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Daily Prayer


Regular Services: (but see also below)
11.30 am
Sung Eucharist,
Communion from Reserved Sacrament or Morning Prayer
First Wednesday each month
10.30 am
Communion from Reserved Sacrament

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


January Services:
10.30 am
Naming of Jesus
11.30 am
Epiphany 1
11.30 am
Epiphany 2 / Baptism of the Lord
11.30 am
Epiphany 3
3.30 pm
Evening Prayer
11.30 am
Epiphany 4

On Sunday 14th we welcome the Revd. David Balfour as our celebrant and preacher.



From Sunday's sermon:

Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.





Bishop Mark's New Year Message

Dates for your Diary:

See also Calendar for the year


Tuesday 9th January 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.

Thursday 11th January 7 pm - Meeting of the Vestry

Friday 12th January 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 14th Januaryr 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.


Friday 26th and Saturday 27th January 10 am - 2 pm both days in the Church Hall
Sale of Fiction Books

A special booksale has been arranged which will be made up entirely of fiction books - novels. Our donors have been exceedingly generous with novels, so we decided to have a fiction-only booksale at the end of January, with rock-bottom prices to attract readers. We will have several thousand books on sale on the Friday and Saturday, 10 am till 2 pm. You get a special low price for every four that you buy - a sort of bulk-buy deal. All the income goes to church projects. The current major fundraiser is towards a toilet extension at the church.

Gordon Johnson


Future events for 2018

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day
13th February

Book Sales:
2nd and 3rd March
22nd and 23rd June
7th and 8th September
2nd and 3rd November

Coffee Mornings:
24th March
26th May
28th July
29th September
24th November


Recent Events:

December Befriending afternoon

The Poltney Bell Ringers gave a short concert of Advent and Christmas carols in the church before everyone walked along the street to the church hall for afternoon tea. It was a very tricky walk along the pavement to the hall even after the bell ringers had spread two bags of salted grit to help the ice melt. Befriending Caithness Co-ordinator Angie House presented the ladies of the church, who host the monthly tea room, a beautiful Poinsettia plant and thank you card and expressed most grateful thanks to St John's for our monthly welcome.


Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

As usual, the Nine Lessons and Carols this year was magnificent. Unfortunately, due to icy weather and the bitter cold, the congregation was smaller than I expected. To my delight, Emma and her little daughter Harriet came to join us. Harriet being the youngest in attendance and Gerald being the oldest. Gerald, Pat Stanley's dad is over 100 years old but bright as a button and equally as delightful as little Harriet.

The carols were mostly the traditional ones. Richard Stanley had cleverly devised a new form of service booklet, which included the traditional carols and readings and this can be used for future services. In addition, there was a printed list of carols for 2017, which can be amended for the following years.

The choir, conducted by Susie Dingle, sang beautifully and the whole church seemed to immerse into the joy of the occasion.

The readings were as meaningful as ever and seemed to bring new revelations of the scriptures - there's always more to glean from The Word. Having David Balfour to lead the service was such a blessing too. He has been such a willing priest, helping out during Chris Mayo's absence and Rev Wendy's retirement. He is truly a faithful servant of The Lord and I am sure that we all appreciate his assistance. We think of the services past, our childhood memories of carol services at school and church and Christmas from long ago and it is still as wonderful.

After the service, we all gingerly walked up to the church hall for the refreshments. Again, tradition was in evidence and the mince pies and delicious home baking was on offer. This was thanks mostly to Lyn and Jeanette - again - faithful servants of The Lord.

Thank you everyone for your participation and for those who came in support. Most important though, I thank The Lord that some things never change.

June Knox


Christingle Service

On Wednesday 20 December at 4 pm St John's celebrated a Christingle Service, the whole event was organised, scripted, led and produced by Judith Crow. Children and adults alike made their Christingles, their Christmas tree decorations and I did observe some of the grown-ups eating the sweets on the cocktail sticks! 20 grown-ups and 11 children attended.

Richard Stanley




Priest's Letter

from the Revd. Dr. James Currall of Scottish Episcopal Church - Dornoch, Tain & Lairg


He's got the Whole World in His Hand


I love the season of Advent crowned as it is by the Christmas Eve/Day services, but as Advent proceeds more and more busyness intrudes into the sense of preparation, anticipation and prayerful reflection. For me therefore, the really special time, is the time between Boxing Day and the third of January. It's a time when many businesses are closed and the world slows down just a little. A time of preparation for the New Year and a time to pause before the routine normality of life reasserts itself in January.

It doesn't always work out quite as described, but even when there are perturbations, I still find it a time when there is space for reflection and prayer. For us this year, having the car break down on 28th December helped immensely, because there was simply no temptation to go anywhere or do any of the things that require a car if you live in a rural area. For many years we have gone for a long walk as early as we can manage on New Year's day and this year was no exception. Lack of a car meant that we could only do a walk that started and ended at home.

So it was off up a rather slippery Achue road, across the moors to the summit of Cnoc Dubh Beag (the small hillock), then wading through the snowy landscape up to the trig point at the top of Creag a’ Bhealaich (crag of the pass) - of which there are several in Scotland, ours being the smallest. The sun was shining, it was very frosty and the air was fresh and clear. On the tops the views were stunning, though there were clouds gathering in the west. A reminder if ever we need it, that we do live in a most beautiful part of the world.

In spite of the feeling of elation, which can be almost overwhelming at such times, the bright sun, the freshness and the beauty cannot hide the fact that in many parts of that landscape people are suffering. In communities and families, as well as the holiday joy and gladness, there is worry, there is sickness, there is grief and there is sadness. Everyday life contains all of these things, and believing that the "Word became flesh and dwelt among us" doesn't remove them, but what it does is to provide the possibility of hope. God is there in those communities and in those families, He's there to be found, but sometimes it's difficult to see it, to sense it and to feel the benefit of it.

We all have our part to play in helping those in our families and communities who are having a tough time to sense the love of God. And to be able to trust in the Christian hope comes from knowing that God comes to us in our hour of need, leads us into his all-encompassing love, acts in our lives and arranges for our salvation. Perhaps this might just offer a ray of sunlight to those who found that 2017 didn't end the way that they would have liked it to and hope that in 2018, whilst the old normal can never be restored, a new normal is possible in which love, trust and peace will conquer all.

There's a Gaelic carol which includes these verses:


’Nuair dh’èirich grian na fìreantachd,
Le gathan dìleas blath;
Bu mhòr a bha de dh’fheum oirre,
Bu dèisneach cor gach àit.

Fo dheàrrsadh grian na fìreantachd,
‘S a chridh bidh sith a’ fàs;
Gu’n toir i ’reothadh millteach às,
‘S gu’n lion i e le blàths.


Blessings and Peace to you this New Year


When rose that sun of Righteousness
With rays so warm and true
Greatly had we need of them
As woe in each place grew

Beneath that Sun of Righteousness
God's warmth and peace will grow
It drives away the spoiling frost
And makes the heart to glow

John Maclean – the Tiree Bard


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