Saturday, 11 October 2014

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Prayers for the Referendum

Here are some prayers for use as we approach the Referendum, and afterwards. 
Christ Church will be open, as always, for prayer at this important time. In addition, on Thursdays in September from noon to 12.30 pm Fr Simon or Fr Michael will be in Church to lead a time of shared silence and prayers for the future of our nation. 
Please join us, whether in Church, or at home or at work. 

“At Election Time, 
a man should go into the hills alone, and hearken to the voice 
of his own conscience”

Niall MacLellan, Forestry Gamekeeper
to Neal Ascherson, from Stone Voices

Psalm 133

A Song of degrees of David.

Behold, how good a thing it is, 
   and how becoming well, 
Together such as brethren are
   in unity to dwell!

Like precious ointment on the head, 
   that down the beard did flow, 
Ev’n Aaron’s beard, and to the skirts, 
   did of his garments go.

As Hermon’s dew, the dew that doth 
   on Sion’ hills descend: 
For there the blessing God commands, 
   life that shall never end.

Collect from the Mass 
for the Preservation of Peace and Justice

O God of peace, who are peace itself,
and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp,
nor a violent mind receive;
grant that those who are one in heart
may persevere in what is good,
and that those in conflict
may forget evil and be healed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

based on the four words inscribed on the Scottish Parliamentary Mace: 

Almighty God, Creator and Father, 
we come to you in trust and hope,
grateful for your many gifts to us,
your countless blessings.

Thank you for this our country
and all its people;
thank you for the history which has made us who we are.

At this special time,
instil in us your Spirit of wisdom and integrity,
of true justice and compassion.

Help us to move forward in that Spirit
as brothers and sisters of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Forgive the conflicts and the evils that have influenced us.
Gently heal the scars of pain and resentment
that can remain in and among us all.

Strengthen and increase among us
the love and harmony of purpose
that belong to your reign.

Make of us apostles of truth and peace
as we move among our fellow citizens at this time.

As we come to you today, remind us of your call
to be disciples of your Son.
May we turn to him for light
and ask through and with him for your grace.

Taught by his saving command,  
we dare to say :    ‘Our Father who art in heaven …’

Prayers at the time of the Scottish Referendum

Lord, we bless you 
for you have fashioned our land and daily refresh it; 
you have sent forth your spirit and created us; 
you have opened your hand 
and filled us with good things.
Bless us, your people,
as we consider the future of our nation. 
May your glory endure here for ever
and may we sing to you as long as we live; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. 

From the Records of the Convention of Royal Burghs 1593 (shortened)
O Lord, 
as nothing can prosper without thy blessing, 
lighten our dull senses with the light of thy Holy Spirit, 
and show us by thine own wisdom what is meetest to be done. 
Reform our hearts 
that we may eschew the evil and pursue the good. 
Set right our unruly affections, 
expel our coldness and ignorance, 
that, setting apart all partiality and self love, 
we may do all things 
with sincerity, zeal and uprightness of heart. 
Fill us with thy good Spirit, 
that we may seek nothing but thy glory, 
the commonweal of our estate, 
and the quietness of our country; 
for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, 
to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost 
be all praise and glory for ever. 

For Psalm 133 altered
Gracious Lord,
who are not the God of confusion or discord,
but the God of concord and of peace;
join our hearts and affections in such sort together
that we may walk as brothers and sisters in thy house,
in charity and love, and as members of the Body of Christ.
Let the oil of sanctification, that is, thy Holy Spirit, inflame us,
and the dew of thy blessing continually fall upon us,
that we may obtain life eternal;
through the same Jesus Christ; 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Living Churchyard project


As the countryside in Britain becomes more industrialised and urbanised, there are fewer places for wildlife to live and wildflowers to grow. But there are tiny areas in every village, town and even city that are holding out against the onslaught


In this Project, we are joining with more than 6,000 British churchyards by running our small plot of land as a sacred eco-system – without pesticides and mowing the grass only once a year – ensuring that birds, reptiles, insects and bats can thrive.

Here are two websites to help you find out more:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Nine Days of Prayer from Ascension Day to Pentecost

Dear friends,
The Nine Days between Ascension Day (29th may) and Whitsunday or Pentecost are traditionally held as days of prayer for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. I would like to ask you to join me in this lovely task this year. I shall be in Church from noon till 12.30 each day. Please join with me wherever you are (you may find an opportunity to drop into Church, or you may not); and if you forget, send up a prayer later. The Holy Spirit will join our prayers whenever and wherever. This will join us with brothers and sisters on Arran, and in other places further away too. I’ve suggested some thanksgivings and prayers for each of our churches: but let the Holy Spirit guide you - and please, share with me what you learn.

The Nine Days of Prayer from Ascension Day to Pentecost

For St Margaret’s, Arran
•Give thanks for the spiritual joy and life of the people
•Pray for guidance and blessing upon the Pop-Up Church project and future blessings

For All Saints, Inveraray
•Give thanks for the circles of friends using the Church & Bellltower
•Pray for guidance on the Church’s role in the community
and for its ministry and vocation

For Christ Church, Lochgilphead
•Give thanks for the devotion and commitment of its members
•Pray for our continuing process of discernment in the Holy Spirit’s call and in the diocesan Reflection for Action programme

St Columba’s, Poltalloch
•Give thanks for the gift of the church in its location and those who love it
•Pray for the hoped for summer music programme

Pray for your own inspiration to share with us and lead us!
Fr Simon

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Sunday

 Our Easter candle newly painted by a member of the congregation, artist Polly Hamilton
St Columba greets the Morning Star in his coracle at the base of the candle

Beautiful flowers arranged by Church members

Another picture of the candle in it's handsome holder made by Alexander Hamilton

Margaret's delicious Simnel cake and cups of coffee were enjoyed after the service.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Holy Week Services April 2014

Christ Church, Lochgilphead
13th Palm Sunday 11 am - followed by coffee and cake
17th Maundy Thursday at 7 pm
18th Good Friday at 12 - 3 Ecumenical Service: Meditation on the Passion a Drop in service 

All Saints, Inveraray
19th Watch Night of Easter at 8pm - all invited

Easter Sunday 20th
9am St Columba, Poltalloch (Holy Communion)
11am Christ Church Easter Liturgy - followed by coffee and cake

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Buzz Newsletter for April & May

Now I know how to do it there's no stopping me ... the third post with a PDF link in on one day!!

Click HERE to open the new issue of Buzz for details of services and activities

Synod Presentation 2014

Kate & Alexander went to Synod earlier this month and provided a power point display and art installation as Christ Church's exhibition.

Having discovered how to upload a file to blogger and, more importantly found it worked!  So to view the presentation & explanation of the symbolism used, click here

Buzz Newsletter, Feb-March 2014

The new layout/formatting of the new Buzz newsletter means I am unable to simply copy & paste on to the blog.  However, I have today discovered how to post pdf files to blogs and so, here, on the eve of issuing the second edition this year, is the link to the Buzz for February & March. (Crosses fingers hoping it works!)

Click for the BUZZ Newsletter

Monday, 17 March 2014

Lent Calendar

Christ Church
Calendar for Lent, March & April 2014

5th March Ash Wednesday 7 pm Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes
7th March Friday 7 pm World Day of Prayer at Christ Church
8th March Saturday after Ash Weds Mission Possible 2 : & Prepare presentation for Synod

9th March Lent I 11 am Fr Keith Riglin to Preach at Christ Church
3.30 pm Fr Keith Riglin to Preach at St Columbas (extra Evensong)

16th March Lent II 11 am Holy Eucharist at Christ Church
3.30 pm Evensong at St Columbas
18th March Tuesday 7 pm School of Prayer at Bishopton
8 pm Compline in Christ Church
20th March Thursday 7 pm Shared Silence (come and go as you please) Christ Church
8 pm Compline
21st March Friday 10 am Quiet Eucharist in Christ Church
22nd March Saturday Jumble Sale

23rd March Lent III 11 am Holy Eucharist at Christ Church
25th March Tuesday 7 pm School of Prayer, 8 pm Compline
27th March Thursday 7 pm Shared Silence, 8 pm Compline
28th March Friday 10 am Quiet Eucharist
29th March Saturday 11 am Mission Possible 3

30th March Lent IV - Mothering Sunday Holy Eucharist at Christ Church
1st April Tuesday 7 pm School of Prayer, 8 pm Compline
3rd April Thursday 7 pm Shared Silence, 8 pm Compline
4th April Friday 10 am Quiet Eucharist
5th April Saturday Subbotnik : Vestry rouse out; Porch preparation. WP

6th April Lent V - Passion Sunday 9 am Holy Communion at St Columbas
11 am Holy Eucharist at Christ Church
8th April Tuesday 7 pm School of Prayer, 8 pm Compline
10th April Thursday 7 pm Shared Silence, 8 pm Compline
11th April Friday 10 am Quiet Eucharist
12th April Saturday Subbotnik: Church clean.

13th April Palm Sunday HOLY WEEK BEGINS Times tab
17th April Maundy Thursday
18th April Good Friday
19th April Holy Saturday Preparation of the Church

20th April EASTER DAY 11 am Holy Eucharist at Christ Church
3.30 or 6 pm Holy Communion at St Columbas

The weekly programme will look like this:

Sunday 11 am Holy Eucharist
Tuesday 7 pm School of Prayer in Bishopton, then Compline in Christ Church *
Thursday 7 pm Shared Silence in Christ Church, followed by Compline at 8 pm **
Friday 10 am Quiet Eucharist in Christ Church
Saturday am Mission Possible / Subbotnik Working Party / Jumble Sale

Due to Diocesan, and Provincial Synod timetables, the programme will not begin until the week of Lent II.
I have therefore made a week-by-week timetable for easier reference.

* School of Prayer (in the sense of shared study, not instruction!). We shall explore the tradition of Lectio Divina,- Pondering the Text, using different aids: Scripture, poetry, painting, music
At 8 pm we will go into Church for Compline. You are free to join us simply for that.

** Shared Silence It can sometimes be very helpful to share silence with others.
This will be a time to come and go as you please: no beginnings or endings necessary. We shall end at 8 pm with Compline. Again, feel free to join us simply for that.

Best wishes
Fr Simon

Monday, 6 January 2014

A piece for Epiphany

Bit Part Players

Clattering down the rock strewn slope, the Donkey, dusty and rough coated
Stopped at the cross roads, and contemplated the four options
They all looked the same to him
The light was failing and a few stars gleamed
Across from him he saw movement, and arriving as he had, was a large Cow
She looked mournfully across at him “Come far?” she asked
He bobbed his head and twitched an ear
She scratched her flank with a horn “Me too”
And they stood looking at one another
They both turned at a light pattering sound
A large black dog with a white blaze
Stood panting in the middle of the road
Hello” he gruffed “Going my way?”
Donkey looked at Cow, Cow looked at Donkey
They both looked at Dog
Um” said Donkey “Err” said Cow
That’ll be yes then” gruffed Dog “What else are you here for?”
Cow shrugged and said mournfully
It seemed like the thing to do” and scratched her other flank
Donkey twitched his ears and said “It seemed like the place to be”
Well, my names Star, ‘cos of my white patch, see?” said Dog
What are your names?”
Donkey said he didn’t know, but the boys who stoned him
Called him Wonky Donkey
Because I limp”
So shall I call you Donkey?” Asked Star
“’Spose so” said Donkey, “I am one”
And how about you?” Star asked
Cow shrugged and said mournfully, “I don’t have a name,
A man slaps me and says ‘Move over cow’ and that’s it”
So shall I call you Cow?” Asked Star, “Well it’s a name of sorts” said Cow
Dog cocked his head and flicked an ear, “Does anyone know where we are going?”
Donkey looked at Cow, Cow looked at Donkey
Both looked at Dog, “Don’t you?”
Not really, just got this feeling, had to get up and go”
Do you suppose anything else is coming?” Asked Donkey
It’s getting a bit late for travelling” gruffed Dog
I’d like to go to sleep, it’s been a long day” mourned Cow
Fresh start in the morning then” gruffed Dog
Dog watched as Donkey and Cow mooched about, looking to settle
Until they found a sandy patch out of the wind
Dog politely sniffed at both, then snuggled up against Donkey
The creak of leather and jingle of harness
Woke the three unlikely friends
Dog watched as horses and camels pranced and swayed
And swarthy men shouted and slapped
Pausing only briefly they took the westerly road
They’ll be stopping soon, they’ve travelled all night” said Dog
Cow moaned and lurched up, peering over the rocks
Donkey stood and shook off a cloud of dust and debris
We’ll get going once they’ve settled” said Star
Very carefully Donkey and Cow followed Star through the sleeping encampment
Donkey whiffled up some hay, Cow munched up some oats
Star, after a quick sniff, made off with a bone
Seems they have been following a star” said Dog
So are we” snickered Donkey, Cow just rolled her eyes
They travelled slowly, favouring Donkey’s limp, which suited Cow
But Star raced ahead impatient
Come on! Come on! There’s houses next”
Donkey and Cow stood on a rise
And gloomed down at a few ramshackle hovels
Well! Shelter for the night, that’s welcome” Donkey was nearly happy
Mmm” said Cow mournfully
This could be it! I think this is the place” gruffed Star excitedly
And ran ahead to sniff out the buildings
Cow loomed through the doorway of one “There’s hay in here, this’ll do”
I think it’s the other one” said Star “It smells like honey and stuff”
Any hay?” asked Cow, and Donkey, after a nudge
No, but it really smells nice” urged Star, but the others wouldn’t budge
He settled in the doorway, eyes bright, ears alert
A man and a woman came slowly along the road
And approached the building, Star wagged and panted a welcome
But when the man saw the Donkey and Cow he moved on
Star noticed he chose the nice smelling building
The three animals settled for the night
The creak of leather and jingle of harness woke Star
Wake up! Wake up! They’re here” Star roused Donkey and Cow
Oh not again!” groused Cow
The horses pranced and the camels swayed
As a group of colourfully clad men went into the house
Look! Said Donkey nodding upwards, “There’s their star”
That’s why they travel at night, I expect” mourned Cow
What’s it all about, all this travel and commotion” complained Donkey
Must be important, or we wouldn’t all be here, I’ll go and see” said Star
Shortly he came back, smiling and capering
Donkey and Cow looked enquiringly at him
Oh do stop that” said Cow crossly “Can’t abide a fidget”
Well it seems the baby is very special”
”Baby?” Donkey looked puzzled
Cow said “My calves were very special too”
Yes well” said Dog “There’s lots more, but it’s beyond me”
Cow contemplated the comings and goings next door
I wonder if we should be over there” she said mournfully
Doing what exactly?” asked Donkey
I don’t know, looking on I suppose” “Well we are doing” replied Donkey
It was a blazes of a long walk, just to look on” Cow grumped
Dog looked from one to the other and shook his head
We’ve been chosen to witness an extraordinary event”
Mmm” said Cow, “Oh really” said Donkey “Glad I came then” and he sniffed
If it happens again we’ll be better prepared” said Star
Well I won’t be there” Cow said “You can get a Cow anywhere”
This’ll do me, food and shelter, what more could a Cow want
And the new family will be needing milk, so thanks for the company, but I’m staying
Donkey couldn’t decide whether to be offended or not, he decided not
Cow needed company and people, people just meant pain for him
So Dog, that’s us then, two for the road” and he came out to watch
The caravan was packing up and heading out, horses pranced, camels swayed
Swarthy men shouted and slapped
Turning their backs on the procession, Dog and Donkey took their leave of Cow
With Dog smiling and capering in front, Donkey clattered along behind
Off to wait for the next time a Donkey and a Dog were needed

©Alexander Hamilton