Alleluia, Christ is Risen
Posted Sunday 15 April 2012
Easter Eucharist at St Gilbert's, Kinlochbervie
The Hills of Glenlivet
Easter morning saw us striding through Ullapool as we headed for the pier at the harbour, there was to be an Ecumenical Service of hymns and prayers, the first time this had happened and no one knew what to expect! Over a hundred people came together, Fr Nicholas led the worship, Alistair the Free Church Minister led us in prayer, a member of the Church of Scotland read, there were Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Kirk and Free Church, visitors, locals, people of faith and those trying to discover faith. I was privileged to give the blessing before we all tucked into bacon butties and coffee courtesy of the Frigate restaurant.
We just had time to stride back to St Mary’s for the Easter Ceremonies and Eucharist, the church was looking great, Easter Garden and fresh flowers. We blessed and marked the Paschal Candle, renewed our baptismal promises, I gave everyone a good splashing and we came together to give thanks for the Resurrection. After coffee and cream eggs we adjourned to Nicholas and Gilly’s for lunch, said good bye to their young house guests who had been with us throughout Holy Week and headed off to do it all again at Achiltibuie.
We arrived for the service at 2.30pm while Fr Nicholas and Gill headed for Lochinver to lead their Easter Service. The congregation at Achiltibuie numbered nineteen, a record for this small but faithful congregation; we once again lit the paschal candle and celebrated. The tea following the service included simnel cake and egg nests, wonderful; we also left with blue hens’ eggs and some goose eggs, a real Easter gift.
Onwards and Upwards as we headed for the last service of the day at Kinlochbervie, we met up with the Rector again and once again celebrated the Resurrection, sadly this time we had no candles-fire regulations at the centre, so everyone was asked to take their candles home and light it in the window to give thanks. Last journey of the day, home via Laxford, Lairg and Struie, we got home at 10.45pm, fifteen hours after setting off! We arrived home to discover the girls had made us a cake. Oh yes Happy 29th Anniversary Jane!!
We headed to Glenlivet on Monday, cats happily meowing all the way there. We settled in to the family house and the boiler packed up, no hot water…. Oh dear. On Tuesday we walked through Rothiemurchus Woods before picking the girls up from the station at Aviemore, a lovely family evening followed. Wednesday brought a plumber who half fixed the problem while Jane and I had a really good hike through the Glenlivet Hills and the occasional snow flurry and on Thursday we drove through to Elgin to stock up on Mike Dawson’s pork and plum sausages.
We drove home on Friday in time for me to change into bishop purple and to drive over to Cromarty. Here I welcomed a group of Liturgical Historians who were holding a conference on the history and development of the Scottish Liturgy during the 18th and 19th century. It was good to welcome them to this beautiful corner of the diocese and I hope they gained a lot from their time together. I stayed for the first session before heading over to St John’s, Inverness to check everything was ready for Sunday, the first services of there vacancy.
On Saturday I gave the Blessing at the Battle of Culloden Memorial Service, once again, despite the cold, a good number of people turned up, wreaths being laid by modern associations and clubs and also by the descendants of those who were at the battle. It is always an interesting mixture of clansmen and re enactment groups. The address, given by Professor Donald MacLeod spoke of the need to talk peace not war, and to rejoice in the Gaelic culture of Scotland.
Off to the West on Sunday, 10.30am Eucharist of Patron at St Donnan’s, Nostie, not a bad turn out for Low Sunday especially with the schools still being on holiday. As ever the church looked immaculate and welcoming and the day was enhanced by a wonderful bring and share lunch at Lynne Mackenzie’s home at Erbusaig . I was invited to answer questions on the development of Mission and Ministry in the charge and future directions, we had a good session and left for home with the sun shining over the mountains of Skye.