NEWSLETTER October 2018

In addition to the newsletter published below please note the following ‘stop press’ items for your diary :-

1. At 7.30 pm on Thursday 18th October Rev Laurence Gunner is giving a repeat of his presentation about St George’s Windsor, at a meeting of the Easter Ross InterChurch Group at St Ninian’s Invergordon.  If you missed his very entertaining and informative talk at St James’ a few months back this is your chance to catch up with it.

2. Date for the soup lunches for the rest of 2018 are  Saturday 27th October and Saturday 24th November, starting at 12 noon in the Church Hall.


Julia writes – 

I can still remember the day my great friend at school, Beedle, showed me how to draw a three-dimensional figure, a cube to be exact.  It was in a maths lesson and I was struggling to understand three dimensional figures.  Taking pity on me, she showed me line by line how to draw a cube and there suddenly, under her expert guidance, I drew my very first cube.  The magic of making a flat figure suddenly appear to be three dimensional thrilled me then and still does. …any doodling I do still contains a cube!  This is, of course, all about that word perspective.  In art it specifically relates to the technique used to create the illusion of a three-dimensional figure on a two-dimensional surface, but we also use it in the much more general sense of how we see things, perceive things.  You often hear people say that they ‘suddenly saw things in a new perspective.’  It means getting things in their right place, understanding how things relate to each other, looking at the bigger picture. 

During these past months as I have marvelled at the wonderful vista of hills and mountains that greets my sight wherever I go in these beautiful Highlands, so that theme of perspective has been on my mind.  Walking in the hills, looking down on the valleys, coastline or simply stopping to get out of the car to look across to the hills beyond, I have sensed a little more of the majesty and glory of God, the sheer greatness of God who made the earth and all its beauty. As the Psalmist cries out;

“By your strength you established the mountains, you are girded with might…you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy!”

And, even as I marvel at beauty of the world, so I am also enabled to have a better perspective on my own life.  All the things that I worry about, all the things that are bothering me or annoying me, from the trivial and mundane to the bigger and more important, can then take their rightful place against the backdrop of a majestic, powerful and all loving God.  My petty grumbles, complaints and gripes are shown up for what they really are.  The bigger and more important things are put in their rightful place and held there in the hands of a God who has stretched out the heavens and the earth and for whom nothing is impossible.  All my plans and hopes and fears and very life are held by one who has promised that his steadfast love will never leave me, who has promised to walk with me every day come what may.  

I am also reminded that God can see my past, present and future.  That from his perspective he can see my whole life and that he will, if I allow him to, work all things together for good.  That even out of grief or sadness he can and will bring healing and peace. 

Sometimes as I stand there I am reminded of the Fat Controller in Thomas the Tank Engine.  He has a long ladder that enables him to climb up above all the engines and see those that are coming, those that are in motion, those that are refuelling or standing still. From that vantage point he can then direct them all in ways that enable the work to be done; for each to engine to be used to maximum capacity.  So it is with God.  He has a divine perspective on our lives and when we allow ourselves to be lifted up to him in praise and worship so we can begin to get a glimpse of how he is directing our lives.  We are also reminded of just how great a God we have and how small in comparison we are! Like the psalmist again we then ask…

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars that you have made, what is man that you are mindful of him, the Son of Man that you care for him.!”

However small we may feel, however much out of perspective we have allowed things to be God comes to us to reassure each and every one of us of his love, his presence and his peace.  As the Psalmist reminds us;

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121)

Memorial Service for Jim Russell

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Jim Russell (who died in Ireland on 3rd August at the age of 88) took place in a crowded St Anne’s Church on Friday 30th September.  This was an inspiring celebration of a much-loved countryman and Christian who always had a twinkle in his eye.  During the service, Valerie Saunders spoke about him as a long-standing member of our church community and her tribute is reproduced as an annex to this Newsletter for those who were not able to be there.

Vestry Notes

The Vestry meeting held on 12th September discussed –

  • The need to recruit a wider team of “sacristan’s assistants” at both our churches.
  • The best means of ensuring that the fire exits for St James’ Church and the Church Hall are accessible at all times, while maintaining security.
  • The need for a fairer sharing of the burden of church cleaning, including organising occasional working parties.
  • How to use our notice-boards more effectively, to present to visitors the essential information about who we are and what we believe. 
  • The welcome news that a grant of £17,000 has been received from the Dunderdale Trust towards the cost of recent works programmes.

The next Vestry meeting will be held on Wednesday 14th November and the Church AGM will take place on the morning of Saturday 8th December.

Mission Action Planning

The Vestry also endorsed proposals from Julia that all members of the congregation should be asked to complete a simple questionnaire, as the first step in planning the future of mission in this charge.  Copies are being distributed at services during the first half of October and the questionnaire will also be made available on e-mail.  As a second step, we will all be asked to address another set of simple questions to people we know who do not currently attend our services.  More on this later!

Concerts and Events 

The Hans Gál Piano Trio gave an excellent and well attended concert in St James’ Church on Friday 21st September, at which it was encouraging to see so many new faces in the audience.  

The remaining concerts in our 2018 programme are –

Saturday 13th October – A classical guitar recital by Davide Sciacca, one half of the Ten Strings Duo.

Friday 16th November – The Turadh duo, of Emma Donald (fiddle) and Isbel Pendlebury (clarsach), return with a new programme of their own compositions.

Events in prospect include illustrated talks by Jean Davis, Colin Chandler, Colin Page and Robin Lingard, together with further chamber concerts, including an evening of baroque music.

Foodbank at Harvest tide

Blythswood have notified us of a number of items which are particularly required for their Foodbank at present and which will therefore feature as donations at our Harvest Festival service on Sunday 7th October.  If you cannot be at that service, your donations can be left in on another occasion in the boxes to be found at both churches.  The priority items are –

Jars of pasta sauce; tins of tuna; tins of mince/stew; sugar; cartons of UHT milk; washing powder (small).

Contact Details

Priest in Charge

Revd. Julia Boothby, 4, Castle Street, Dingwall IV15 9HU

Tel – 01349-862204: E-mail –

Our Other Clergy: 

Revd. Barbara Chandler 01463-831849

Revd. Ruth Flockhart 01463-731580

Revd. Valerie Saunders 01349-865445


Facebook: St James & St Anne – Wyvis Churches

Scottish Charity No SC 009686


All will be Sung Eucharists, except where indicated.


Sunday 7th (Harvest) 10.30 am – Family Service at St Anne’s 

5pm – Said Eucharist at St James’

Sunday 14th (Pentecost 21) 10.30 am at St James’ 

Sunday 21st (Pentecost 22) 10.30 am at St Anne’s 

Sunday 28th (Pentecost 23) 10.30 am at St James’ 


Sunday 4th (All Saints/All Souls)   10.30 am at St Anne’s 

At 3pm this afternoon there will be a special service at St Ninian’s, Invergordon, marking the 30th anniversary of the construction of their building, to which we are invited.

Sunday 11th (Remembrance) 

We are invited to morning services for Remembrance Sunday at other Dingwall or Strathpeffer churches this year.  

There will be a Contemplative Service at St James’ at 4pm

Sunday 18th (Pentecost 26) 10.30 am at St Anne’s

Sunday 25th (Christ the King) 10.30 am at St James’


Sunday 2nd (Advent Sunday) 10.30 am at St Anne’s

Sunday 9th (Advent 2) 10.30 am at St James’

Sunday 16th (Advent 3) 10.30 am at St Anne’s

3.30pm – Carol Service at St Anne’s

Sunday 23rd (Advent 4) 10.30 am at St James’

Monday 24th  (Christmas Eve)

 5pm – Christingle service at St James’ 

Tuesday 25th (Christmas Day)

10am – Family Christmas Eucharist at St Anne’s

Sunday 30th (Christmas 1) 10.30 am at St Anne’s

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