I had the very sad duty of leading another funeral for another fine priest in the Church of St John the Baptist, Rothiemurchus. Rev Patricia Lockhart, the OLM priest in the Charge had succumbed to the cancer she had so bravely fought for so long. Patricia has been part of the life of Kingussie where she lived and worked, being the head teacher at the Primary School for many years. She had been trained for her ministry at the time Local Collaborative Ministry was seeking ways of enabling the church to develop in deeply rural communities, and she was a wonderful example of what could be achieved. She is sadly missed by many.
The week moved on towards a very busy weekend, on Friday evening we celebrated the Patronal Feast of St Andrew’s, Fortrose, I celebrated while Dean Alison preached and Canon Mel kept us all in order. The service was followed by a lovely time of fellowship in the rectory.
On Saturday in St John’s Church, Inverness we Licensed Rev Canon Dr John Cuthbert as the Priest in Charge of St John the Evangelist and St Michael and All Angels, Inverness. He was also licensed as the City Priest of Inverness. This is a real homecoming for John and Mhairi and the weekend continued with High Mass of welcome at St Michael’s on Sunday afternoon. It was good to see so many people from St Mary’s, Arbroath journeying North to ensure John was well looked after.
I had a fairly tight schedule on the Sunday, off to Gordonstoun School to preach and preside at the morning service, and then straight back to St Michael’s to celebrate at the welcome service for John and then off to the Cathedral for Choral Evensong. The final part of the festive weekend came on Monday evening when we had a sung Eucharist of Patron at the Cathedral followed by a fish and chip supper in the Old Boy’s School.
The schedule didn’t really ease up for the rest of the week, I had a day’s travel to Edinburgh on Tuesday for a short but important meeting of the Canon’s Committee, Diocesan Standing Committee and a complex telephone conference on Wednesday, an ecumenical meeting at the Highland Council Offices on Thursday and a day spent in Perth on Saturday with the Theological Institute, the ordinands and the Lay readers in training. We also hosted two Concerts at the Cathedral and I chaired the AGM of the Cathedral Congregation after the 11.00am service on Sunday morning. I have to say I was very glad of my day off on the Monday, at which point Jane reminded me that we were driving through to Aberdeen to take Beth out for her birthday lunch!