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Quick Links: Regular Services Monthly Services Dates for your Diary Recent Events Rector's Letter

Daily Prayer


Regular Services:
Sung Eucharist

Additional services where possible on Holy Days, Church Feasts etc.


December Services:
11.30 am
Advent 2
11.30 am
Advent 3
3.30 pm
Evening Prayer
3.30 pm
Nine Lessons and Carols
11.30 am
Advent 4 - Eucharist with Baptism
11.30 pm
Christmas Eve
11.30 am
Christmas Day


Dates for your Diary:

Friday 9th December 10.0 am - 4.0 pm
Sit & Stitch Day in the Church Hall
All aspects of stitching welcome. Be inspired and encouraged by the company and friendly chat. An opportunity to finish cross stitch kits or learn a new skill like patchwork or even take up a hem or two.
Tea and coffee on tap. Bring your own packed lunch. Please phone Lyn to book a table - 07890 902816. 5 a day

Sunday 11th December at 12.45 pm in the Church Hall
This stall sells Fairtrade tea, coffee, sweets, biscuits, sugar, pasta, cocoa and dates. All top quality items.

Tuesday 13th December 2.0 - 4.0 pm in the Church Hall
Our befriending tea room will be open again. The usual team will be on hand to meet and greet. There is always an open invitation to any member of St John's congregation to come along for the afternoon.

Future dates for 2017


Recent Events:

Befriending Afternoon 1st Anniversary / Birthday

We so look forward to welcoming everybody and having refreshments and a blether! Reminisces over the last year to do with the hall itself, have been of Wedding receptions, Highland Dance Classes and Sunday School. What fun has been had in these walls! We had Birthday Cake, balloons, sang Happy Birthday and were given a card from Befriending Caithness with a beautiful bouquet of flowers which appeared in church on the last Sunday before Advent.

The card said: "To the most lovely ladies who provide the most wonderful baking each month to our Befrienders and Befriendees. You have made such a difference to all our lives. Thank you so much. Happy 1st Birthday. From Befriending Caithness."

Victoria Denley-Spencer

click image to enlarge

From Angie House, Befriending Caithness:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the church for opening up their doors to the community of Caithness through Befriending Caithness. Each month we have been visiting the Church Hall in order to have a lovely afternoon tea. The ladies of the church have made us very very welcome indeed and provide us with the opportunity to be somewhere relaxed in order to have conversation and sometimes be entertained by community groups such as the Caithness Handbell Ringers.

There is usually 28 - 31 Befrienders and Befriendees who attend. Each table is set with homemade cakes and sandwiches and put together with fine china a splendid environment to be in. This time has made a difference to a lot of people who are not able to get out and about on their own. They have memories of being in the Church Hall when they were young. One lady remembered having her Highland Dancing lessons there when she was young and another had her Wedding Reception there. These memories are held closely in their hearts and their faces are full of delight when they are telling the story. This opportunity gives people a chance to meet others that they have not seen for a while. People come from Thurso, Lybster, Mid Clyth, Strathy and of course Wick.

Befriending Caithness is just delighted with the our monthly afternoon tea visit to the Episcopal Church and want to give a huge thank you to the ladies of the church who have made this happen.


St Andrew's Coffee Morning

Our latest coffee morning was themed on celebrating St Andrews Day. On the tables were candle arrangements with flag ribbons, home baking, and books. We had our usual raffle with its amazing number of prizes. The total raised was 249.75.

We had pancakes, our special milky coffee and warm mince pies, to celebrate St Andrews Day which this year coincided with our Advent Service taking place on St Andrews Day, 30th November, so our theme for this coffee morning decided itself! We had a busy morning with a great atmosphere to end this year's coffee mornings and look forward to welcoming everybody next year.

I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone involved with St John's coffee mornings, for making them such a success. We held 5 coffee mornings this year and raised 1,138.25. This figure would not have been achieved without all the generous donations of baking, raffle prizes, plants, produce, books and refreshments. Many thanks to all who support these events.

Victoria Denley-Spencer


Appeal from HOST
Offer your hand for international friendship! Welcome an adult international student into your home this Christmas and make the world a little friendlier. Adult international students in the UK face a lonely holiday on a university campus, and would love to spend a few days with you, learning about British culture, experiencing Christmas festivities, and telling you about their own country. Hosting is a voluntary position suitable for all ages and is also available throughout the year with HOST, a charity set up in 1987. To find out more, please visit www.hostuk.org or call 020 7739 6292.


Caithness Food Friends
is a new food sharing initiative, where volunteers cook and take a homemade meal to an elderly person within the local area, and over time create the opportunity to build a relationship.

CFF leaflet to download and/or print.
We are on facebook Caithness Food Friends.
See also Caithness Voluntary Group and recent article in local press

Caithness Food Friends Co-ordinator: Victoria Denley Spencer Tel: 01955 609968 or email Victoria

"If you have spare then you can share"


Rector's Letter

Dear People of Wick and Thurso,

Lately I've been slowly reading through a book which, among many other things, asks why Christianity in the West has become so feeble and spineless; and the author suggests that at least part of the answer may be that we generally no longer expect our Christian faith to have any relevance for our daily lives. To take a small example, how many of us say grace before and after meals, whether or not there are guests present? Or when we are in our workplace or in a restaurant? The author writes from a firmly Evangelical perspective, but, even so, he gently disabuses his readers of the notion that "accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord" is all that is necessary, while other aspects of life, making as much money as possible by whatever means, for example, are exempt from the Lordship of Christ. In fact, he assures us, that if we really were to allow Jesus to be what we say he is, firstly, we would be simply unable to wish to exclude him from any part of our lives, and then we couldn't keep quiet about the amazing love that we have found in him and now long to share with others.

Once again it would be good to remind ourselves that the month of December is primarily Advent, not a backward extension of the season of Christmas. Some of us, indeed, can recall the time when carol services including Festivals of Nine Lessons and Carols were not sung until after December 24th. But now no longer perhaps anywhere, except in the chapel of King's College Cambridge, whose service it is, after all, and where it doesn't begin until 3 o'clock in the dusk of the afternoon of Christmas Eve.


A comment that I've quoted before from Church Times perhaps has something to say about this:

One of the great benefits of serving, as I do, in a parish where the majority of the population is Muslim is that one stands a fighting chance of observing Christmas Day on December 25th, and not for several months before 25 December. As long as I stay in my little part of the East End of London, all is reasonably well, liturgically speaking. Advent actually feels like Advent.
(The Revd Peter McGeary in Church Times November 2nd 2012)

How sad that only in such an environment can the power of Advent be permitted any space.

Does this matter? many other Scots, as we clergy in the Ministers' Fraternal have recently been reminded, are quite firm, not to say fierce, about not observing any liturgy, or any times or seasons. I recall my astonishment, on learning this from a Free Church clergyman, and spluttering, "But you do believe in the resurrection, surely?" and being reassured by his reply that of course he did. So does it matter? This, I have to say, is where I stand as a lifelong Anglican, not only unable to remember when I first "trusted in Jesus as my Saviour and Lord", but also seeing the cycle of the seasons of the Church Year as helping to undergird and reinforce my faith from the time when I first became aware of them, "the venerable rhythms of redemption", as I've seen them called. For me, it does indeed matter, and I see our corporate faith being impoverished by any of the seasons being marginalised.

So why bother with Advent? Advent is the season set apart, for centuries, by the Christian Church, to call us back to the knowledge of who we are, and who is our God, the God who can humble and restore us, if only we will let him. How many of us could truthfully say that we keep an Advent discipline, much less focus our daily awareness on the four great themes of Advent: Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell? Firm reminders of what matters, or should matter most, to people of faith: Death - we are not on earth for ever; Judgement - how we live will have eternal consequences; Heaven - the grateful joy that comes from living within the love of God given to us; Hell - the cramped misery and chaos that result from treating God as effectively an irrelevance to "real" everyday life. So Advent is the time, for example, to find time to look out an inspiring book to read to build up our faith, or some music to play that will enable us to reflect and pray more deeply, or some art to draw us into a new way of seeing people and things around us, all with the intention of rekindling our first love from which we are so constantly being distracted away.

Christmas, Lent, Passiontide, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, the Ascension and then the weeks and months following all have their own part to play in their own times, and it's wise to keep all of them to their own times without encroaching on other seasons, to allow their full force to engage us, revive us and restore us.

So may we do our best to keep Advent as Advent.

With my love and prayers,
Revd Wendy.





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