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Regular Services:
Sundays
11.30 am
Sung Eucharist, Communion or Morning Prayer

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

 
 

July Services:
Sun
2nd
11.30 am
Pentecost 4 - Morning Prayer
Thu
6th
6.30 pm
Welcome Service for the
Revd. Chris Mayo
- Sung Eucharist
Sun
9th
11.30 am
Sea Sunday
Sun
16th
11.30 am
Pentecost 6
Sun
16th
3.30 pm
Evening Prayer
Sun
23rd
11.30 am
Pentecost 7
Sun
30th
11.30 am
Pentecost 8 - Morning Prayer
 
 

On Sunday 16th we welcome the Rev'd. Robert Breaden as our preacher and celebrant.

 

Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness elected Primus

 

The Revd. Chris Mayo has been appointed as the Priest-in-Charge for the Caithness charges. He was licensed by Bishop Mark on Sunday 2nd July at 3.30 pm in St Peter's in Thurso.


The Primus with Rev. Chris and Jeff Lowndes from Gordon Chapel Fochabers who read the Gospel.

The appointment of Rev. Chris marks a new chapter in the life of St John's, and he is keen to meet the congregation and get to know us all. He says:

Hello, good evening and welcome….

I've always wondered how one introduces oneself without it sounding like an audition - "You're up next dahhhling. Oh, on second thoughts, NEXT!". How about I start with the very simple…

Hi. I'm Chris - it's good to meet you.

I'm saying 'hi' from my desk in my house in Brora. My own house, not a Church rectory. I live in the Highlands because I fell in love with this extraordinary and beautiful place and its people. From my very first visit to Moray and the Highlands on retreat in 1989, I knew that I wanted to live here. Like so many people, the geography and environment touch my soul and there's something magnetic about the history, myth and legend that defines Caithness and Sutherland. In this case you can most definitely take Essex out of the boy as well as the boy out of Essex!

I never thought God would call me to parish ministry here. I had long moved out of stipendiary parish ministry and into teaching Religious Education (much of my second curacy was spent in primary and secondary schools) and chaplaincy before moving into technology and communications. God, however, laughs in the face of any plans we make and soon after my move to Brora, Bishop Mark asked me to assist in a non-stipendiary role before inviting me to take up the stipendiary role of Priest-in-Charge of East Sutherland and Tain. The rest, as they say is history.

From the start of my return to stipendiary ministry my sense of calling has been to develop collaborative ministry where lay leaders and ordained clergy together lead the whole people of God. I have little time for the concept that 'real' ministry is what clergy do and lay leaders support. No, God calls his church to minister to the world and from within his church raises up people of different skills, loves, quirks, challenges and capabilities. Every child of God has a ministry only they can offer. As each works out their ministry, some may then enter ordained ministry, others licensed local ministry, to build up the whole people in their life of faith and witness. Yet all are called together. So it will be my privilege and joy to work with all of you to discern which ministries and callings God is raising up in Caithness. We are a people, together. This collaboration will be vital - having the parish priest living fifty miles away will mean some creativity in how we do things!

My other calling, and one the Bishop has recognised and authorised in asking me to become the Diocesan Mission Officer, is to develop the discipleship of existing congregations - how do we grow in prayer, service and love - and the raising up of new congregations. In my few years in East Sutherland and Tain two missions have grown and a third is at the start of its journey on the eastern seaboard. These missions will continue to be under my oversight as mission officer, but I also look forward to seeing what God is asking us to join the Spirit in creating in Caithness. As Episcopalians with the local knowledge, you'll be amongst those guiding my hands and feet in this. I honestly have faith that our church in Caithness will grow - both in the existing worshipping communities and in new gatherings. That growth will be both numerical and in our life of discipleship.

It's going to take me a little while getting to know you all. Not having the opportunity to live full time with you as Wendy and previous parish priests have done will require some creativity and engagement on all sides but I do think that Wick and Thurso have proven time and again their capacity to rise to a challenge. There is a lot of giftedness in you - that is apparent to all of us who have ministered in the Northern Region. I look forward to seeing where that journey takes us.

It should also be noted that Old Pulteney is, indeed a fine Single Malt. I sense some call to chaplaincy there…..

Love and blessings,
Rev. Chris Mayo



 

Scottish Episcopal Institute Summer School

New online magazine - PISKYSCOT

 

Dates for your Diary:

See also calendar for the year

 

 

Saturday 1st July 10.30 am - 12 noon in the Church Hall
"Anyone for Tennis" Coffee Morning.

We're celebrating Wimbledon fortnight with a coffee morning. With the Tennis season in full swing come and attend our event! There will be a raffle with its amazing number of prizes and superb delicious home baking. A taste of summer awaits - scones with strawberries and cream, gorgeous homemade pancakes and our special milky coffee. So set out for game, set and match.

Victoria Denley-Spencer


Sunday 2nd July at 3.30 pm in St. Peter & the Holy Rood, Thurso
Licensing of the Revd. Chris Mayo as our Priest-in-Charge

Thursday 6th July at 6.30 pm in the Church
Welcome Service for the Revd. Chris Mayo

Sunday 9th July at 12.45 pm in the Church Hall
TRAIDCRAFT STALL
This stall sells Fairtrade tea, coffee, sweets, biscuits, sugar, pasta, cocoa and dates. All top quality items.

Tuesday 11th July 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.

Friday 14th July 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

19th July at 7 pm in the Church Hall
Wednesday evening with ....
Living my dream
This month's guest speaker is Cara Young from the Puffin Croft at John O'Groats. Cara moved into Puffin Croft early 2016 and began living her dream. After 24 years travelling the world as a children's nanny she gave it all up to take on the task of running an animal petting farm and farm shop which sold home grown fresh produce and home baking, situated almost at the end of the A99 road into John O'Groats.
Cara's journey to Caithness to live her dream will be documented in a TV programme to be screened later this year. More information about this and much more about her dream will be shared with us by Cara. Another not to be missed evening full of delights.
Admission £4 to include refreshments.

 

Visiting Wick this summer? Or discovering your own town?

Our Church will be open for anyone to visit on Wednesdays, 12noon - 3pm, from May to September. This interesting building, on the corner of Moray Street and Francis Street, has commemorative wall tablets and decorative windows, as well as the normal church furnishings and equipment. It is open to believers and non-believers alike. You can come to see it as interesting architecture, a place of worship, or a place of quiet contemplation. One or more church members will be on hand to offer a guided tour if you wish, but there is a self-guide leaflet if you prefer, or you can just sit in one of the pews, or a soft chair, to absorb the quiet atmosphere.

As an added attraction, this year we are offering second-hand books for sale at less than a pound each. They are of all types, not just religious, so come on a Wednesday and have a look.

Gordon Johnson

Future dates for 2017

Book Sales:
1st and 2nd September
3rd and 4th November

Coffee Mornings:
30th September
25th November

Bazaar:
Saturday 26th August

Crafts Festival:
19th, 20th and 21st October

Wednesday Evening with …

16th August -

20th September -

at 7 pm:

Susie Dingle

Ken Crossan

 

Life as a music conductor

Land of fire & ice - Yellowstone in winter


click to enlarge

Recent Events:

Wednesday evening with...

The third in our series of monthly fundraising talks took place on June the 21st. I welcomed the Lord Lieutenant of Caithness - Anne Dunnett - who gave a talk about her duties after almost 20 years as a deputy and Lord Lieutenant in Caithness.
She left school at 15 years of age with no paper qualifications, started her working life in Donnie MacKay's Ensign newsagent shop in Wick and retired as a fully qualified and most successful solicitor with her own law firm based in Wick.
Anne brought along several fascinating visual aids that enhanced her telling of life as a Lord Lieutenant in the county as well as in London and other parts of the UK. She spoke of her large collection of hats and matching outfits, and of the very many interesting people she had met over the years. She then went on to share some of the coincidences she has experienced in her life thus giving us a taster of a book she is planning to write on this subject in the near future.
The evening was peppered with humour and touching stories told by a quite remarkable Wicker, the likes of which we will never see again. Many in the audience knew Anne professionally, and otherwise, and obviously looked upon her as a friend and a well kent face about the county.
Neil Thompson thanked Anne very much for giving us a most entertaining evening and wished her a long and happy retirement with time to return to her past hobbies, including tennis, and new ones including writing.

Lyn Ball

 



 
 

Priest's Letter

A Continuing Mission…...

Mission: over the past few years it has been ever-present. It is there in my sermons, in Bishop Mark's addresses, our Regional Synods, the General Synod.

Everywhere.

Yes, we use the word 'mission' a lot - I'm perhaps the most guilty of it. It's the major focus of my own sense of ministry. A mission priest is who I really am and why Bishop Mark has appointed me to the post of Diocesan Mission Officer, alongside being your new Priest in Charge. However, the more I think about it the more I wonder about using that word. We have our own preconceptions about it and the wider world certainly sees it negatively. Often the word is seen is imposing our ways upon others, a kind of crusading. For us who are part of the Body of Christ though, it simply refers to one thing: how do we as a particular gathering of disciples, learners of Christ's Way, go on the journey of following Jesus?

Jesus, it is said, 'set his face towards Jerusalem' in the final days before the Cross , and towards there he outwardly journeyed: meeting, sharing, healing and teaching as he went. Both before and following the Resurrection, Christ's followers reflected on this and learned more of God in their own second and internal journey. This allowed them to come closer to the God Jesus shared with them. As their vocation was explored the apostles began their own physical journeys and gathered new disciples. Again, in turn and in their own times this new generation of followers discovered God on their internal journey. So it was that the journeys, outward and visible, inward and spiritual, continued on. Now, in our own time, we are called to 'set our faces' toward our own journey into our future.

How do we journey outward into our communities and share the Church's life? How do we help people journey inward into understanding God and their relationship with the Creator? This is the cause to which we are pledged in Baptism, Confirmation and indeed at every Eucharist. It is the vocation of the Priesthood of the whole Church- to reveal Christ's love to the people and bear the people of our community on our hearts before God. If my ministry as a priest is, at least in part, about encouraging the ministry of Christ to happen, the ministry of Caithness' disciples is to then take that ministry of Christ to the Zacchaeus' of this world - the ones straining to hear his voice and see his passing by. The is the work of the Kingdom that is shared by me and thee.

However, this throws questions back on me that must remain part of my own discernment as we move forward together. If I am asking us to think about the way we are going as a Church community, how then do I as your priest lead this church on a journey that helps it deliberate on this vocation? How can I be with everyone in such a way that encourages all of us to move forward in our own individual relationships with God?

I think those questions - both congregational and my own - have to be answered as together and as one. It is important that we explore this journey together, rather than simply me spouting forth!

Perhaps, then, instead, of 'mission', we simply talk about 'walking with Jesus'?

What do you think?

Blessings.
Chris

 

 

 

 


 
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