Ecclesia Scoticana 2015
Letter from: Canon Geoffrey Andow, Provost of Caledonia.
October, 2015: Eighteen months since our arrival here in the West Highlands of Scotland. Eighteen months, in which we saw a ‘no’ vote for Scottish independence. That no vote not only insured ‘The Union’ of 1707, it also insured the union of the TACB, the creation of a new province, though in full communion, being unnecessary.
Here, in Mallaig, regular services continue at the Oratory of the Holy Trinity, with small numbers attending from time to time. The West Word (Community Newspaper) carries notices and any articles, with which I supply them; they published my Christmas Day sermon in the December issue; an article for Remembrance Sunday this November is planned. Christmas also brought an invitation to participate in the High School, Carol Service.
Ecumenical relations are excellent, we how have a weekly ecumenical fraternal entitled Table Talk, which we all very much appreciate, it comprises a short talk, discussion and prayer with, of course, refreshments! All denominations joined together again this year for the Good Friday, Stations of the Cross. I have received and accepted a number of invitations to preach this year and was invited to attend the annual Lochaber Presbytery Service and AGM. I was also, last month, pleased to accept an invitation to a service, at which the Rt. Revd. Dr. Angus Morrison, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, preached; Dr. Morrison, a Scripture and Patristics scholar, and I had some fifteen minutes conversation together thereafter.
On Ash Wednesday, it was my privilege to celebrate the first Anglican (TACB) Eucharist in Arisaig Church (Church of Scotland), with kind permission of the Minister and the Kirk Session. A congregation of 24 attended and there were 16 communicants. The service was sung, we have an excellent organist, who played two Bach Passiontide Chorals plus the hymns, and I preached a sermon. The first, I hope, of further invitations from the Church of Scotland, Parish of North West Lochaber. By way of thanks, my wife and I organized an informal concert to help raise money for the refurbishment of the Church Hall in Mallaig; a second concert is planned for St. Andrew’s Day (30th November).
The summer term saw me again invigilating the external examinations at the High School, my pastoral work continues to grow, in particular hospital visits, and my wife and I are fully involved in, the life of the community, which this year included the annual Agricultural Show, the Fishermans’ Mission Gala and the Highland Games.
Canon Geoffrey October, 2015