Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Mid Summer Murder

And so to Argyle, and thence to the grounds of Christ’s Church just outwith, at Bishop’s Town. There to see the Mummers, strolling players which had fetched up there, and were to perform ‘The Historical, Extraordinary, and Lamentatious History of King Macbeth, and His Violent and Bloody Death’, Also known as ‘My Name is Macbeth’ which indeed we did know, it being writ large on an hoarding.
A select band of gentlefolk had assembled at the chosen hour, and I was much dismayed to perceive that there were but three players to perform this historical tragedy, where I wondered were the cohorts and minions, the nobles and leaders of the various factions, and was remonstrating with my companion at the lack of dramatic forces or indeed any forces, when I was forcefully hushed by my companion as the entertainment commenced.
Invited to follow my lord Macbeth, played by a well set up young man, bearded and of good bearing, and indeed he did have many kingly virtues and manners despite him not yet being King, off round the grounds at Bishop’s Town we set, following the player who led us through the opening of the story as well as the tree lined paths and meeting another character did greet him as MacDuff, though  in truth the part was played by a comely wench, I believe such parts are known as ‘breeches parts’ and I did perceive that she did fill them better than any man I know of. This ‘fellow’, addressed as MacDuff, was to be our guide it seemed, through the intricacies of the plot.
And what a lewd and bawdy performance there followed, were it not done with such subtlety it might well have caused offense but such was the exuberance of the performance, played as a sort of universal Punchinello, being all things to all men, that no such offense was caused, and this despite being exhorted to imitate opposing armies in mock battle, we I realised, were to be the missing cast! And so it proved, as audience members were invited to become missing characters, which with degrees of confidence they readily performed.
The principle parts were excellently portrayed with such skill that one might have been in a playhouse, rather than standing under Gods own heaven, accompanied by the racket of jackdaws and the shrieking of gulls. Lady Macbeth, with much sly insinuation did play upon Macbeth’s fears and ambitions, such that he became but a pawn in her own power play. I was much taken with this actress, who it seems is principle player in a variety of dramatic conceits. Her machinations prove successful and foul and bloody murder is done by the hapless Macbeth, I fear that should this have been enacted there were those in the audience who might have fainted clean away such was the skill of the actor.
 As might be supposed, such bloody deeds are met with other such deeds and Macbeth was suitably slain by the MacDuff character though in truth I can not remember if this be the case it being some time since I read this play, but it mattered not, all was done with splendid gusto. The final agonies of this drama were enacted in the Christ’s Church, lit by candles; the encroaching shadows lending much to the conclusion of this exceedingly well acted drama, and it was with much satisfaction that we repaired to our lodgings.

The Walking Theatre Company performed 'My Name is Macbeth'
at the Mid Summer Fair  Christ Church Lochgilphead

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Buzz Newsletter for June & July


SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH                                                                  
Christ Church, Lochgilphead
St.Columba’s, Poltalloch and
All Saints, Inveraray
June/July 2013
No. 190
June                      Readings                                 Minister                   Readers
 2nd  Pentecost 2    HC (1982)+   1 Kings 8.22-23, 41-43;      M.Armour            K.MacDonald
                                            Galatians 1.1-12;   Luke 7.1-10   C.Hanbury                                                         
9th  Pentecost 3     HC (1970)    1 Kings 17.17-24;Galatians 1.11-24   E Self       P.Hamilton
                                                     Luke 7 11-17                                                         
16th Pentecost 4    HC (1982)   2 Samuel 11.26-12.10,13-15;   Rev.P.Rice              C.Hanbury
                                                    Galatians 2.15-21;Luke 7.36-8.3
23rd Pentecost 5  Matins & HC  Isaiah 65.1-9;Galatians 3.23-29 Rev.M.Kitchener   B.Blench
                                                      Luke 8.26-39
30th Pentecost 6  HC (1642)  1 Kings 19.15-16,19-21;Galatians 5.1,13-25; B.Hanbury A.Hamilton
                                                 Luke 9.51-62                                                     M.Armour
7th Pentecost 7        HC (1982)+   Isaiah 66.10-14; Galatians 6.(1-6),7-16;      M.Armour     E.Self                                                      
                                                        Luke 10.1-11,16-20                                         
14th Pentecost 8 HC (1972)   Deuteronomy 30.9-14;Colossians 1.1-14;  Rev.M.Kitchener B.Blench
21st Pentecost 9  HC (1982)  Genesis 18.1-10a; Colossians 1.15-28;     Rev.P.Rice    P.Hamilton
                                                 Luke 10.38-42
28th Pentecost 10 Matins & HC Genesis 18.20-32;                                    B.Hanbury A.Hamilton
                                                      Colossians 2.6-15,(1-19); Luke 11 1-13 C.Hanbury                                                     
 +  (There will be coffee after the service on the first Sunday of each month)
             2nd              HC(1929)    Rev.M.Kitchener
             16th             Evensong     B.Hanbury
             7th              HC(1929)    Rev.P.Rice
             21st             Evensong     E.Self
                            Please contact Tricia Malcolm (01546 510 283) for further information.
Please contact Catriona Beel (01546 602 082) for further information.
Allan Ferrier Brodie and Karen Michelle Player were married on 23rd May at All Saints, Inverary.  The service was conducted by the Very Rev. Andrew Swift.  We wish them all the best for their future together in Cairns, Australia.

Yet more sad news. 
It has reached our ears that Bill (William Alexander) Studholme, who played the organ in both Christ Church and All Saints, has died.  He died on 2nd February, 2013, in Edinburgh.

The Bell Tower.  
The 41st Annual Ringing Festival is being held from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July. There will be a service of Holy Communion at 10:30 am on Sunday the 28th July.

The Bell Tower will be opening to the public on the 1st July until the 18th September.

Moving Forward

A meeting was held in Bishopton with a group from the Diocese.  On the Diocese side was the Dean (the Very Rev. Andrew Swift), Mrs Jean Ainsley (Hon Treasurer), Ms Alison Clark (Congregational Development Officer) and Peter Kemp (Hon Secy). 

The discussion opened with making the decision to apply for a new rector.  There was general agreement that this was desirable, though the costs might be difficult to meet!  Next came the information required to make up the prospectus was considered.  Each of the charges: Christ Church and St Columba’s, All Saints and St Margaret had sent their ‘pieces’ to Andrew and he had collated a rough draft.   We were asked to read the draft carefully and report any changes required to Andrew within 2 weeks. 

He had also drafted the advertisement, which he was hoping to publish in the Church Times for June.  Again, we were asked to read it and comment within the two weeks to allow for its submission.  The cost of placing the advert for two months with an additional re-advertising feature is roughly £1000 (inc. VAT).  The hope is that we will have a new rector by autumn.

The plans to split Bishopton into an upstairs flat for the rector and family and using the reception rooms and kitchen (and loo) as a church hall/function rooms were then discussed.  Most people seemed to think it was a good idea.  The delay that this will cause will mean that we will need to rent accommodation for the rector and family until the work on Bishopton is finished.

Fund Raising

The Easter Fair.
It was held at Christ Church, Lochgilphead, as a fund raiser for the Church & Rectory Renovation fund.  At the moment we don’t have a Rector so our nineteenth century rectory is standing empty.  It is a beautiful building; though in much need of repair and restoration, hence the need for fundraising activities.  The Easter Country Fair grew out of the Christmas Fair which had been so successful.

The theme was Country Living and the ground floor exhibiters were displaying furniture and vintage accessories. Upstairs, period clothes and needlecrafts, art and flower arrangements vied for attention whilst out side in the grounds a marquee housed a superb assortment of delicatessen goodies, another was home to plant stalls and the church craft guild and book stall were in another.

The organisers were like swans, very serene on the surface but paddling like fury underneath, making sure things went smoothly, ironing out the odd mishap, topping up the loo rolls, checking that all the visitors knew that there were stalls upstairs, down stairs, in the ladies chamber, as well as outside in the marquees, putting the ramp down at the back step for a wheel chair, and so on. 

There were some bigger dramas ‘back stage’.  The main one being that on Saturday the commercial grade electric barbecue kept tripping the electricity, so a gas one was rustled up for Sunday, but the poor trip-switch had been overworked and so decided not to work at all on Sunday.  For much of the Fair that day we had no electricity at all.  Soup was off the menu but by dint of having a very, very, very long extension lead, Bill Hanbury, Chairman of the Vestry, provided electricity to the hot water urns by plugging it in to the church, running it all the way around the outside of the Rectory and in through a window.  Tea and coffee were back on and many of the visitors were none the wiser.

We had hoped to get about 500 people over the weekend. Imagine then our delight when over 500 people came on the Saturday alone!  In the end we had almost 800 people in total.  Sunday was a much quieter day but the stall holders reported that sales were as good as, if not better than the day before, many people had returned to buy things they had missed previously, or because they had already eaten them and needed replacements!

Buoyed up with the success of the event we have decided to have another one!  A Mid Summer Fair the weekend of 22nd/23rd June, and then there might be a Harvest Fare, and of course come November it will be the Christmas Fair again!  We’re making great use of the empty rectory!

Drim na Vullin
Robin and Jilly Byatt opened the gardens at Drim na Vullin on Saturday and Sunday 18th/19th May under the Scotland’s Gardens scheme.  They receive 40% of the takings to donate to a charity of their choice.  They chose the Christ Church restoration fund.  The Church ran a ‘Plant and Preserves’ stall over the two days, which made just over £200.  We will receive about a further £300 from the entrance fees.

The weather did not help.  As we are all aware, the cold spring has delayed the flowers by several days if not a week or two!  On Saturday the rain arrived just about at the same time as the visitors, and Jilly was forced to bring a collage of photos of the rhodies so that people could see what they should look like!  Sunday was better although we did find we had helpers looking for tasks to do at times!  All in all, a very pleasant weekend was had by all. Our thanks to Robin and Jilly for the donation, and all the work that opening the garden entails, and thank you to all the people who baked and prepared food, donated plants and preserves, came to help.

Kilmartin Craft Fair
Our intrepid fundraisers turned up with the knitting, sewing, plants, baking and preserves on Saturday 25th May to keep the flag of Christ Church Crafts Guild flying.  The flag may have flown, but we only managed to raise £14.  A bit disappointing, particularly being indoors on such a wonderful day!

The next fair is on July 13th.

Forth Coming Attractions

The special days in these months are:-

10th June .. Columba of Iona
            11th June .. The Apostle Barnabas
                        22nd/23rd June .. Midsummer Fair
24th June .. The birth of John the Baptist
                                                29th June .. The Apostle Peter or The Apostles Peter and Paul
3rd July .. The Apostle Thomas (if not kept on 21st December!)
                        22nd July .. Mary Magdalene
                                    25th July .. The Apostle James

And finally … for a bit of history

For anyone who didn’t see the following when it appeared in the Diocesan Newsletter, here from the Blackburn Standard  of July 9th 1887 is a salutary tale for Bishops holidaying abroad:

The Bishop of Argyll and the Isles being on a visit to Algeria, made an excursion to Bouzarea, where, on a height in an Arab cemetery, he, with his son, was leaning over the wall, and, with a map spread out before them, father and son were trying to identify the places in the splendid panorama before them.  Brigadier Peretti, noticing them, arrested Bishop Chinnery-Haldane and his son, marched them off to the gendarmerie, searched them, and sent them on foot to Algiers in the custody of five gendarmes.  Here the captain of the arrondissement let them out on bail till the next morning, confiscating their things.  The Bishop referred the matter to Sir Lambert Playfair, the British Consul, who at once saw the French Governor-General, and after some days an ample apology was tendered to the Bishop, and the Consul-General has reported the facts to Lord Salisbury.  The Bishop has received many letters of sympathy.

Remember Bishop, Natives are not always friendly!

This is my swan song.  Thank you for your forbearance.  I hand over to Kate MacDonald and Fiona Rice.


Saturday, 1 June 2013

"In the Footsteps of Columba"

Is the title of the new exhibition which opens at the Scottish Episcopal cathedral of St John’s, today (1st June).

It is a travelling Art Map Argyll exhibition.  Instigated by Alexander Hamilton of Studio Barn Argyll it opens today and looks great.

Some very thought provoking, amusing, irreverent, dramatic, variations of the theme, and well worth a visit to Oban to see it .... or to Campbeltown. or Arrochar .... when it goes on tour... or all three if you follow the Footsteps of Columba!