A warm welcome awaits you at the
Churches of Fort Augustus and Glengarry
New dates for your diary – see the website ‘Diary’ pages
FAREWELL TO ALEX SANDILANDS
It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you all of the passing of our dear friend Alex Sandilands. A stalwart of the church at Glengarry, servant of the church and devoted Session Clerk until recently. There were not many people that Alex did not know in the parish or surrounding area. His long standing connection through working in the area built up many friends. Above all his christian witness shone from every act of faith and christian charity he was able to conduct. We will all miss him dearly. In accordance with his personal wishes, there was a family funeral service which took place in Lanarkshire. As soon as all restrictions have been lifted it is planned to have a service of thanksgiving and a celebration of his life at Glengarry Church for all his friends at Invergarry and in the wider community.
Our prayers are with Ann and all the family,
Rev Anthony Jones
“There is a green hill far away, without a city wall.
Where the dear Lord was crucified
who died to save us all”
Like many a pilgrim I have stood within the site of the garden tomb discovered by General Gordon in Jerusalem. I have entered the tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea where it is believed the body of Jesus lay. I have gazed up at the hill of Golgotha, still to be seen today, where Jesus was crucified on the first Good Friday. Amidst the strife of a war torn Middle East, I was sent as a student on two occasions by the Church to work in the Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem and with the Church of Scotland at St. Andrew’s Scots Hotel at Tiberias. I have experienced first hand what it is like to live under curfew in the Holy City during the time of the intifada.
Closer to home, I have also crossed like many a pilgrim the Peace Bridge in Derry. I have looked across at another city with a wall. Much as we may automatically think of Jerusalem where, Jesus Christ, Our Lord was crucified as the place ‘outside a city wall‘ The then Londonderry was in fact the place that Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander had in mind when she first penned that greatest of well loved Easter hymns. ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away‘.
Walls divide the world it has to be said and we immediately think of walls that limit our freedom. In 1989, I was privileged to visit Berlin for the Kirchentag as a student at Cambridge. This was an amazing experience but, also an intimidating experience. Amazing to see how in West Berlin churches came together to support each other in a spirit of joy and freedom. Intimidating because in East Berlin at the very same time, Christians suffered great persecution and oppression under the then regime. It was nevertheless a unique experience and very interesting to visit the East and meet Christians living in such circumstances – reaching out for the freedoms we had. At that same time there was also a massive street protest in West Berlin over the innocent killings at Tian Men Square in China.
We know, however, that the iconic walls that people never believed would come down were not built to last. As in Joshua’s time of old, ‘the walls came tumbling down‘. In Ireland both North and South, people never believed the walls that kept people apart by violence both physical and psychological could fall down but, we know with Good Friday an agreement by all sides resulted in peace and that vision became possible.
It is so sad that today, the very city that Christ entered with such majestic triumph is still divided by walls. A place of such pilgrimage, a centre of so many religions.
Christians believe however that Jesus Christ has already done the work of breaking down the walls that divide people by his almighty love. On that first Good Friday the curtains of the temple were torn in two. There was a great storm, an earthquake, the heavens opened, God did not abandon Jesus on the cross. He opened heaven to receive His Son as, he ‘opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers’.
The death of Christ was not the end. It was a beginning and the promise of new life was made possible. If we believe strongly enough in God all things are possible.
The other side of Good Friday is Easter. Christ did not stay on the cross. He came down and rose again from the dead to save us from all the walls, all the restrictions, all our loneliness and grief.
At this time of national isolation, we are deeply concerned for the future. We must put our trust in the same Saviour who came that first Easter. Remember, His followers had almost given up believing when he first appeared to them.
In the media and throughout the country today politicians, people of every walk of life are again realising the great power of prayer. This is a sad time of great illness throughout our nation. Yet, how many times in recent days have you heard the phrase from the lips from whom we would have never believed might say it ‘we are praying for him or her‘.
It is not only at times of illness, crisis and parting that we turn to God.
It is in times of happiness and great rejoicing.
As we raise our prayers on high may we all know
the love, joy and peace, the saving grace of God.
The lifting of all restrictions throughout the world.
A return to life with ultimately the freedom and peace only God can give.
May God comfort you with His Love, His Peace, and His Joy
A Happy Easter to you wherever you are
Rev Anthony Jones
BOOK YOUR WEDDING FOR 2021
If you have booked a wedding at the beautiful churches of Fort Augustus or Glengarry for 2020, don’t worry the Minister will be happy to plan forward and discuss another date. Although we cannot plan definite dates this year, we hope 2021 will bring good news for everyone. You may have been thinking about marrying later in the year. We invite you to consider planning your marriage and to sharing your big day together with us in 2021. Please do contact the Minister to arrange a time for your special day. Stay safe!
Contact: Rev Anthony Jones
tel: 01320 366210
PARISH PRAYER CHAIN
Prayer is a very powerful form of communication and can release us from all kinds of situations. Prayer can bring healing. Prayer can bring peace. If we pray believing in God, the giver of all good things we can be assured prayers can be answered. We remember everyone in prayer at this time. If you have a loved on you would like remembered by name, please let us know. We are hoping, if there is sufficient feed back, to start a parish ‘Prayer Chain’ on this site. Names of people needing particular prayer may (with their permission) be listed on ‘the web chain’. Please call or email the Minister so, their names may be added to the weekly ‘chain’.
Please call or send details to:
Rev Anthony Jones (tel: 01320 366210)
An up to date news and picture gallery will soon appear here of all our recent and ongoing Church work and events in the community.
Daily Prayer Time
We invite you wherever you are, whatever you are doing to stop and set aside a daily time for prayer for as long or as little as you are able. The power of prayer is the most powerful freely available power in the world. All you simply need to do is close your eyes and think or keep in your mind at that time our families, our friends and the people who need praying for right now. Each day prayers will be said and, you are invited to join together at the suggested time of 3pm but, it is whatever time suits you best. Perhaps, if we share this prayer time in our homes with those we love or, even over the phone with another person. The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ could close the time together. We can all ‘distance pray‘.
CHURCH BUILDINGS CLOSE TO VISITORS
Subsequent to my last message, it is with great sadness that I have to report that as of today, Tuesday 23rd March, the Church of Scotland is officially closing all its buildings to the public. As soon as we have any news of the doors being re-opened you will be the first to hear. The buildings at Fort Augustus, Glengarry and Tomdoun may only be accessed in an emergency safely with permission by one person and to do essential work. We would never have envisaged a time in this country in our life times when we could have thought this could ever happen. The invisible church of God’s true saints however continues to work wherever it can in the community. We must continue to minister to each other where we can until that time we meet our friends again together in happy fellowship.
Rev Anthony Jones
‘Keep the Faith and Keep Safe’
The Great Glen Churches of Fort Augustus and Glengarry take very seriously the current threat posed by the corona virus – COVID-19. We also place our faith strongly in God. In line with the advice being given – the Church of Scotland, we are very saddened to report, has suspended all services of regular worship as of Wednesday 18th March, 2020. . This decision was not taken lightly but, we need to take all special precautions to keep each other safe. Social distancing is not something that comes easily or naturally for many of us. Your Minister and Elders are taking particular care. The work of our churches continues and we are anxious to support you wherever we can without risk to each other. Above all else when we enter the Church, we are entering a sanctuary of prayer, calm and peace. A place where you can feel happy and safe in the knowledge we are part of the worldwide Christian family of faith. The church buildings will remain open during day light hours at Fort Augustus and in Summertime at Glengarry for private prayer.
The meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2020 at Edinburgh has also had to be cancelled due to the threat posed by corona virus. Urgent matters of national business will be dealt with by the Council of Assembly.
We continue the work of engaging safely where possible both pastorally and virtually via the internet. This is difficult news for us but, we are now legally and morally obliged to obey the law and follow the advice we have been given for our own health and well being.
My prayers are with you for your safety as we seek to continue the Christian work of the Church in our communities in these dark days for our nation.
Revd Anthony Jones
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreamed of”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
COMMUNICATION DURING THIS TIME OF ISOLATION
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH : PASTORAL PHONE & E-CHAIN
During this time of prolonged isolation for so many of us, it is so important to keep in touch with each other. The Church cares for every one of its members, adherents and friends in the community. A number of local based help groups have arisen and are active in the community seeking to give you support and help with day to day things like shopping from the local shops, collecting prescriptions, dropping off meals, etc.
Among the things we will be doing as a Church is maintaining ongoing contact. Our Minister will be keeping a weekly ‘phone chain’. He may call you at random to see how you are doing and to have a wee blether. An invitation is also extended to keep in touch with him by email. If are in need of any special help or, in an emergency you can ring the Manse or may send an email if, you wish to make an arrangement for him to phone you at a specific time. We are casting the net wide to strengthen this chain of communication. We are here to listen and to help you at this time. Obviously, we are taking all necessary precautions to protect each other and to keep safe but, no one need feel isolated. We seek to uphold each other in our thoughts and prayers and by vital communication.
Rev Anthony Jones tel: 01320 366210
HOLY WEEK & EASTER
IN THE GREAT GLEN CHURCHES
Although our services for Holy Week and Easter have had to be cancelled due to the national crisis surrounding the virus known as ‘Covid-19’, we continue to uphold each other in our thoughts.
We are praying for each other at this special time. We reflect on Christ’s own struggle and his suffering and Passion. We rejoice at the earth shattering news of his resurrection that first Easter morning.
May you know his Easter gifts of peace and joy.
Reverend Anthony Jones
Easter Day 12th April
Confirmation services to be rescheduled to a later date to be confirmed.
MARIA FRANCES GIBBONS RETIRES AFTER 14 YEARS HEADTEACHER AT KILCHUIMEN ACADEMY & PRIMARY SCHOOL
Ms Gibbons spoke warmly about her time as the Headteacher at Kilchuimen Academy in her final farewell assembly address to the school at the annual Christmas service and Prizegiving at Fort Augustus Parish Church of Scotland on Friday 20th December, 2019. Thanking both teaching staff and pupils for the team work and support through an exciting time of challenge and accomplishment. Rev Jones gave personal thanks in his prayers for Ms Gibbons years as Headteacher and thanks were expressed by Susan Knott on behalf of the school Pictured making the presentation to Ms Gibbons are house captains Miles Jones and Jade Anderson.
Christmas in the Great Glen
for details of all the New Year services ‘click’ on the Diary page of the churches website
Could 2020 be THE year for YOU?
Maybe you are attending church but have never quite made the big step or perhaps you feel yourself on the edge of the local church and seriously would like to consider being a member……
The Minister is now inviting new communicants to join in becoming church members at Fort Augustus and Glengarry.
Please contact him (tel: 01320 366210) or simply email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, speak to the Session Clerk or any elder at church if, you feel you would like to take this important step in your life of faith in 2020.
SCHOOLS CELEBRATE HARVEST
AT GLENGARRY & FORT AUGUSTUS CHURCHES
MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY 2019
KILCHUIMEN SCHOOLS PRIZEGIVING PRESENTATION
3rd & 4th JULY
Pictured is Rev Jones making the presentation at the School Prizegiving Ceremony to Ms Maria Frances Gibbons (Headteacher: Kilchuimen Academy) & Mrs Yvonne Walker (Headteacher: Kilchuimen Primary School)
THE SUN SHINES ON THE GREAT GLEN CHURCHES
(for a fuller gallery of the ‘Heroes’ Holiday Club see the slideshow on
the ‘Great Glen Churches News’ page)
CHURCH’S ‘NEW’ OPEN SPACE FOR PRAYER
All churches are spaces for prayer. Fort Augustus Church is developing a new ‘prayer space’ set apart. As you enter the door of the Church building to your left, there is a comfortable seated area for quiet personal reflection at any time during the day. Petitions for specific prayer may be left in the prayer box provided or may be left on the table. A short service is held on the first Thursday of every month at 11.30am to which you are also warmly invited. Please do come along. We are praying for you.
“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire”
The Great Glen churches welcome you and are open for worship every Sunday morning and Tomdoun monthly. Fort Augustus church is open during the day all year round to visitors. Week day morning service is held on the second Thursday of every month at 11.30am. Glengarry church is open daily during the Summer months. Please remember that the churches of the Great Glen are beautiful churches and are very special places of prayer cherished by the local communities and by all who come here from all over the world. Do come and experience for yourself the unique atmosphere of peace and tranquility that are to be found here at Fort Augustus and Glengarry churches. You may wish to spend some time quietly or offer a private prayer. At Fort Augustus there is a place set aside for private reflection in the ‘prayer corner’. There is also a prayer box for you to place any special petitions you may have into at the back of the church. Take time also to sign the visitors book in the churches before you leave.
Service times alternate between both congregations and change every 4 months:
January – April 2019 Fort Augustus (10 am) Invergarry (12 noon)
May – August 2019 Fort Augustus (12 noon) Invergarry (10am)
September – December 2019 Fort Augustus (10am) Invergarry (12 noon)
Service at Tomdoun: second Sunday of each month at 3pm
Monthly week day service – short service of reflection Fort Augustus (1st Thursday at 11.30am)
World Day of Prayer (First Friday in March)
Ecumenical ‘Songs of Praise’ on 1st December, Fort Augustus Parish Church at 7pm (Advent Sunday)
Songs of Praise on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ( January 18-25)
Worship is led by Rev Anthony Jones supported by Mrs Sonia Robbins (Congregational Worship Leader), Mr Cameron Donnelly (Congregational Worship Leader) and Ms Kathryn Sharples (Congregational Worship Leader).
If you would like to read on a Sunday, please get in touch. We are always looking for new volunteers.