Christmas Services

  • Sunday 24th Dec (4th Sunday in Advent) at 11:00am at both St Andrews, Tain and St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch.

  • Sunday 24th Dec at 6:30pm – Lessons and Carols in Lairg Parish Church (Lairg Christians Together), followed by seasonal refreshments in the hall.

  • Sunday 24th Dec – Christmas Midnight Services 11:00pm at St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch and 11:30pm at St Andrews, Tain.

  • Monday 25th DecChristmas Day Services – St Maelrubha’s, Lairg at 8:15am, St Finnbarr’s, Dornoch at 9:30am and St Andrews, Tain at 10:30am.

  • Thursday 28th DecChristmas Carols, Readings and Music – The Crask Inn at 2:00pm.
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A Plea from Bishop Mark

Homelessness is an issue which affects too many people in Scotland. Jane and I have experienced the insecurity of homelessness and want to do anything we can to help people currently in that position, and to bring attention to a problem which is so often unnoticed in our community.

As you may already know, my family and I are taking part in Social Bite’s Sleep In The Park event in December. We will be spending the night of the 9th of December in Princes Street Gardens in order to raise both money and awareness for homelessness in Scotland. The overall aim of the charity is to completely eliminate homelessness in Scotland over the next ten years, and this is one of their biggest and most significant fundraising events.

I would be grateful if you could circulate this information to the members of your congregation, along with the link to the fundraising page at;

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/primus-and-family

Any offline donations can be sent to the Diocesan Office. I thank you all for your support of this important cause.

+Mark, Bishop of Moray, Ross, and Caithness

Jonah: the Advent Study 2017

The book of Jonah is about the relationship between a rebellious prophet and a relentless God. It’s one of the most famous stories in the Old Testament perhaps because of the miraculous moment when Jonah is swallowed by a whale. The message of Jonah, however, takes us beyond the miraculous to ask deep questions of all of us about God’s calling and our response. In the belly of the whale Jonah prays and the way that he pray provides considerable food for thought. The ultimate message of Jonah may be that God’s will is not easily subverted, but our God is nothing if not both persistent and compassionate in seeking us out and bringing us home.

Come and join us as we consider all of this in a series of three Advent Study sessions on Thursdays: 30th Nov, 7th Dec and 14th Dec from 2:00-3:30pm, followed by refreshments. The sessions will take place at James and Anna’s house in Spinningdale.

St Andrew’s Fair and Christmas Bazaar – 2nd Dec

On December 2nd the Charity Shop will  stay open until 3pm as part of the St Andrew’s Fair taking place in Dornoch.

On the same day the Charity Shop will also have a stall at the Christmas Bazaar in the Social Club, from 10am – 4pm, with the theme – “A Touch of Christmas Glass” with decorative glass, gifts and jewellery.

Foodbank Collection – 5th Dec

St Finnbarrs is holding one of it special:

Foodbank Collections

on Dec 5th between 10am and 12 noon

in Dornoch Social Club Coffee Lounge.

Fairtrade tea and coffee will be available.

Although there is always a Foodbank collection box in the church, we hold special collections in the run up to the main school holidays when children are not able to get a midday meal at school and family resources are even more stretched than usual.

In addition to the usual food items; tinned ham, tinned salmon, tinned potatoes, Christmas pudding and cake, mince pies and chocolate would also be appreciated. As well as food, simple toiletries and sanitary products are needed.

Reverse Advent

No, not starting with Christmas and working backwards, but more like the reverse of an Advent Calendar – you open the door and put something in rather than taking something out.

No-one should go hungry, and especially not at Christmas.

Yet shockingly thousands of people right here in the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, can’t afford to feed their families. During 2016/17, the biggest network of food banks, the Trussell Trust, gave out nearly 1.2 million three-day emergency food supplies. That’s an awful lot of people in desperate situations.

This year the St.Andrew’s Vestry were enthusiastic about doing a Reverse Advent Calendar for the Tain Food Bank (but as they say ‘other food banks are available’, so anyone could join in the initiative).

The Food Bank in Tain, along with pretty much every other food bank across the UK, is getting a lot of referrals at the moment, which will only increase as we approach Christmas and early January.   The idea is that instead of opening an calendar “door” you put a food or toiletry item into a collection box each day (or even just once a week) to make a real difference to somebody’s Christmas.

As the author of the Much More with Less blog wrote:

I really believe many of us are only a relationship breakdown, an illness or a job loss away from tipping into financial troubles. Recent research by the Financial Conduct Authority found that half of UK adults are potentially financially vulnerable. Around 4.1 million people were already in financial difficulty, after missing payments for household bills or credit cards three times or more in the last six months.

Hopefully, by adding a few extras here and there, and taking advantage of offers, vouchers and freebies, it needn’t be too expensive.

Even if you don’t fancy doing a reverse advent calendar, adding a couple of items to a food bank collection box will still make a difference..

There are Food Bank collection boxes at St Andrew’s and St Finnbarr’s, so if you think its a good idea ….

Pluscarden – ERICG – 15th Nov 2017

The next meeting of Easter Ross Inter-Church Group will take place on Wednesday 15th November 2017 in St Ninian’s, Invergordon at 7:30pm.  The speaker will be Richard Cross who will speak about “Pluscarden“, the Benedictine Abbey near Elgin.

Situated six miles south-west of Elgin in Moray, the monastery enjoys the peace and stillness of a secluded glen, but is easily reached by road from the town. The atmosphere of quiet reflection and of work dedicated to the glory of God is the same now as it was in the thirteenth century, when a community of monks first came to this part of Moray.

It is home to a community of Catholic Benedictine monks living in the only medieval British monastery still being used for its original purpose.