On Sunday 12th August during the morning service Sharon Allison, Project Manager at the Hub at HMP Glenochil and Cornton Vale, gave St James’s a most interesting presentation on work with prisoners and their families. The Hub is one of the charities supported by St James’s this year. If you would like to find out more about volunteering at The Hub, please speak to Elma at St James ‘s.
On 28th July the first diocesan pilgrimage took place walking from Ceres in Fife along the newly re-established pilgrim route to St Andrews.About 40 people set out from Ceres but we were joined along the way and by the time we reached St. Andrews there were about 90 people. It was a wonderful day of prayer and fellowship culminating in a Sung Evensong at St. Andrew’s St Andrews.
The Area Council Meeting was held at St. James’s on Wednesday 20th June. It was an evening on labyrinth walking, one of a series being held across the diocese this year. Andrew and Rev Liz Baker (Pitlochry) introduced the idea of walking a labyrinth as a tool for prayer and reflection. They also provided printed material with useful suggestions and prayers. We were able to use our own outdoor labyrinth and an indoor one on canvas. Each offered a very different experience. About 20 people enjoyed a bring and share supper and we finished with Evening Prayer in the church. The people attending came from numerous churches across our area and a lovely atmosphere was created.
This morning 36 trauma teddies were blessed before being taken to the Scottish Fire and Rescue service in Alloa. These teddies, knitted by members of the congregation are handed out to children who have been involved in distressing incidents and can be greatly reassuring for them in difficult circumstances.
People enjoyed creating prayer stones with the St James Drop In Group at the Gathering in Perth Cathedral on Saturday. There was a very friendly and creative atmosphere all day.
Bishop David joined us for the main service on May 21st which included the baptism of Harri Bowen.
St.James’s led this year’s World Day of Prayer service in Dollar this year. The service was written by Christian women of The Philippines on the theme, “Am I being unfair to you?”. As we heard about the lives of people in The Philippines we were able to watch pictures of the countryside and the the school for the Aeta people in the highlands which Alun Morgan, a member of the congregation, has been instrumental in setting up and supporting.
We held our annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 18th. A beautiful service followed mulled wine and mince pies in the Parish Rooms.
Our annual Pet Service in the spirit of St. Francis was held on Sunday afternoon:
We celebrated Harvest over the weekend of October 1st and 2nd. On Saturday evening we had a short service in the church followed by the Harvest Supper in the Parish Rooms attended by about 40 people; delicious food and a a very happy atmosphere. On Sunday morning we held our main harvest service. The church was beautifully decorated and the children had taken sealife as the theme for their harvest table. On Sunday evening a group of young musicians led by Martina Sillence from Dollar and friends from Glasgow put on a most enjoyable concert in the church.
For the first time, to celebrate the week of Christian Unity St. James’s and Dollar, Muckhart and Glendevon Parish Churches came together to share their main morning service. The service blended elements from both our usual services and afterwards we enjoyed the hospitality of the Parish Church in the Burnside Hall.
We were delighted to welcome Victoria Sibley-Bentley (and her parents, Colin and Pat) as our guest preacher.Victoria and her parents were members of St. James’s for a number of years.Victoria is the Vocational Deacon and Chaplain at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She gave us some fascinating insights into life in New Zealand.
Advent and Christmas at St. James’s followed our usual pattern: the Advent Carol service on the first Sunday of Advent, study groups held morning and evening on Thursdays, Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 20th, then the Christingle service and Midnight Mass, followed by the eucharists of Christmas Day. The decorations for Christmas added to the beauty and sense of wonderment:
Just before Holy Week the Drop In Group were the hosts for a celebration of Passover. We celebrated Passover as Christians who want to understand our own faith better. The evening explained many of the traditions of Passover but we also focused on the freedom that we are given through the resurrection of Christ.. We had a delicous buffet supper and there was a lovely atmosphere of sharing and friendship.