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Quick Links: Regular Services Monthly Services Dates for your Diary Recent Events Priest's Letter

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
Eucharist or
Communion from Reserved Sacrament

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


September Services:
11:30 am
Pentecost 15
10:30 am
Gregory the Great
11.30 am
Pentecost 16
11.30 am
Pentecost 17
11.30 am
Harvest Festival
11.30 am
Pentecost 19



Dates for your Diary:

See also calendar for the year

1st at 7:0 pm
Opening new Thurso Baptist Church

Friday 7th and Saturday 8th from 10:0 am to 2:0 pm in the church hall
Book Sale
The book sale is a little different this time. The church has been given a large collection of buttons, knitting patterns and knitting needles to sell. The buttons are clear packeted in sets and the prices will be very cheap. As well as these extras, we will have our usual vast book selection plus CDs and gramophone records, and with a larger than usual collection of DVDs on offer.
Gordon Johnson

Sunday 9th 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.

Tuesday 11th 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 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.

Saturday 15th 3:0 pm in Inverness Cathedral
Ordination to the Diaconate of Ellie Charman

To welcome Ellie as our new curate, we will be hosting lunch in the church hall following the Sunday morning service on 23rd September (Harvest Festival).


Saturday 15th 10:0 am to 3:0 pm in the church
Doors Open Day

The Doors Open Day will have a seasonal theme this year: harvest. Although it will be a week until the Harvest Festival, there will be Harvest-themed crafts for adults and children alike, including (but not limited to!!) colouring-in and making harvest decorations. There will also be live music - and a Recipe Lucky Dip, which will allow anyone who visits the church to pick an envelope with a recipe in, and take it home to try. People from all backgrounds and creeds are very welcome to come and say "hello" and join in with the activities. We hope to see you there!
Judith Crow

St. Peter and the Holy Rood, Thurso, will also be taking part in conjunction with Old St. Peter's Preservation Association a group dedicated to the preservation and conservation of one of Thurso's oldest and most treasured historical buildings.


Wednesday 19th - meeting of the Vestry

click to view



Saturday 29th 10:30 am to 12:0 pm in the Church Hall
September themed Coffee Morning
with Autumnal tables arrangements, a home baking table and a raffle with its amazing number of prizes. We shall have our gorgeous homemade pancakes and special milky coffee. A truly warm welcome awaits.

Victoria Denley-Spencer


click to view poster

Saturday 29th
Regional Synod

Church Open Days
Visiting Wick this summer? Or discovering your own town? Our Church will be open for anyone to visit on Wednesdays, 12noon - 3pm, from 9th 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 events for 2018

Book Sales:
2nd and 3rd November

Coffee Mornings:
24th November

Seeing Injustice, Imagining Change
1st December in St John's Episcopal Church, Princes Street, Perth

See also Love North


Recent Events:

Seaside Coffee Morning

The ever enthusiastic coffee morning team, inspired by the summer weather, gave a cheerful welcome to all who turned up at the church hall recently. Their usual milky coffee and heaps of freshly made pancakes were served up with pleasure as they greeted friends from St Peter and the Holy Rood and other members of the community who came along to the fundraising event.

Jeanette Harper was chief coffee maker, Victoria Denley-Spencer was chief pancake maker and artistic designer, Brenda & June eager waitresses and Neil Thompson chief raffle runner. The baking stall was manned by Pat Stanley & Kay Johnson and they were kept in order by Gordon Johnson! As always, a grateful thanks is given to all involved in our 'I do like to be beside the seaside' coffee morning.

An encouraging 212 was raised with the support of all our customers.

Lyn Ball



A Ringing Landscape for the Century of the Armistice.

The Poltney Bell Ringers, formerly the St John's Bell Ringers, have submitted a fleeting recording of their bells ringing in St John's recently. They are responding to an appeal, pun fully intended, by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for churches to send in recordings of bell sounds from their local church. The SCO have instructed Scottish composer Martin Suckling to create a ringing soundscape as part of his new commission for them to mark the centenary of the Armistice. The Bell Ringers do realise that it is a Tower bell recordings that will most likely be expected, but St John's doesn't have a bell tower with a bell, the only bells rung there are handbells. If this doesn't qualify they don't mind as it gave them the challenge and pleasure of learning a brief tuneful three bar piece. You can see from the picture how delighted they all were to be ringing in the church. The sound, with the church acoustics, was beautiful.

Lyn Ball

Diocesan Youth September Newsletter


Priest's Letter

Pray always?

Somebody recently asked me, "Does prayer actually work?". Well the devil is in the detail, as they say. The trouble lies in the word 'work'. It makes prayer the 'request of the day', hoping that the Divine DJ will play your record and when you hear it played you are overjoyed. When it doesn't, you feel deflated. It turns God into a vending machine, little more than Santa Claus writ large, who brings us the presents we want. Or we hope God does. Often as not we get the orange when what we really wanted was the nice new Aston Martin. God, in this scenario, is turned into one of two things. Either the servant bringing us what we want or the feudal lord granting favours to those whom have pleased him enough.

This, of course, may be a bit of an exaggeration but I hope it makes the point. Prayer becomes everything it should not be. Often our liturgies even encourage this. Yet prayer is far greater, far more important, far more essential, than simply us wishing upon a star. Yet if we are honest with ourselves, that is what we were often brought up to think. Don't get me wrong though. I guess any connection with God is better than nothing and God can wrap up what we have and tie a ribbon on it - make something beautiful of it. Paul said, though, as a man he put away childish thinking. We need to grow up and grow into real prayer.

In the film 'Schindler's List', there is a moving moment (one of so many) where close to the end Schindler, who has spent every penny to keep his Jewish workers safe from the Nazi regime, summons them onto the factory floor to tell them the war in Europe is over. They can try to find their families, but in most cases will not find them. He asks for three minutes silence to honour the dead. At the end of it the Rabbi amongst them raises his voices and starts praying the "Mourner's Kaddish". This is the great prayer in Judaism said in grief at various times and at every Shabbat service. It is a beautiful, haunting and exhilarating prayer. Not a single word of it is about death but it is about blessing the God who gives life. It is a statement of honouring the dead by recognising what is good and the desire, nay defiance, to go on in the face of trauma and intense grieving. There is almost a stubbornness about it but ultimately it is a firm statement that, no matter what, we are grounded in God and our life arises out of God's Spirit and power.

It always makes the hairs on the back on my neck stand up, particularly when it is proclaimed loudly in Hebrew.

This gives a substantial clue as to what prayer is about. It is relationship. It is building, day by day, the remembrance of who we are and where we come from. It is a turning back to God - the real meaning of 'repentance' - and remembering WE are the Eternal One's people (all of us, not just those who don a religious label) and the Eternal is our God. Jesus reminds of this in the greatest commandment, from the great 'Sh'ma' - the Jewish statement of faith:

Hear, O Israel, the Eternal One is our God, the Eternal God is One.
You shall love the Eternal One, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might.

You cannot, of course, command the 'feeling' of love, but the defiant act, day by day, of returning to God, of building and rebuilding our relationship with God over and over, sometimes in the face of Job-like suffering and turmoil. Like the Kaddish it is defiant. This is no slavishness before the Almighty. This is a people saying to the one who created them "Oh God, who wilt not let me go, I wilt not let you go". This is faith as faithfulness. This is relationship, even when the feelings of anger and fury are there, when the mourning is there, when the hopelessness is there, when the joy is there, when the ecstasy is there. This is prayer.

Then, having returned once again to God, we must do what all true relationships allow for - the silence of two companions, out of which the response of the Eternal One may begun to be quietly, so very quietly, heard: You are my child. Today I have begotten you. The prayer cannot change the Eternal One but in the pouring forth of who we are in our humanity - and yes that includes our hopes, dreams, worries, needs, and concern for the world, so do not leave them out. Then, in spending time and again in silence waiting upon God, just as we sit in silence with our closest loved ones, we give our God the Eternal One room to pray with us. As a Benedictine saying has it, "God speaks in the language of silence, but it takes a stilled heart to hear it".

So pray. Do not hold back. Do not limit it to the equivalent of letters to Santa. Pour out your humanity to God. Build a life with God in which we hold nothing of ourselves back - including all the hurt and darkness, for God can take it and wants the true you, not the sugar coated one. Then allow God to build a life with you, sitting together. God listens to you. You listen to God.

Magnified and sanctified be the great name of the One by whose will the world was created. May God's rule become effective in your lives, and in the life of the whole house of Israel. May it be so soon, and let us say: AMEN. (opening to the Mourner's Kaddish).

Let us say: AMEN.

Chris Mayo





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