Twenty years ago, the Provincial Youth Network organised a Youth Camp at Strathallan School in Perthshire and young people arrived from across Scotland. That camp has now become an annual event which takes place at Glenalmond College. The annual event has brought young Episcopalians together for twenty years and the friendships and faith development this has enabled is a wonderful thing to be part of.
I had the privilege of being a leader, then camp boss and now the Bishop who works alongside the organising committee. Therefore, with great joy, we attended the twenty-year celebration in Edinburgh. We had a day of activity in St Mary’s Cathedral and a wonderful Ceilidh in the Walpole Hall. On Sunday morning, we created the Youth Network cross in the Cathedral and I was invited to preach, we had a good weekend.
I then moved from one hotel in Princes street to another via Waverley Station where Jane headed home. I had two more days and a meeting of the College of Bishops before I too got back to the Black Isle. I had a brief trip to Lossiemouth for a funeral before we entered the busy week which is Holy Week.
Holy Week followed it traditional path, Palm Sunday processions, passion reading, prayers and the day ending with Compline. Monday was the day that the clergy and laity turn up to the Cathedral in ever increasing numbers to celebrate the Chrism Mass. During the service the Clergy renew their commitments to ministry as does the Bishop. The laity pray for us all and I bless the oils for use in the year to come. It all ends with a shared lunch in the Cathedral Hall.
This Holy Week I had another Chrism Mass to celebrate at as I also led the worship at The Cathedral in Aberdeen, so on Maundy Thursday I headed down the road to take the service then back to Inverness in time for the evening Eucharist and Vigil at my Cathedral.
On Good Friday, we had traditional worship, meditation and Messy Cathedral where children gather to hear the story and take part in some age appropriate activities. Saturday was a day of cleaning and rearranging the Cathedral before the power of the Easter Vigil, bonfire, new light, Exultet and first Eucharist of Easter. We had lots of bells to ring during the service.
Easter Sunday was very busy with six services and lots of people, I became Godfather to dear Zoe, thank you Emmanuel and Eliza for trusting me with this important task. it was also good to have Aidan, Beth and Kristy with us for the weekend and on Easter Sunday evening we eventually sat down for a splendid Easter dinner.
So normally I would then collapse for a few days but this year on Easter Monday we were back down the road to Aberdeen and onto the ferry for Shetland.