Saturday, 31 October 2009

Autumn Glory - 5

Today is of course Hallowe'en - but our thoughts this evening should be turning more to the saints in glory than to pumpkin lanterns! Tomorrow sees the start of November - the month of the Holy Souls. Today's scene is one of the River Tay taken from the grounds of Dunkeld Cathedral.

There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.

There everlasting spring abides,
And never withering flowers:
Death, like a narrow sea, divides
This heav’nly land from ours.

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
Stand dressed in living green:
So to the Jews old Canaan stood,
While Jordan rolled between.

But timorous mortals start and shrink
To cross this narrow sea;
And linger, shivering on the brink,
And fear to launch away.

O could we make our doubts remove,
Those gloomy thoughts that rise,
And see the Canaan that we love
With unbeclouded eyes!

Could we but climb where Moses stood,
And view the landscape o’er,
Not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood,
Should fright us from the shore.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Autumn Glory - 4

This (the banks of the River Tay at Dunkeld) is a lovely spot for an autumnal walk.

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
Through the darkest night and brightest day.
Be at my side, oh Lord,
Hold my hand and guide me on my way.

Sometimes the road seems long,
My energy is spent.
Then, Lord, I think of you
And I am given strength.


Stones often bar my path
And there are times I fall,
But you are always there
To help me when I call.


Just as you calmed the wind
And walked upon the sea,
Conquer, my living Lord,
The storms that threaten me.


Help me to pierce the mists
That cloud my heart and mind,
So that I shall not fear
The steepest mountain-side.


As once you helped the lame
And gave sight to the blind,
Help me when I'm downcast
To hold my head up high.


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Autumn Glory - 3

What a lovely day for an autumnal walk at Dunkeld!

The year is swiftly waning,
The summer days are past;
And life, brief life, is speeding;
The end is nearing fast.

The ever changing seasons
In silence come and go;
But Thou, eternal Father,
No time or change canst know.

O, pour Thy grace upon us,
That we may worthier be,
Each year that passes o’er us,
To dwell in heaven with Thee.

Behold the bending orchards
With bounteous fruit are crowned;
Lord, in our hearts more richly
Let heavenly fruits abound.

O, by each mercy sent us,
And by each grief and pain,
By blessings like the sunshine,
And sorrows like the rain.

Our barren hearts make fruitful
With every goodly grace,
That we Thy Name may hallow,
And see at last Thy face.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Autumn Glory - 2

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of Sts Simon and Jude, we have a better view of the lovely autumn tints on the trees at Dunkeld.

The Lord my pasture shall prepare
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply
And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noonday walks He shall attend
And all my midnight hours defend.

When in the sultry glebe I faint
Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary, wandering steps He leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.

Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For Thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid
And guide me through the dreadful shade.

Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds, I stray,
Thy bounty shall my pains beguile;
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crowned,
And streams shall murmur all around.

These lovely words seem to fit the mood of this area of Perthshire so well.

Happy Feast!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Autumn Glory - 1

Here we see sheep grazing in the fields surrounding Dunkeld Cathedral.

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 7

Here we see a lovely harvest flower display in Dunkeld Cathedral.

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.


Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.


For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.


For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.


For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.


For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.


For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.


For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.


Tomorrow sees the start of a new series of posts, entitled Autumn Glory.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

As we celebrate our Sunday Eucharist, it is good to remind ourselves that the bread and wine we offer are fruits of God's creation.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread of offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through you goodness we have this wine of offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

He only is the maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.


We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.


Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 6

Here we see a lovely harvest display of flowers in Pluscarden Abbey

We thank thee, O our Father,
for all thy loving care;
we thank thee that thou madest
the world so bright and fair.
We thank thee for the sunshine,
and for the pleasant showers;
and O, our God, we thank thee,
we thank thee for the flowers.

Out in the sunny meadows
and in the woodlands cool,
upon the breezy hillside,
and by each reedy pool,
and in the quiet pasture,
and by the broad highway;
all pure and fresh and stainless,
they spring up every day.

And in the dusty city,
where busy crowds pass by,
and where the tall dark houses
stand up and hide the sky;
and where through lanes and alleys
no pleasant breezes blow,
e'en there, O God, our Father,
thou mak'st the flowers grow.

And whether in the city
or in the fields they dwell;
always the same sweet message
the fair, sweet flowers tell.
For they are all so wondrous,
they show thy power abroad;
and they are all so beauteous,
they tell thy love, O God.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 5

Here we see runner beans growing in my garden during August.

They have now all been harvested - and eaten!

To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise
in hymns of adoration,
to thee bring sacrifice of praise
with shouts of exultation.
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn,
the hills with joy are ringing,
the valleys stand so thick with corn
that even they are singing.

And now, on this our festal day,
thy bounteous hand confessing,
Upon thine altar, Lord, we lay
the first fruits of thy blessing.
By thee the souls of men are fed
with gifts of grace supernal;
thou, who dost give us earthly bread,
give us the bread eternal.

We bear the burden of the day,
and often toil seems dreary;
but labour ends with sunset ray,
and rest comes for the weary.
May we, the angel reaping over,
stand at the last accepted,
Christ's golden sheaves, forevermore
to garners bright elected.

O blessèd is that land of God
where saints abide forever,
where golden fields spread fair and broad,
where flows the crystal river;
the strains of all its holy throng
with ours today are blending;
thrice blessèd is that harvest song
which never hath an ending.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 4

Here we see a photo taken at the beginning of August of tomato plants growing in my conservatory. By now they have yielded hundreds of lovely bright red cherry tomatoes - which I am still feasting on every day!

For the fruits of his creation,
thanks be to God!
For his gifts to every nation,
thanks be to God!
For the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth's safekeeping,
thanks be to God!

In the just reward of labour,
God's will is done.
In the help we give our neighbour,
God's will is done.
In our world-wide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God's will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit,
thanks be to God!
For the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God!
For the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all, that love has found us,
thanks be to God!

In case you are wondering, I don't always have my conservatory stripped like this - I was about to have some venetian blinds fitted when this photo was taken!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 3

Here we see an old farmhouse at the site of the Battle of Culloden (1746).

Fair waved the golden corn,
In Canaan’s pleasant land,
When full of joy, some shining morn,
Went forth the reaper band.

To God so good and great
Their cheerful thanks they pour;
Then carry to His temple gate
The choicest of their store.

Like Israel, Lord, we give
Our earliest fruits to Thee,
And pray that, long as we shall live,
We may Thy children be.

Thine is our youthful prime,
And life and all its powers,
Be with us in our morning time,
And bless our evening hours.

In wisdom let us grow,
As years and strength are given,
That we may serve Thy Church below,
And join Thy saints in Heaven.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 2

Here we see a heavy laden apple tree in the orchard of Pluscarden Abbey.


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.


The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.


The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.


The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.


He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.


This is one of my favourite hymns - sung to the tune 'Royal Oak'.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Harvest Festival - 1

What a wonderful image to start our harvest celebrations with - a sackful of Simpson's Malted Barley.

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we:
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
Bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.

Happy Harvest!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Though few people will be keeping the Feast today, I have decided to focus on St Luke - physician, artist, evangelist, and martyr.

Saviour, who didst healing give,
Still in power go before us;
Thou through death didst bid men live,
Unto fuller life restore us;
Strength from Thee the fainting found,
Deaf men heard, the blind went seeing;
At thy touch was banished sickness,
And the leper felt new being.

Thou didst work thy deeds of old
Through the loving hands of others;
Still thy mercies manifold
Bless men by the hands of brothers;
Angels still before Thy face
Go, sweet health to brothers bringing;
Still, hearts glow to tell His praises
With whose name the Church is ringing.

Loved physician! for his word
Lo, the Gospel page burns brighter,
Mission servant of the Lord,
Painter true, and perfect writer;
Saviour, of thy bounty send
Such as Luke of Gospel story,
Friends to all in body’s prison
Till the sufferers see thy glory.

Happy Sunday!

Today of course is 'St Luke's Little Summer', and so tomorrow will see the start of our Harvest Festival celebrations.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 6

Once you have climbed to the top of the North West Tower of the Cathedral, Historic Scotland provide helpful charts showing the various sites seen.


Here is the view looking East...

and here is the view looking West...

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at thy behest;
to thee our morning hymns ascended,
thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping
and rests not now by day nor night.

As o'er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
our brethren 'neath the western sky,
and hour by hour fresh lips are making
thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never,
like earth's proud empires, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all thy creatures own thy sway.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 5

One of the joys of Elgin Cathedral is the fact that it is still possible to climb to the top of the North West Tower. Here is the view!

There are some lovely buildings in the shadow of the Cathedral - totally in keeping with the medieval ruin.

City of God, how broad and far
outspread thy walls sublime!
The true thy chartered freemen are
of every age and clime.

One holy Church, one army strong;
one steadfast, high intent;
one working band, one harvest song,
one King omnipotent.

How purely hath thy speech come down
from man's primeval youth!
How grandly hath thine empire grown
of freedom, love and truth!

How gleam thy watch fires through the night
with never fainting ray!
How rise thy towers, serene and bright,
to meet the dawning day!

In vain the surge's angry shock,
in vain the drifting sands;
unharmed upon the eternal Rock
the eternal City stands.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 4

Here is another view of the East End of the cathedral. You can see the Chapter House at the North End.

Though much of the nave is reduced to mere foundations, the rest stills stands remarkably complete. Most awe-inspiring of all is the spectacular west front, flanked by two tall towers. In the centre is the processional entrance, dating from about 1270. Eight orders of engaged shafts step diagonally towards the doors, and carry finely-moulded orders of arches. The two doorway arches, with their beguiling oval recess above, once housing a representation of the Holy Trinity, and still flanked by adoring angels, were added in the early 15th century.

The east end of the building is the most complete part of the cathedral to survive. The choir and stunning presbytery, dating from around 1270, are undoubtedly the climax, incorporating window tracery that was ‘state of the art’ in its day. The fine stone-vaulted octagonal chapter house, dating from the 15th century, is the most complete element surviving, evoking a wonderful atmosphere of a bygone age.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 3

Here we see the East End of the cathedral and the steps leading up to the former High Altar.

One can only imagine how beautiful the liturgy must have been when it was celebrated within these sacred walls.

O thou not made with hands,
not throned above the skies,
nor walled with shining walls,
nor framed with stones of price,
more bright than gold or gem,
God's own Jerusalem!

Where'er the gentle heart
finds courage from above;
where'er the heart forsook
warms with the breath of love;
where faith bids fear depart,
City of God, thou art.

Thou art where'er the proud
in humbleness melts down;
where self itself yields up;
where martyrs win their crown;
where faithful souls possess
themselves in perfect peace.

Where in life's common ways
with cheerful feet we go;
where in his steps we tread,
who trod the way of woe;
where he is in the heart,
City of God, thou art.

Not throned above the skies,
nor golden-walled afar,
but where Christ's two or three
in his Name gathered are,
be in the midst of them,
God's own Jerusalem!

Of your charity, please pray for my Mother (Jean) who is celebrating her 89th birthday today.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 2

Here we see the great West Doors of the Cathedral, looking through to the East End.

Elgin Cathedral is affectionately known as the ‘Lantern of the North’. From the time of its construction in the first half of the 13th century, through to the time of its demise at the Reformation in 1560, this monumentally impressive building dominated the flat and fertile Laich of Moray. The proud boast by one of its former bishops, Alexander Bur (1362–97), that his cathedral was ‘the ornament of the realm, the glory of the kingdom’ is certainly borne out by a visit to this beautiful site.

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Elgin Cathedral - 1

Here we see the magnificent West Front of Elgin Cathedral.

Elgin Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, and the inspiration for many an artist. The imposing yellow sandstone ruin is also one of the most important architectural legacies from that bygone age, whose intriguingly complex building history will reward the patient visitor.

The cathedral was the ecclesiastical centre, the spiritual heart, of the diocese of Moray. The bishop’s cathedra, or seat, was not always at Elgin – it had previously been at nearby Kinneddar, Birnie and Spynie – but once it was transferred to Elgin around 1224, it remained there until the Protestant Reformation of 1560 effectively left the cathedral redundant.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today we are told by Jesus that 'it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.' What a thought! I had better not drink that bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild with my Sunday lunch today.

Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King;
take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
not a mite would I withhold;
take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store;
take my self, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fort George - 10

The waters of the Moray Firth are often fierce - but Fort George is intended as a safe haven for the soldiers who are barracked within its strong defences.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?


We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Saviour’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.


It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.


It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—-
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.


When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbour bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.


What a fine hymn this is!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fort George - 9

Here we see the waters of the Moray Firth viewed from the mighty defences of Fort George.

Let us pray for all those who make their living on the high seas.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our family shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect us wheresoever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

These words of sung frequently in the Regimental Chapel.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Fort George - 8

Another lovely stained glass window in the Regimental Chapel commemorates St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland.

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Splendid words by none other than Mrs Cecil Alexander.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Fort George - 7

Here we see a beautiful stained glass window in the Garrison Chapel.

Sadly, the Chapel is often used for military funerals - only last month, mourners gathered to remember a young soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan. He had been married in the same Chapel only 3 years earlier.

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.

Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.

These were His servants, in His steps they trod,
Following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.

I am very fond of this lovely hymn, which is often sung on Remembrance Sunday (8 November 2009).

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Fort George - 6

Here we see the inside of the Garrison Chapel.

You can see the traditional drumhead to the right of the Communion Table. The flags are very old and threadbare. I am in mixed mind about whether it is a good idea to leave them in such a prominent position.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Fort George - 5

Work on building the Chapel started in 1763.

The original intension had been for the garrison to attend the local kirk at Kirkton of Ardersier, close beside the road to Nairn. The minister of Kirkton served as the fort chaplain until 1777, when the duty passed to the minister of Ardersier. The handsome building is thought to have been designed by one of the Adam brothers, perhaps Robert himself. The exterior has a polygonal chancel at the east end and a squat battlemented west tower. The central nave has flanking rounded stair towers.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today we are thinking about the sacrament of marriage. Jesus teaches us most clearly that 'the man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.' We must pray for all married couples, especially those who are going through a rough patch at present.

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
Lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne,
That theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
Whom Thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect Life, be Thou their full assurance,
Of tender charity and steadfast faith,
Of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance,
With childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
And to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
That dawns upon eternal love and life.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Fort George - 4

From 1881 until 1964 Fort George was the home depot of the Seaforth Highlanders (amalgamated with the Cameron Highlanders in 1961).

The Garrison Chapel is one of the most important buildings on the site. Today, the fort continues to serve the needs of the modern British Army, and the Chapel is used for Divine Service every Sunday morning.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Fort George - 3

By the time Fort George was completed in 1769, the Highlands were peaceful.

The fort continued in use, however, as a training base for regiments recruited in Scotland, especially in the Highlands.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fort George - 2

Planned as an impregnable army base, the fort was designed and built to the highest standards of artillery fortification.

Within its sophisticated defences were buildings providing all that was necessary for its garrison of almost 2,000 men.