St.James’, Dingwall & St. Anne’s,Strathpeffer
Welcome to our Christmas and New Year Newsletter
Our New Priest-in-Charge
In our last Newsletter we referred to the application received to fill the current vacancy as Priest-in Charge here and at St Ninian’s, Invergordon. As many of you will know, following meetings the two Vestries decided against recommending the appointment. However, shortly before this visit took place another application for the post was received, from Rev Julia Boothby, who is at present the Vicar of St Mary’s, North Mymms, in the Diocese of St Albans. She and her husband David spent the week-end of 9th/10th December in this area, meeting members of the congregations, supporting clergy and Vestries in both Invergordon and Dingwall and visiting our churches and the Dingwall Parsonage. We are delighted to say that Julia impressed us all with her warmth, her approachable manner and her ready understanding of our needs. She and David have strong connections with Scotland and had been looking for an opportunity to move north at some point. The Vestries therefore had no hesitation in recommending her unanimously for the post, which she indicated she would be very pleased to accept. Bishop Mark put the formal processes in train immediately and the announcement of her appointment was made both here and in her current parish on Sunday last, 17th December. We have agreed that the planning date for her taking up the post should be 1st May 2018, allowing for notice periods and the need for further works to be undertaken at the Parsonage. In all this, we feel we have been strongly guided by God’s hand towards the right outcome, both for us and for Julia, and we look forward greatly to her arrival with us.
A reminder of our services for the rest of 2017 –
Sunday 24th (Advent 4)
10.30 am – Morning Worship and Eucharist at St James’
5 pm – Christingle Service at St James’ (with collection for Children’s Society)
Monday 25th (Christmas Day)
10 am – Family Christmas Eucharist at St Anne’s
Sunday 31st (Christmas 1)
10.30 am – Said Eucharist at St Anne’s
As last year, there will not be a Midnight Eucharist in our churches on Christmas Eve, but alternatives in the area include celebrations at Inverness Cathedral and at St Andrew’s, Fortrose. More details are available on our website. There will be no further Wednesday services of Morning Prayer and Eucharist at St James’ until 3rd January.
2017 Annual General Meeting
In spite of the snowy weather, there was an excellent turn-out at the AGM on Saturday 9th December. The annual review of our finances confirmed that our Reserve Account has been rebuilt to a very healthy level during the inter-regnum, when no stipend has been payable. However, congregational giving has fallen over the year and it remains the case that, once we begin paying a stipend again, some radical improvement in income levels will be required if we are to remain solvent for the normal five year period of a Priest-in-Charge’s appointment. This will be one of the many challenges facing Julia! Meanwhile, members of the congregation are urged to move from the weekly envelope scheme to giving by direct debit if they can, to provide better security of cash-flow.
On the Vestry, John Mackenzie retired, at the end of his four year period of membership, with thanks for his wise counsel. Since we were carrying forward a vacancy there were two posts to be filled and Laura Symon and Jean Davis were duly appointed to Vestry membership. The AGM also provided an opportunity to recognise the long service of Lady Stirling to St Anne’s Church. It is now no less than 46 years since she first took the lead in arranging the flower rota there. In recognition of this remarkable record and on behalf of the whole congregation, Janet Bowen therefore presented Penny with a garden centre token for the purchase of a tree.
There was a very disappointing attendance at the December Soup Lunch – all the more disappointing because of the hard work put in by those who prepared and served the food. All members of the congregation are urged to show better support for these important elements in our social and fund-raising programme, so please note now in your diaries the following forward dates, and bring your friends along too – Saturday 27th January: Saturday 24th February: and Saturday 24th March.
All Soup Lunches take place in the Church Hall, from 12 noon.
Events at St James’
The following dates have now been confirmed for evening events in St James’ Church, all starting at 7.30pm –
Sunday 18th February: Flute recital by Michael Ready
Friday 23rd March: Talk by Revd Canon Laurence Gunner, formerly Canon Steward of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on “Castles, Abbeys and Palaces – a view from the inside”.
Late May (date to be confirmed): Fyrish String Quartet, led by Emma Donald.
St James’ has already proved to be a successful venue for chamber concerts and talks which both entertain the congregation and attract a wider public into our midst, so we look forward greatly to this further programme of events. Entrance is free, but donations to church funds are much appreciated.
Sunday Services: January to March
All services at 10.30 am unless specified (* = Non-Eucharistic Service)
Sunday 7th (Epiphany 1) Sung Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 14th (Epiphany 2) Matins and Eucharist at St Anne’s
Sunday 21st (Epiphany 3) Morning Worship at St James’*
5.15pm Contemplative Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 28th (Epiphany 4) Sung Eucharist at St Anne’s
Sunday 4th (Epiphany 5) Sung Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 11th (Sunday Next before Lent)
Morning Worship at St James’*
5.15 pm Contemplative Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 18th (Lent 1) Matins and Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 25th (Lent 2) Sung Eucharist at St Anne’s
Sunday 4th (Lent 3) Sung Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 11th (Lent 4 – Mothering Sunday)
Morning Worship at St Anne’s*
5.15pm Contemplative Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 18th (Passion Sunday)
Matins and Eucharist at St James’
Sunday 25th (Palm Sunday) Said Eucharist at St James’
6pm Words and Music for Holy Week at St Anne’s
Please note from the above schedule that there will be no services at St Anne’s between 28th January and 25th February, to allow for decoration and other work to be completed in the vestry there, thus breaking the usual alternation of Sunday service venues.
Clergy contact details:
Revd. Valerie Saunders: 01349 865445 (ValerieStJ@btopenworld.com)
Revd. Ruth Flockhart: 01463 731580
Revd Barbara Chandler 01463 831849
Robin Lingard : 01349 861044 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Scottish Charity No SC 009686