Monthly Archives: December 2016

God’s dreams and ours: a reflection on The Lady in the Van

Still playing catch-up with Christmas TV, we watched The Lady in the Van last night.  (John writes) This 2015 movie tells the (substantially true) story of Mary Shepherd, a ‘difficult’  elderly woman (played by Maggie Smith) who lived out of an old van, which she parked in the drive-way of writer Alan Bennett’s house in London in 1975, and remained there until her death fifteen years later.  Bennett tolerated her, and was perhaps fonder

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Simeon and Anna meet baby Jesus: Bible readings for tomorrow’s service

Luke 2:21-38 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. Jesus presented in the temple 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’), 24 and to

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Every little counts! Making a difference in the community

Volunteered at Highland Foodbank for a couple of hours this morning. I was working in the Inverness food warehouse in Harbour Road.  Crates of food donated over the last few weeks are piled high, and my job involved weighing the food in some of these crates, and then sorting the contents according to type of food, and the use-by date. Thus for example there are shelves in the warehouse for Baked Beans with use-by dates of 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

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Call the Midwife: speaking in the name of love

Last night, Lorna and I caught up with the Call the Midwife Christmas special. This episode saw the team dispatched from Poplar in London to South Africa, where they encounter apartheid, and bring hope to a struggling mission hospital. As always, though not without sentimental moments, this was a moving story about human resilience and the power of love. My only complaint about Heidi Thomas’s scriptwriting was that at times it was too good. Here’s

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God’s modeller: Peter Naulls and the story of Inver Models

‘You know how above the door of a pub there’s often a sign saying who the Licensee is?’ Peter asked me. He added that the person in question mightn’t actually work behind the bar. ‘The Licensee is the person who owns the business, and to whom the staff are responsible.’ ‘It may seem like a strange analogy,’ he continued, ‘but I had this picture when I moved here of God’s name above the door. So this is not my business, this is

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Something is stirring in the Culduthel Woods

Noticed something this afternoon when being walked around the Culduthel Woods by Mollie-the-dog.  On seemingly dead branches to which some of last season’s shriveled leaves still clung there were signs of life – tiny, sheathed buds which will in eight or twelve weeks’ time release their precious offering of tender, new green. Winter has hardly begun, it seems, and yet already signs of spring! And so it is in our lives: at times when all we

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Bible passages for Christmas Days service

Luke 2:8-20 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This

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Pre-Christmas Afternoon Tea…..

Donald writes: The attached show a very happy group at the pre-Christmas Afternoon Tea for over-60s at Hilton.on Wednesday. Despite the blustery conditions it was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed. The pastoral care team as always,co-ordinated teas, coffee and very seasonal cakes etc as well as setting up for Carol Singing. Margaret prepared a selection of Carols chosen by the audience, Audrey played keyboard and Ruth attended to the IT equipment.

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Mad Friday at the shops

Mad Friday at the shops: 1 Off to Asda, 11ish this morning. Just scanned all my stuff on the self-service when the fire alarm goes off. ‘You’ll have to leave it,’ the colleague said. Customers and staff streamed into the arms of Storm Barbara in the car park. I smile at myself, as I detect my irritability at this interruption to the smooth flow of my morning. Really - to feel irritable at this most minor of inconveniences when so many in our

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Calum Macritchie plays Scrooge

One of the highlights of my week so far has been our family trip to Eden Court’s One Touch Theatre on Tuesday evening to see A Christmas Carol.  This Eden Court Creative Drama Lab production was directed by John Batty, and starred Calum Macritchie from Hilton Church as Scrooge. The play was based on Charles Dickens’ famous 1843 novel of the same name, which introduced to the world Ebenezer Scrooge, the hard-hearted miser who lives to amass a

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