A note from deacon,Glenda Wilson …

In October,  deacon Glenda Wilson came to Tiree to provide cover whilst Elspeth was away.  The following is an excerpt from her newsletter to her own parish about her recent stay here ….

“As many of you know, the girls and I went off to Tiree in October.  I was on a kind of bus man’s holiday – the minister on the island was on holiday and as she is the only minister there, she must make sure someone is available to cover the services, funerals etc. while she is away.  In return, we received accommodation in the manse, and enjoy seeing a new place; meeting new people.

I immediately fell in love with the island and its people.  We were made to feel very welcome in the cosy manse which looked right over the sea.  A walk through the Glebe which grazed a herd of friendly cows took us right down onto our own wee bit of beach.  Not twenty minutes after we had arrived on the island, an elder arrived with coal for and kindling for the fire and was disappointed that Elspeth, the minister, had left a fire all set for us to light!  However, his gifts were welcome the next day (which was before we found Elspeth’s coal stock for the winter!)  Also before we knew it, the girls had acquired a lovely bike each for the week!  Not long after that, the Session Clerk and her husband arrived to greet and welcome us!  We met so many local people throughout the week and felt very much a part of the community, and regulars at the ‘Cobbled Cow’ (restaurant owned and run by the loveliest of people!) by the end of it! Then there was Eileen the organist who, as many of you read about in our local newspaper sorted out the havoc I created in the last 5 minutes of our stay with two handbags!

Also, the churches (at the moment there are two C of S buildings on the island, but this is in the process of being reduced to one) were involved in two very special things happening that particular weekend.

The first was that a book was being launched.  It was about written by Mike Hughes and Dr John Holliday                      (the G.P. on the island) called the Barley and the Brine.  It is about Tiree during the years of the 2nd World War.  Several war veterans came to Tiree for the book launch, and also relatives of those who had served there.  In preparation for the morning service which the visitors and author attended, and some took part in along with the Islanders, I went to the cemetery where we were also holding a memorial service on the Sunday afternoon.  I was very moved when I saw the graves of such young service men – some un named, with the words “known only to God” inscribed on the stones.  As the dates on the stones told, these must have been men whose ships went down, and whose bodies were washed up onto the shore one day after another.  Along with these services, I was invited to lunch with the group and cannot describe how easily they accepted me into their midst and made me feel a part of them.  The girls and I both attended the actual book launch in the Island’s hall on the Saturday evening, and again, we were made very welcome into the packed hall where it was clear that everyone on the island knew everyone else!  It was a lovely night.  One we will remember for a long time to come.

 The second involved a couple who had come to Tiree as part of a special birthday for the wife, and also a wedding anniversary.  While there, in the intimacy and sacredness of one of the churches, wedding vows were renewed and beautiful memories created.

 What a privilege to be part of all of that while on holiday in one of the most beautiful places in Scotland! I certainly hope that it will not be our last visit to Tiree……”

Guinness World Record Attempt

Local Tiree Churches will join new attempt on Guinness World Record for ‘Carol Singing’

Local Tiree churches plan to take part in a new nationwide attempt to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest number of Christmas carol singers – singing at the same time.

The current record was set up last year when churches across the UK and abroad attracted a total of 18,114 carol singers to sing five classic carols in unison – beating the previous record of just 14,100 established by Disney in 2009.

Tiree Parish and Baptist Churches will together join in this year’s record-breaking attempt at 7-00pm on Sunday, December 16th, in Kirkapol Church, when, like last year, the five selected carols will be sung in churches up and down the country. They are Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

Premier Christian Radio, which is coordinating the national attempt, will also play the five carols on the radio, enabling local churches to use the broadcast as their backing music and assisting nationwide unison.

“Last year’s record-breaking attempt brought many people into churches who were not regular visitors, and served as a timely reminder that Christmas starts with Christ,” said Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Radio. “We received many positive reports from churches telling us they were full to overflowing and what an enjoyable evening it had been for all concerned.”

“We invite everyone from our local community to join us in the carol singing record attempt on December 16th,” said Rev Elspeth MacLean “It will undoubtedly be a lot of fun to be part of a national challenge while enjoying festive carols in Kirkapol church. We are holding a service of nine lessons and carols from 6.00-6.45pm, with the world record attempt starting prompt at 7.00pm. Tea and mince pies will be served afterwards, everyone is welcome.”

Premier Christian Radio is Britain’s largest Christian broadcaster.

Advent

Advent is a time of waiting, not the kind of waiting that finds us kicking our heels in boredom, not the fearful waiting for unwelcome news, not the numbed waiting of the grieving at the bedside of the dying,– but the attentive waiting as we live each moment fully. Like the waiting of pregnancy, which we call ‘expecting’, Advent is a time of waiting expectantly, a time to prepare for Christmas.

These preparations will be many and varied. Decorating the house, and checking the Christmas tree lights; writing and posting (or e-mailing) cards, letters and presents; buying and wrapping those gifts; buying and preparing all the food; and so much more. But all this busyness can lead to short tempers and frazzled nerves. A good antidote to this is to take time to prepare ourselves spiritually as well as physically. Taking a short time every day to be still and think about the reason for the season, Jesus, Immanuel. When we remember the awesome event that we celebrate at Christmas, that unique moment in time when God, the One and Only, came to live ‘with us’, our hearts are filled with wonder and peace.

Requests for Visits

If you, or anyone you know of would like to request a visit from the Minister there are a number of ways to make contact:

• Details can be left in the Visit Request Pastoral Book which is kept at the Church on Sundays.

• Speak to your elder, who will then pass on your details to the Minister.

• Complete the Prayer Request form on this website and indicate that a visit would be welcome.

• Telephone the Manse on 220377 and speak to Elspeth, or leave a message.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

9 Lessons and Carols, and World Record Carol Sing!

Sunday 16th December in Kirkapol Church

Tiree Baptist Church and Tiree Parish Church are holding a special evening of Christmas carols.

Doors will open at 5.45 pm and the Service of nine lessons and carols will run from 6.00pm – 6.45pm. A wonderful traditional way to prepare for Christmas and everyone is welcome.

7.00pm – 7.15pm World record Carol Sing. We join in with churches all over the UK to attempt to beat the record for numbers singing carols at the same time. It is important that everyone has signed in and is ready to start singing at 7pm prompt, so please arrive early.

7.15pm Tea and mince pies.

Everyone is very welcome to come along to both the service and the carol singing world record attempt, or to either. Please come early so we can complete the registration, and please stay afterwards to share a cuppa, a mince pie, and a chat.

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit!

New Website is Launched!

Welcome to the new Tiree Church of Scotland website! We hope you will enjoy browsing the various sections of this site which will contain news articles and regular features, as well as useful information.

As there are many organised church events throughout the year, we are asking you to help us maintain an up to date and interesting site, by providing us with photographs and a short write-up of any event which you have attended which is connected to Tiree Church of Scotland. It is important that all photographs which feature people are accompanied by a Consent Form which can be obtained from the Session Clerk. The write-up only need be a couple of lines long, and if you need any help with this please contact Nicola, who will assist. All contributions can be forwarded via email to sessionclerk[at]tireeparishchurch[dot]com or posted to Nicola at: Adavale, Heanish, Isle of Tiree PA77 6UL, along with your name and contact details.

With your help we hope to maintain an exciting, vibrant website which will serve as a useful resource to our community and which will reach out to all those seeking the love of God.

Fabric Appeal

TIREE PARISH CHURCH FABRIC APPEAL

Tiree Parish Church values the Christian traditions that have helped shape our island. For hundreds of years successive church buildings have played an important part of the Island life.

Although we are in a time of transition for the Church at large, we are still convinced of the need for a Church building in the present and for future generations. Both happy and sad times in our lives are often marked with Church Services – and frequently involve the wider community. Therefore we are appealing to everyone connected to Tiree to help us resolve our current problem.

We are reluctantly having to face closing one of our church buildings. Both buildings require huge sums of money to bring them up to standard.

A recent meeting of the congregation agreed by a majority vote to retain Heylipol Church, however to bring Heylipol Church up to an acceptable standard will cost in excess of £300,000.

We are now appealing to the community to give generously towards the renovation work required for Heylipol Church.

Donations may be made at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Scarinish, or online by using sort code 832703, account number 00129059, or by Standing Order or Direct Debit.

Many thanks

Rev. Elspeth MacLean

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