, Scottish Episcopal Institute, Edinburgh.

Time: 7pm to 7.30pm (GMT) on Monday evenings in Advent 2022.

Registration is free. All are welcome. Register is here.

Food Bank – Collection for the Festive Season

As we approach the festive season, St Finnbarr’s Dornoch are organising a collection for our local Food Bank. If you would like to support us, please bring donations to the church on Sunday 4th or Sunday 11th December between 10.30am and 11am or on Wednesday 7th December 10am to 10.30am. We are collecting the usual standard food and toiletry items to support people through the holiday period and you might like to include a few seasonal treats. The Food Bank is particularly short of coffee, sugar and biscuits.  Please can you make sure any perishable items such as prepacked ham or spreads have a long date and it would be helpful to pack these separately so that they can be kept refrigerated. The Food Bank is currently experiencing increased demand, so your support would be much appreciated. Don’t forget that you can also donate money if you feel you would like to help in this way. We know not everyone will feel they can contribute, but thank you in advance for supporting our neighbours most in need.

Looking forwards – Christingle Celebration!

On Sunday 18th December at 4.30pm St Finnbarr’s Dornoch will hold a Christingle Celebration Service in aid of The Children’s Society.

If you’ve never been to a Christingle before, please do come along to this very special, informal service which includes lots of carols and a simple all age Christmas message.

We know there is still a wee while to go before this happens, but wanted to let you know well in advance because part of the service includes making an offering to The Children’s Society. In the next couple of weeks special collecting candles and /or envelopes (like the ones below) will be available for you to collect from church and then slowly fill up during advent to then bring along as your offering to support some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

We look forward to welcoming you and presenting you with your very own Christingle to take home!

Advent Study – the Book of Amos

The topic of our Advent Study year is “The Book of the Prophet Amos”.

There is clearly much for us to reflect on in this Book, which is well worth reading even if you don’t make it along to the study group sessions.

Amos, a shepherd and a farmer, found himself recruited by God to be his prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel, though his message extends to other nations, including the southern kingdom of Judah. Amos saw a society and a religion on its last legs, but nobody else did.

Standards in Amos’ society had declined. Authority and the rule of law were despised, national leadership, while revelling in the publicity and privilege of position and quick to score debating- points, wasn’t facing up to the real issues and standards of public morality were at a low ebb.

Affluence, exploitation and profit were the main motivators of those in power. The rich were affluent enough to have multiple houses, while the poor and defenceless were shamelessly exploited or simply ignored.

Religion at the time adored what was traditional, sacrifices were meticulously offered, the musical side of worship was keenly studied but religious observance had become a self-justifying enterprise, self-pleasing and abhorrent to God.

The state of Amos’ society provide the context for his ministry and also invites us to considering that he might have something to say to us today as there are undoubtedly parallels between Amos’ society and our own. 

Groups start in the week beginning 25th November. 

There will be one session after the midweek service in St Finnbarr’s
at 11am on Wednesday mornings 30th Nov and 7th and 14th Dec

A second session will be held after the midweek service in St Andrew’s hall
at 7pm on Thursday evenings 1st, 8th and 15th Dec.

All are most welcome whether or not they’re members of any of our congregations.