A warm welcome awaits you at the
Churches of Fort Augustus and Glengarry
Latest Covid-19 Lockdown updates from Locaber Presbytery
LATEST UPDATE FROM THE MINISTER
Currently all churches in Presbytery remain closed for Sunday worship in ‘Phase 3’. National Presbyteries are continuing to be advised and the situation is under constant ‘review’. In the wake of the ‘Covid-19’ pandemic and to protect from further outbreaks there has to be widespread confirmation that all mandatory requirements are met including the legislative completion of a fully comprehensive Risk Assessment and Check List by all churches which must be submitted for inspection to Presbytery and to the Church of Scotland before reopening is possible. This will involve the appointment of local assessors of all church buildings. During Phase 3, there will be further updates on reopening buildings for limited opportunities of worship. Restrictions are in place including mandatory wearing of PPE during worship, trace/tracking record of all attenders, observance of 2 metre ‘social distancing’. In view of the distancing regulation offerings cannot be brought forward, money must not be counted by two people and singing is not permitted. If a church decides to reopen in Phase 3 restrictions on numbers attending worship are also required. Once we reach Phase 4, no such restriction will apply.
Presbytery next meets on Tuesday 1st September.
Be assured your local church is working in close contact with the National Church offices and following all necessary advice to make certain that when we reopen again for worship, it will be safe to do so.
I hope that you and your family are continuing to keep safe and well.
With my prayers and all good wishes,
Reverend Anthony Jones (Parish Minister)
A Notice outside our Church to the Community
“Spirit of God come dwell within me,
open my heart O, Come set me free”
SERMON FOR THE SEASON OF TRINITY
Acts 2. 1-13
In an extract from the words of the familiar reading for Pentecost we read “the disciples were all in one place when (verses 1,2) when all of a sudden there came a sound like a mighty rushing wind and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (verse 4).
At this time we celebrate God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The trinity is central to the belief of all christians throughout the world. As a boy, I was brought up reciting the creed every Sunday. As I grew older and through much study, I came to a fuller understanding of the meaning of the words that introduce the Christian creed. The coming of the Holy Spirit on the first apostles is often thought to have taken place in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. This was when God breathed his breath upon the first followers of Jesus. In our Sunday school books of old we have the powerful (and frightening) image of tongues like flames of fire resting on the heads of those who witnessed this amazing experience at first hand. They were never the same again. When God touches peoples hearts, he also transforms their lives. A situation of complete fear and utter despair became one of renewal, hope, and real conversion.
During my time working with the Church in Jerusalem, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the Cenacle, the site of the Upper Room in Jerusalem. It is as one would expect. It has a tangible atmosphere of stillness and holiness surrounded as it is just outside by the hustle and bustle of the noisy souks and markets of the old city. Yet, it is also a very ordinary room, impressive in it’s architecture and fulfilling in the mind’s eye the traditional image from the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci.
It reminds me that there is not one of us that cannot change or be changed. Not many of us have such an amazing life changing experience that draws us out in to faith. We are often blessed in simple ways through the influence of another person. This could be a teacher, a minister, a writer or a friend who completely changes our own way of seeing things by their faith and example. It does not matter how it happens but, we are all, as St Paul says being ‘transformed by the renewing of our minds‘ (Romans 12.2). If we allow ourselves (and our lives) to be the clay in the potter’s hands (Jeremiah 18.6) – we are in some way touching the hem of Christ’s garment. As friends and members of Christ’s body, the Church on earth, we are being continually drawn in to the power of knowing God’s love.
In this particular season we can be born again in to the liberating freedom that is God’s gift to us through the power of Jesus Christ. ‘The disciples were ‘all in one place‘. All of us are ‘in one place‘. The experience of the pandemic we have been travelling through, the isolation from loved ones, the closure of our church buildings, the ‘lock down‘ seem obstacles to our belief. All these things however, do not prevent us from closing our eyes or putting our hands together in prayer and believing. Where ever you are at this time, Believe this – God is with you. There are no walls or doors that can hold back the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love for you.
May you know the joy and powerful peace of Christ’s Spirit
Reverend 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. Weddings are already being booked in the church diary for 2021. 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
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 you 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
Christmas in the Great Glen
for details of all the New Year services ‘click’ on the Diary page of the churches website
Could 2021 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 Ajones@churchofscotland.org.uk 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 when our normal church services resume in 2020.
KILCHUIMEN SCHOOLS PRIZEGIVING PRESENTATION
3rd & 4th JULY, 2019
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
BREAKFAST/HOLIDAY CLUB 2019
(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”
During normal times (outside ‘lock down’ restrictions) 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.