A Rush Across Inverness
Posted Monday 2 July 2012
Pentecost Streamers at Arpafeelie
St Regulas's, Cromarty
I tried to keep this week as free as possible so that I could spend some time with Aidan, even though I realised that he would spend most of the week sleeping to catch up with his hectic life in Carlisle! The week therefore started quietly, we had an evening out on the Monday and then a couple of meeting s on the Tuesday, Aidan joined us for the Evening Eucharist in the Cathedral before we had a family meal at home.
Wednesday was the Diocesan Pre Synod meeting at which all those who would be representing the Diocese at General Synod meet together to look at the agenda and accompanying papers. This gives us an opportunity to explain the issues and to see if there are matters that we might wish someone to speak on, it also allows new members to hear how and why things happen. We had a good and forthright meeting. Earlier in the day I had met with the Diocesan Archivist to begin looking at the large number of documents held in St John’s, Inverness, these include the papers from the original church in Church Street, St Columba’s Mission on the Crown and the Mission station at Foyers.
Aidan headed South again on Friday and we prepared for the Jubilee Weekend, a few extra services, prayers to prepared, places to be seen. We spent Sunday at Aberlour before attending a special Evensong in the Cathedral, the choir gave us a wonderful rendition of “I Was Glad” and the large congregation singing lustily. On the Monday I represented the Diocese at the Inverness Jubilee service in The Old High Church in the City. This is the Parish Church of Inverness and has a history for us all, and one we were reminded of as the Curfew Bell rang just as worship started. Thankfully Episcopalians don’t need to be anxious about being seen at worship any longer!!
Tuesday was a meeting day, finance, mission and a vestry meeting at St Mary in the Fields, Culloden. The Diocesan Team headed off to General Synod on the Wednesday but for the first time in years I wasn’t with them. I was missing the first day of Synod to be in the Cathedral. The Princess Royal was to be installed as the first Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands and the ceremony was taking place in our Cathedral in Inverness. I was asked to lead in the Academic Procession, to preside from my seat and to offer the final Blessing. We had a great afternoon, all sorts and conditions being present and one more step on this exciting academic journey in the Highlands.
I left the reception and had to make a hasty trip to meet Jane at Bishop Eden’s Primary School so that we could catch the train to Edinburgh. Linda, my sacristan, was also arriving to take away the formal robes and to get us to the station. It is amazing how quickly the traffic stopped on Tomanahurich Street when a fully robed bishop rushed across the street, the shoppers in Tesco’s looked bemused and everyone smiled and said hello. We made it to the station, just and after a change at Perth arrived at our hotel just as the Diocesan Dinner started it’s main course, phew.
On Friday morning I chaired the Synod Session that decided by a large majority not to sign up to the Anglican Covenant, a number of people had suggested that it might all get a bit difficult as people of very different views debated the issue. But as I suspected we as a church full of friends behaved generously and lovingly towards each other and the decision was made with those relationships largely intact.
The rest of Synod followed its normal and interesting path, including a double act on mission and ministry with yours truly and +Kevin of Argyll and The Isles. We enjoyed ourselves; I think synod did as well. Then before we knew it we were all back on the train with the Dean entertaining me with Text messages on the conversations around us. We didn’t have too much travelling to do on the Sunday, 9.45 at St Regulas, Cromarty, with a Eucharist celebrated in the round and then on to 11.30am at St Andrew’s, Fortrose. I quietly said Evening Prayer in St John’s, Arpafeelie; it had been a good week.