Services and Events
SEC Daily Prayer - Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer (Compline)
Scottish Christians asked to join in prayer every Sunday at 7pm
Dates for your Diary: See also hall calendar for the year
From May until September, St. John's church building is open on Wednesdays from 12 noon until three p.m. for visitors to come and have a look inside, learn a little about our church, or just sit for meditation. Our stewards will be happy to help, or simply let you view the building on your own.
This 152-year-old building has interesting stained glass windows, plus windows engraved by an expert glass artist from Caithness Glass before the company moved south.
This year, after years of fund-raising, an extension has been built on the south side of the church to provide toilet and baby-changing facilities for our congregation and visitors. The vestibule of the extension also enables us to store essentials in cupboards to keep things tidy.
Our famed Gulland work of art illustrating a bible text on the 'water of life', which used to be the window at that point, has been rebuilt into the extension on the far side.
Church Summer Opening
The church is open to visitors every Wednesday from 12 noon to 3pm. If you would like to join the rota of volunteers, please speak to Richard Stanley or Gordon Johnson.
The Bishop will be in Caithness on Sunday 3rd and 17th July. It is hoped that a Vestry meeting can be arranged around one of these dates.
The fourth invoice totalling £17,579.70 has been received from Norbloc. A final sum of £1,912, which represents 2.5% of the construction tender, will be retained for one year for snagging purposes. The adjusted final account is £76,492, compared to the estimated construction cost of £79,086. The building warrant completion certificate has been received. Invoices from Knight & McDonald and the conservation architect HRI Munro are expected shortly. Once these are paid, it is expected that there will be a small surplus to begin paying off the provincial loan.
We had hoped that the new chairs would be with us in time for the anniversary celebration, but we have been notified that they are expected to be delivered at the start of August. Letters have been sent to those who expressed an interest in donating the cost of a chair. A number of pews will be surplus to requirements. Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing a pew, although you would need to make your own arrangements for uplift!
We celebrated our 152nd anniversary on Saturday 18th June. Having anxiously watched the weather forecast all week, we were treated to a blustery but bright day. The garden looked splendid with the new roses in the borders. The tent borrowed from the Wick Scout Group steadfastly withstood the windy gusts and provided the perfect place for the tasty buffet.
The newly varnished front door was gleaming. Inside the church, a spring clean had taken place in preparation, and the new toilet annexe was complete. A special Order of Service had been prepared, along with a leaflet about the toilet project.
While the guests were assembling, they were treated to music performed by the Poltney Bell Ringers. The service began with a procession of the clergy from the hall to the church, and was led by Bishop Mark. In his sermon he covered a brief history of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Caithness, and looked forward to many more years of prayer and worship. At the end of the service, the new extension was dedicated.
A time for fellowship and gathering was held in the church grounds, as we enjoyed the buffet and company. Thank you to everyone who made this day so memorable.
Whilst we were away down south, I took a very full car load of 'stuff' to the local 'recycling centre'. It was very busy and there were categories for every manner of thing and no-one was allowed anywhere near the 'general waste' skip until all other options were exhausted.
Whilst we were away I was also reflecting on the Eucharist and what it means in a broader sense than just what happens at the altar whenever we celebrate as Jesus commanded.
"Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'"
1 Corinthians 11:23-25
I was thinking about the way that we handle the communion elements and in particular what we do with the remaining elements if they are not to be reserved for those who aresick or otherwise unable to be in church. In the Communion service of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the minister is directed to "reverently eat and drink" what remains of the consecrated elements after the distribution of Communion.
This direction resonates with the passage from John's Gospel where Jesus gave direction to the Disciples as to what to do with what remained after the Feeding of the Five Thousand: "Gather up the fragments that nothing remains" (John 6:12).
You know, I think that this has more than a tangential bearing on the meaning of the Eucharist, and one that's important in relation to how we ought to respond to one of the biggest environmental issues in the affluent West today - waste. For instance it's a singular abuse of stewardship to throw away nearly a third of all the food that's produced. This is often by the relatively affluent West and is at the expense of the global poor, and producing and distributing more than is required can only lead to depletion of resources and needless degradation of soils.
The war in Ukraine is having a huge impact on global food supply as Ukraine produces a significant amount of the wheat and sunflower seed (from which sunflower oil is extracted) that act as components of the staple diet of many around the world. For us in the West that means increased prices, but for many in poorer countries in for example Africa, it means starvation. Even in the West it is showing up the huge gap between rich and poor, with many in our country now struggling to put food on the table.
And so, it is in the light of these considerations that we should be able to see that how we, the worshipping community, handle and care for our spiritual food and drink, particularly in what remains and is left over from the Eucharistic Feast, is indicative of our attitude to the wider social and natural environment and supporting those in need both at home and abroad.
We are indebted to The Rev James Currall once again for his monthly contribution.