June started as May ended, very busy. +Dennis of Quebec arrived and was immediately whisked off by me to a meeting in Fochabers (he said he wanted to come). +Dennis led a clergy quiet day at St Barnabas Chapel and we began to prepare for the annual arrival of the GLEN youth leaders for their training weekend, this year we had 26 leaders staying plus a bishop and Beth! In the middle of all this I conducted a marriage service at the Cathedral and prepared for General Synod.
Off to Edinburgh again for a four night stay as the Scottish Episcopal Church met in Synod, a full report of business can be found on the Provincial website. The usual round of meetings and social gatherings ended with the long journey home, bag emptied and prepared for a trip to Elgin for a Confirmation and a meeting of the vestries of Gordon Chapel and Isla Deveron Group.
On Monday we headed to Aberdeen for the night and then in the morning we had the joy of watching Beth graduate at Aberdeen University. The week continued with a number of meetings and I took a funeral in Elgin and caught up with some visiting. On Sunday I had the pleasure of Licensing Jenny Cooper as Eucharistic minister working in the Inverness hospitals and in the evening a packed Cathedral witnessed the licensing of Rev Sarah Murray as the Vice Provost of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness, it was a very joyous service.
I should by now have been winding down in preparation for my short sabbatical but things kept getting in the way. The builders at the Cathedral had a final meeting with me as they finished their work, I had to drive through to Keith for a vacancy meeting with the vestry. We had a lovely trip over to Courthill Chapel Kishorn to lead Sunday worship and to meet with the congregation before preparing for yet another trip to Edinburgh.
This time I was in town for another four night. Day 1 and 2 was a College of Bishops Meeting, day 3 was a joint meeting of the College and the Standing Committee followed by a meeting of the Standing Committee, I then had to change hotel and headed back to Jurys Inn where I prepared for day 4 and an Ecclesiastical Royal Gun Salute at Edinburgh Castle. This was a fascinating event, there was a multi faith gathering over lunch giving time for us all to chat and share stories. We had a talk on Military Chaplaincy in WW1 and then paraded to the gun battery to witness the 21 gun salute that welcomes the Queen to Edinburgh.
Day 5 started with the Queen opening the 5th session of the Scottish Parliament and as on the day before I was representing the Scottish Episcopal Church at this important event. The ceremony was wonderful, with great poetry, dramatic reading and singing, the speeches were good and the event ended with a “Riding” down the streets of the Royal Mile. I just had time to rush to Old St Paul’s to meet up with Kristy and Mara and the group who were attending the Edinburgh Pride March. We were marshalled by Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth and set off through the streets of the Capital. I was still dressed in clericals and kilt, cutting a very dashing figure (I think). I had time for a cup of tea before heading to the station and the train back to the Highlands. My thanks to Aidan, Mara and Kristy for entertaining me during my stay and to John and Clare Armes for feeding me.
Home to chaos as the packing is completed, sleep is snatched and Beth drives us to Inverness Airport and the flight to Quebec.