Monday, 30 December 2013

'Twas several days before Christmas and all through the church .... '

Two people at work with laurel and birch.......'
And bamboo and hazel .....

Dogwood and bay, 
Holly & ivy,
Eucalyptus and box,

Pampas grass plumes and silk flower blooms
Filled vases and pulpit
Framed alter and aisle

Whilst out of the Font grew a garden of fronds 
Topped off with some stalks, collected on walks 
to gather together, in spite of the weather,

pine cone and pebble, green leaf and brown branch
red berry, white bud, plus bootfulls of mud! 

Nothing was wasted, All clippings were used 
The last being stood in a black plastic bucket

The following day some glitter was added
baubles were hung and tinsel was strung
Tree lights switched on and candles were lit

Mincepies were eaten, tea cups filled to the brim
And all just in time for the coming of Him!

~~~ ooo ~~~

Merry Christmas Everybody! May we wish you a happy, peaceful and blessed time.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Buzz for December

Oh dear I have been very neglectful of the blog in the last wee while!  No excuses just that a lot has been going on, which you will see in Buzz so with no more ado here it is

Quick Reminder: 
Christmas Services are; 
Christmas Eve (Tuesday) 11.30pm at Christ Church 
Christmas Day at 9.00am at St Columba's and 11.00am at Christ Church.

BUZZ Newsletter
Scottish Episcopal Church
Of Christ Church, Lochgilphead
St Columba’s Poltalloch and
All Saints, Inveraray
No. 193
December 2013

o o o SERVICE PLAN o o o

Christ Church 11.00am Celebrant Readers
1st December HC (1982) Fr Simon Kay Hunter
8th December HC (1970) M Kitchener Brian Blench
15th December No Service at Christ Church – Carol Services at St Columba’s & at All Saints
22nd December Matins & HC Fr Simon Char Hanbury
24th Christmas Eve 11.30pm Fr Simon Kate MacDonald
25th Christmas Day Fr Simon Kay Hunter
29th December Fr Simon Polly Hamilton
5th January HC (1982) Fr Simon Kate MacDonald
12th January HC (1970) Fr Simon Char Hanbury
19th January HC (1982) Fr Simon Brian Blench
26th January Matins & HC Fr Simon Alex Hamilton

St Columba’s, Poltalloch
1st December 9.00am HC Fr Simon
15th December 3.00 pm Carol Service Bishop Kevin & Fr Simon
25th December 9.00am HC Fr Simon
5th January 9.00am HC Fr Simon
19th January 3.30pm HC Fr Simon

All Saints, Inveraray
Services to be confirmed, please contact Father Simon for details

~ ~ ~ EDITOR’S NOTE~ ~ ~

Welcome to the 193rd issue of Buzz. This is a bumper edition to round off the year, then, with luck and a following wind, a new look Buzz will arrive in January.
We are delighted to welcome Father Simon Mackenzie to the Diocese, and look forward to seeing him around and about with little dog Donan (Donnie).
So, without more ado, on with the news!
The Editor

~ ~ ~ ~ CHURCH NOTICE BOARD ~ ~ ~ ~

We are looking for linen sheets, if anyone has any not in use anymore and could donate them to us. They will be made into Altar runners, as the ones we have are getting past their best. Please speak to Margaret Armour.

Don’t forget you can keep up to date with activities, and comment via our Face book page and the Blog (which also has a copy of the Newsletters), at
Please do send any submissions, observations, articles, comments, thoughts, jokes, poems, pictures or photographs for inclusion in the Newsletter, or on the websites. To me at

! ! ! BREAKING NEWS ! ! !

The Sunday Telegraph and Love British Food, ran a new competition encouraging communities to reconnect with the British tradition of Harvest Festival. They wanted to find the most innovative and inclusive harvest celebration to taking place during British Food Fortnight 2013, September 21 to October 6.
The judging panel included; the chef Raymond Blanc, the gardener, television presenter and Telegraph columnist Alan Titchmarsh, the gardening and food writer Sarah Raven, Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, and Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco, and was supported by the Duchess of Rothesay. The judges wanted to see evidence of people designing new ways to mark Harvest time, and were looking to for a colourful, creative and meaningful festival or event as possible. So, thinking that our ‘Harvest Food & Country Home Fair’ event fitted the bill, we entered.... and, got to the final 12! It was very exciting to see the fair at Christ Church mentioned in a National newspaper! (Thanks to Sunday Telegraph reader & congregation member, Anne Pascoe, who brought the results to our notice!)

Cheers indeed!
(Rev Peter Rice, Frances Fleming, Kay Hunter, & Alex Hamilton at the Harvest Breakfast table)

~ ~ ~ LETTERS ~ ~ ~

Dear brothers and sisters,

Last month I was trekking in the highlands of Ethiopia. Above the treeline the grassland was punctuated by 20 foot high lobelias. Coming downhill we walked through the groves of red-hot pokers, until, on reaching the treeline, the groves of heather-trees, about 25 foot high, provided shade for the Gelada baboons to graze, picking the grass with their fingers, grooming each other (back as well as front, we were disturbed to observe) and picking clan fights. It seemed something like the Highlands on speed - especially as the scheduled end to the rainy season had failed to materialize.
Not everything about the Highlands is always on speed, of course; so it has taken me a surprising amount of time to leave Birmingham, cross the Border, arrive, and find somewhere to lay my head. In the meantime, the entire body of stipendiary diocesan clergy gathered on Cumbrae together with the Bishop, the Dean and the Provost (that’s half of us), for three days of prayer, reflection and discernment. Some refreshment was also had. The College of the Holy Spirit is a sheer delight. (Any takers for a retreat?)
So now I am awaiting Monday, and my licensing, knowing that I am backed up by the friendship of the whole diocesan team, and that we are all working together with joy and energy to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to us, from Dunoon to Stornoway, and from Castlebay to Onich, and that we have the enthusiasm and the commitment to try to do it! I am really looking forward to the partnership we shall build : in the journey to become Ourselves in the image and likeness of Christ.

Please pray for me, as we all commit ourselves to do for one another, and for our calling.
With proleptic love, and prayers in hope,
Fr Simon


11th Dec 7.00 pm The Corran Singers at Christ Church
15th Dec 3.00 pm St Columbas, Poltalloch Carol Service
15th Dec 6.00pm All Saints, Inveraray Candle lit Carol Service with Bell ringers!

Christmas Services
Christmas Eve ~ Tuesday 24th
11.30pm lead by Fr Simon

Christmas Day ~ Wednesday 25th
9.00am at St Columba’s and 11am at Christ Church both services lead by Fr Simon

~ ~ ~ ~ RECENT ACTIVITIES ~ ~ ~ ~

Quiet Evening ~ 1st November
Lead by the Rev Michael Kitchener the Quiet Evening was an opportunity for contemplation, meditation, to listen to readings and selected pieces of music.
Christmas Market ~ 8th & 9th November
The last and best event to be held in Bishopton House took place on November 8th & 9th. Visitors were greeted by candles burning on the porch steps and a flaming beacon in the forecourt! The two day event attracted some 40+ stalls and rising 1000 people, including the amazing Lochgilphead Community Choir, 'Bar None', who sang their hearts out in the church, a joyous noise!

Despite the cold weather, the food tent was busy all the time. West Coast Events had decorated the house in fine style and many people commented on just how lovely everything was.
As a fund raising event it succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations, raising £1343.95p!

Dedication of Plaque ~ 10th November
Rev. Canon Roy F. Ferguson Flatt FSA Scotland
Rector of Christ Church Lochgilphead, St. Columba’s Poltalloch, All Saints Inveraray.
Andrina, Andrew and Alexander, with their partners, attended the service led by Canon Keith Pagan at which a plaque was dedicated to the service of Roy 1983 - 2011.
The plaque is situated on the wall behind where Roy always sat. It’s a simple but beautiful tribute. The reading at the foot of the plaque reads.
What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. Micah 6v8

A Welcoming Peel ~ 23rd November
On Saturday a peal of bells rang out across Inveraray from the Bell Tower next to All Saints. The members of the Scottish Association of Change Ringers rang 5,040 changes in four hours. The bells, which are the second heaviest in the UK, were rung to mark the arrival of Father Simon. Ruth Marshall ringing master of Inveraray bells said “We like to record special events with peal attempts are made on the bells, and the installation of a new priest doesn’t happen very often.”

Fr Simon Mackenzie Licensed to Preach! ~ 25th November
We welcomed a great number of visitors, from both north & south of the border, to witness the Licensing of Reverend Father Simon Mackenzie as our new Priest in Charge, for Christ Church, Lochgilphead, St Columba’s, Poltalloch; All Saints, Inveraray & St Margaret’s, Isle of Arran, in a service lead by Bishop Kevin.
Before the proceedings began the church was buzzing with an anticipatory chattering accompanied by the occasional comment from Donnie & two other canine friends and set to music by John Holt on keyboards!

Following the death of Rev Roy Flatt three years ago the charge has been without a Rector and worship has been lead by our Worship Group and members of the congregation, to whom we owe a great deal of thanks for holding the fort so admirably during this time.

The Service went off without a hitch – or at least none that the congregation were aware of! -and church was filled to capacity with happy, smiling faces, everyone there to witness Father Simon’s vows & licensing, to wish him well, and in the case of his former parishioners, farewell. The Bishops sermon from the pulpit raised a laugh as well as providing food for thought. We were joined by a number of other Church leaders and local dignitaries. There was a happy & relaxed atmosphere in marquee set up on the Church forecourt following the service where everyone enjoyed a glass of wine and a bite to eat.

This is the start of great change and a brand new era for Christ Church, St Columba’s, All Saints and St Margaret’s.

Carol Service ~ 30th November
Fr Simon has arrived at a very busy time in the Church Calendar and hits the ground running by leading our annual Ecumenical Carol Service in aid of Christian Aid this weekend. The service will be followed by mince pies & mulled wine refreshments in church.

I was really excited to see my Best Friends from Birmingham come to my New Home last Monday. I wasn’t quite so pleased to see Those Two Dachsunds, who didn’t realize that we are supposed to be Quiet in Church, except when we sing. But I do go and stay in their house, so I must be careful what I say.
It was such a good party that I’m afraid I must have rather overdone it. I wasn’t really at all well during the night, and I had to sleep it off on Tuesday. It was all rather embarrassing, but I think it was partly My Boss’s fault for not letting me out. I did try to tell him. Between ourselves, I think the present the Bishop gave him made him a bit too sleepy. People seem to talk a lot about Islay: there are some good sniffs that seem to come from there.
My Boss told me not to worry: he said that glory Julian of Norwich teaches us that the most embarrassing times are the places where Our Lord’s love shines through our lives most clearly. Apparently we remember St Peter and St Thomas most of all for the most embarrassing times of their lives. Julian says that that’s where their lives were transformed by Love. In fact, their betrayal and their doubting are there.
That is really Good News! I hope I’m off up the canal soon. The sniffs in the Highlands are endless.

~ ~ ~ ~ THOUGHTFUL MOMENTS ~ ~ ~ ~

"Christmas can't be bought from a store . . . Maybe Christmas means a little bit more."

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” G.K. Chesterton

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
Bob Hope

@ @ @ FUN STUFF @ @ @

And There Were Shepherds

Did you all get that?
That was the angel of the Lord.
Yes it was George.
So, who wants to go?
Who wants to stay?
No George, it’s to see this thing that has come to pass.
I don’t know what sort of thing.
You all heard the Angel thingy thing,
And the Heavenly Host that came after didn’t you?
Oh, you were being sore afraid were you?
Anyone else, apart from George being sore afraid?
No, it wasn’t a savoury, it was a Saviour.
And it wasn’t peas, it was peace.
No, not a piece of anything,
Peace, like when you’re quiet.
No, I didn’t know I needed saving, did you?
No, I don’t know if your wife is involved.
Does she need saving?
No. but you do from her?
Is this relevant?
Well George you will just have to work that out for yourself.
Now then, we are invited to go to Bethlehem
By the sort of folk who like to be obeyed.

Yes I do know it’s not convenient
But the Babe sounds kind of important.
No George, it’s not just any old baby
It’s going to be Christ the Lord, and it’s going to be a great joy.
What on earth did you think that Angel was on about?
Well that’s up to you George,
The glory of the Lord is quite wasted on you.
So, ignoring George,
As convener of the Abiding Shepherds
I call for a vote.
Those in favour say ‘Yowe’.
Ok, that’s all of us, George you can stay.
Yes, I know you’ve a bad leg.
It’s because you’ve got a bad leg.
Yes, I know it only hurts when it’s cold.
Yes, I do know it’s cold.
The rest of you can leave your flocks
George will look after them.
Yes George, it is a great responsibility
But you are old enough and daft enough to cope.
Let’s hear it for George
There now, feel better?
Well that’s good.
And yes George, we’ll bring you back something.

Alexander Hamilton

* * * STOP PRESS * * *

A word from Father Simon
What a wonderful celebration we had on Monday! HUGE THANKS for all the work which went into getting everything ready. I probably shan’t ever discover all the behind the scenes effort which went into making it such a wonderful success, but I am aware of some of the scale of it. Everyone was absolutely thrilled. The Bishop and the Dean, Andrew Swift, were delighted. All my visiting friends and former parishioners from Birmingham enjoyed themselves from the heart. And a little miracle has occurred: the Organ has, as the Bishop promised, Risen into New Life. I was so happy, too, that both tongues were well represented.
As I only go in for this kind of thing about once in twenty years, and as you only go in for them about once in thirty, that allows some respite to prepare for the next, and maybe goes some way to fulfilling the Bishop’s command of fifty years. Some chance!
There were so many threads of prayer and joy and celebration leading into, through, and out of the celebration. Our call is now to catch them as they float, and weave them into a rich plaid of living tissue. Do you remember the passage in Revelation where the Lord tells one of his Churches to make itself clothes to wear?
May I ask each of you to discern one of the threads that floated on Monday night, and to bring it, whether to the Vestry, or to Church, or to any gathering? Then we can discern together, in our worship, our prayer, and our counsels where we are being called, and we may weave a beautiful garment for our Wedding Feast.
Fr Simon

We wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas time
and a very Happy New Year
from Father Simon & the Christ Church Vestry

Let us approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.’

Saturday, 23 November 2013


The Telegraph and Love British Food, ran a new competition encouraging communities to reconnect with the British tradition of harvest festival.  To find the most innovative and inclusive harvest celebration to taking place during British Food Fortnight 2013, September 21 to October 6.

The judging panel included; the chef Raymond Blanc, the gardener, television presenter and Telegraph columnist Alan Titchmarsh, the gardening and food writer Sarah Raven, Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, and Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco, and was supported by the Duchess of Rothesay. 
The judges wanted to see evidence of people designing new ways to mark Harvest time, and were looking to for a colourful, creative and meaningful  festival or event as possible. 
So, thinking that our event fitted the bill, we entered .... and got to the final 12!  It was very exciting to see the "Harvest Food & Country Home Fair at Christ Church" mentioned in a National newspaper.  Just as exciting as winning!

Christmas Market November 2013

A patchwork of moments from the Market held on Friday evening & All day Saturday the 8th & 9th of November.  I'm going to leave the pictures to speak for themselves.