Dec 8th - Sunday morning, early-ish

When there's a lot on, it's difficult to sleep without waking regularly and wondering if all the jobs are done!

Today, there is Breakfast and Advent fun at Kilchoan, worship at Acharacle and the Peninsula Carols at Strontian this evening.

At previous Breakfasts we've had bingo in some format or another. This year we'll be giving it a miss: I struggle with Bingo! 

The first year, I got it completely wrong and everyone had the same words on their sheet - last year someone else did it and all was well. How hard can it be!!! I have played Bingo before, admittedly it was a long time ago, and it's easy to find on-line ... but, good grief, the 'simple' things are hard sometimes. (I suspect there's a sermon in there somewhere, I must make a note.)

Anyway, perhaps I'll see you later?
God bless!

December 4th - Tuesday

Off to Acharacle Nursery School this morning and told the story of Mary, Joseph and the donkey going on a long journey. The Nursery and their adults have been invited to Little Christmas in the Church Chalet on the 11th and then they'll find out what happened when Mary, Joseph and the donkey arrived in Bethlehem! Sneeky - eh?

Then down to Kilchoan to chat, drink tea and eat mince pies! Sometimes ministry is a hard job ... Anyway, there were a good number of for there enjoying the hospitality and friendship on offer. The mince pies were delicious. The next Mince Pie Morning will be on 18th Dec and consider yourself invited!

Back to the desk.

Planning the breakfast at the Kilchoan Hotel - what will we do this year - will there be bingo again and will I get it right this time? Christmas tree making is ready and a quiz or something similar. Perhaps a couple of carols too? The breakfast menu looks good! Please just let me know if you'll be there to join in the fun - that way, the Hotel will be better prepared for the catering.

God bless!

December 3rd - Tuesday

Tuesday! Tuesday! Already!

Saturday morning at the Rotary Christmas Festival was fun. Chatting to adults and children is always interesting. After being 'dragged' around the stalls, the children like to have something just for them.

Saturday afternoon and evening were the continuation of prep for Sunday worship.

Sunday worship was at Acharacle first then down the peninsula to Kilchoan for worship there in the afternoon. It was communion Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent and the first Sunday in December. I'm never quite sure which definition means it is communion - first in December or first in Advent, I think it's December but it was easy this year!

On Monday morning I nipped out and picked up the manse mutt from kennels - she'd been there since I was away last week and wouldn't have had time for her over the weekend. Now she's home and asleep on the desk ( yes, really ) while I work.

Church lunches at Acharacle in the village hall and there was, as usual, a welcoming atmosphere, soup, bacon rolls, teas, coffees, biscuits and cake - thank you so much V for the wonderful Christmas cake!

Admin and prep for the rest of the day and today I'm off to Fort William for Presbytery this afternoon. There's a meeting of the village hall committee this evening and then bed. 

God bless!

30th Nov - Saturday

It's Saturday and I haven't written worship yet for tomorrow.

Monday was Messy Church. There were just under 30; they kept moving and I couldn't get an accurate head count. I don't think it's really quite the done thing to shout asking folks to stay still, not at Messy Church. The photos are below.

Tuesday to Friday I was out of parish. The idea was to have a couple of days pre-Christmas mini-retreat with a friend. It was lovely.

There was about one day of travel in total. My car was due in the garage for a recall - which was done and all was well until my car was bashed and now it needs a new bumper. The garage have been great in sorting this out and arranging a courtesy car for me. I saw family and did some shopping while away.

Today was the Rotary Christmas Festival at the Nevis Centre in Fort William. An early start to get the Messy Church activities set up. The children there seem glad to have something especially for them to do.

Beautiful day with gorgeous sunrise and sunset.

Now, let's get ready for worship!

First photo sunrise over L Shiel, second is sunset over L Linnhie on my way home and the third is the Presbytery stall at the Christmas Festival.


22nd November - Friday

Yesterday afternoon, we went off to Kilchoan in the mobile manse and stayed overnight. We = manse mutt and myself.
Good chats with various people and a lovely walk on the beach while being closely supervised by a nosey seal. Also did some reading and research for Sunday's sermon.

21st Nov - Thursday

A month ago I was on holiday - and that seems like a long way back!  Next week, I'm taking a couple of days off and away as that seems to be the only way to have a proper rest.  I love being a minister but sometimes it empties you out.  Next month will be busier.

What's been happening?

Aside from Sundays and the usual admin - a wedding, school and pastoral visits, Messy Church, coffee mornings, church lunches, session, presbytery, village hall, local development ad community council meetings, Remembrance and a special Time for Reflection.

Now it's planning for next month.  There is absolutely no guarantee that there will be time for ay reflection but I'll try to put up a rough diary of what's been happening.

Meantime, I'll off to Kilchoan later today, in the camper van and with the manse mutt.  I'll be taking the Posada (thanks to those who made the sheep!) and some Advent calendars into the Primary School so those items are ready for December.

God bless!


6th November - Wednesday

Messy Church planning meeting this morning - getting ideas for Advent! Then a meeting about the future of the church building at Kilchoan. Promises to be an interesting day!

2019 - August 14th

The pace is cranking up again! And school restarts in under a week!!!!

Both my car and the mobile manse have been serviced this week at the local garage - I haven't had the final bill yet but, as the garage is excellent, I'm sure it'll be ok.

This week, so far, there has been one pre-wedding chat, pastoral visiting, a meeting about a joint project with the neighbouring presbytery (over 100 miles round trip) and a visit to the local Men's Shed.

Men's Shed - how excellent is that! Great to see how it is set up, meet some of those involved and learn more about their purpose and their projects. Thank you, lovely people, for agreeing to build a Christmas tree stand for the village hall. 

I'm off to Kilchoan tomorrow, in the mobile manse (once I get it back from the garage), for another pre-wedding chat and for a meeting. 

If I can be of any help with faith matters, I'll be staying at Kilchoan and parking up opposite the church building. That sounds a bit serious but perhaps I should ask, 'How's your soul? Want to talk?' That's what your friendly local minister is for.

God bless.

2019 - August 9th

Yesterday, along with many others, I was invited to go to the Ardnamurchan Distillery to celebrate their 5th birthday. We heard about the whisky being made there, the expansion of the development and how most of the workforce are local folk. There was a delicious barbecue cooked by Jill at Ardshealach Lodge, and music from the Maclean brothers.

We also heard about a challenge. Those there were encouraged to support Broar; three brothers who are going to take part in a rowing race across the Atlantic. (Yes, really!). They will be supporting two charities in particular, Feedback Madagascar and Children First, Scotland’s national Children’s Charity. 

Some photos and links.  Please do follow the progress of Broar, the race doesn’t take place for a couple of months yet, and pray for the safety of all the competitors.

2019 Aug 2nd - Friday

In some parts of the media there is currently reporting of Humanist's continuing attempts to cut back on teaching of religion in schools, and, indeed, of any mention of religion / God / faith in public.

I'd love to see
'Faith groups query Humanist attempts to restrict the teaching of knowledge that enables people to make their own decisions about faith.'
Not a snappy headline but one that would be good to see!

Everyone should be free to make their own mind up about the sort of faith they have - whether it is faith that there is God (however we can explain 'God), or whether it is faith that there is no such thing / being as 'God'.

Do Humanists not realise they too have faith - just not in God.

History has shown that imposing belief systems on others does not lead to abiding and meaningful faith - faith comes from acknowledging a relationship with that something that is so much bigger than we are - from which we find strength, compassion, values, etc and love. All combine into the great 'I am' that is God.

Humanists - give us a break and allow people of faith the same freedom of opinion you demand for yourselves.