Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 7

This photo is of deep significance. We see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (the Throne) with The Prince of Wales (First in line of Succession to the Throne), with the Duke of Cambridge (Second in line of Succession to the Throne), and with Prince George (Third in line of Succession to the Throne).

We give thanks to God for our Constitutional Monarchy.

God save our gracious Queen,
long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
happy and glorious,
long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store
on her be pleased to pour,
long may she reign:
may she defend our laws,
and ever give us cause
to sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen!

This post concludes our celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation. What a year it's been - I shall never forget my visit to Buckingham Palace on 14 July. I shall of course be posting Her Majesty's Message to the Commonwealth on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 6

THE PRAYERS (continued)

The following prayers are said

Father, we thank you that this child has now been born again of water and the Holy Spirit, and has become your own child by adoption, and a member of your Church.
Grant that he may grow in the faith in which he has been baptised;
Grant that he himself may profess it when he come to be confirmed;
Grant that he may bear witness to it by a life of service to his fellow men;
And that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, bless the home of this child, and give such grace and wisdom to all who have care for him, that by their word and good example they may teach him to know and love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us new life by water and the Holy Spirit, and has forgiven all our sins, guard us by his grace now and for evermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 5


The priest makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the child, saying

Now that you have entered upon the Christian life, I sign you with the sign of the cross, to show that you must not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and manfully to fight under his banner against sin, the world and the devil; and so continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant to your life's end.

All say

God has adopted you by baptism into his Church.
We therefore receive you into the household of faith,
As a member of the body of Christ,
As the child of the same heavenly Father,
And as an inheritor with us of the kingdom of God.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 4

The baptism was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury assisted the the Bishop of London.


The priest says to the parents and godparents

You have brough this child to be baptised, and now standing in the presence of God and his Church, you must confess the Christian faith in which he is to be baptised.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth?
I believe.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
and that he was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary;
that he suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
that he descended to the dead,
and on the third day rose again;
that he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
and that he will come again
to judge the living and the dead?
I believe.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
ther resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting?
I believe.

The priest takes the child in his arms and says to the parents and godparents

Name this child.

Then the priest shall pour water on the child saying

George Alexander Louis I baptise you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Happy Feast!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today we hear about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went up to the Temple to pray.

We pray thee, heavenly Father,
to hear us in thy love,
and pour upon thy children
the unction from above;
that so in love abiding,
from all defilement free,
we may in pureness offer
our Eucharist to thee.

Be thou our Guide and Helper,
O Jesus Christ, we pray;
so may we well approach thee,
if thou wilt be the Way:
thou, very Truth, hast promised
to help us in our strife,
food of the weary pilgrim,
eternal Source of life.

And thou, Creator Spirit,
look on us, we are thine;
renew us in thy graces,
upon our darkness shine;
that, with thy benediction,
upon our souls outpoured,
we may receive in gladness
the Body of the Lord.

O Trinity of Persons!
O Unity most high!
On thee alone relying
thy servants would draw nigh;
unworthy in our weakness,
on thee our hope is stayed,
and blest by thy forgiveness
we will not be afraid.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 3

Here we see Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh speaking with the Archbishop of Canterbury prior to the service. In the background we see The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall processing towards the Chapel entrance.


The priest says to the parents and godparents:

Those who are brought to be baptised must affirm through their sponsors their allgience to Christ and their rejection of all that is evil. Therefore I ask,

Do you turn to Christ?
I do.

Do you then renounce the Devil and all his works?
I do.

Will you obey and serve Christ?
I will, by God's help.


Water shall now be poured into the font, then the priest shall say:

We give you thanks, almighty Father, everlasting God through your most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
Because by his death and resurrection you have broken the power of evil, and by your sending of the Spirit you have made us partakers of eternal life;
We ask you to bless this water, that he who is to be baptised in it may be born again in Christ; that being baptised into Christ's death he may receive forgiveness of sins, and that knowing the power of Christ's resurrection he may walk in newness of life;
And grant that being cleansed by the washing of regeneration and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he may so faithfully serve you in this world that finally with all your people he may inherit the kingdom of your glory;
Through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 2

Here we see the proud parents with the new Prince.


Hear the words of the Epistle written by Saint Paul to the Romans, in the sixth chapter, at the third verse:

All of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Hear the words of the Gospel written by Saint Mark, in the tenth chapter, at the thirteenth verse:

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The sermon follows.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Baptism of Prince George - 1

Yesterday saw the baptism of Prince George in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.


Holy Baptism is administered to infants on the understanding that they will be brought up in the fellowship of Christ's Church; that they will be taught the Christian faith; and that, when they have publicly confessed this faith, they will be confirmed by the bishop and admitted to the Holy Communion.

The priest says to the parents and godparents

I ask therefore:

Will you bring up this child as a Christian within the family of the Church?
We will.

Will you help him to be regular in public worship and private prayer, by your teaching, by your example and by your prayers for him?
We will.

Will you encourage him to come in due course to Confirmation and Holy Communion?
We will.

The Lord be with you;
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, who at the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan declared him to be your only-begotten Son; grant that by your Spirit this infant may be born again and made your child by adoption and grace, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Autumn at Harlow Carr - 3

Here we see a crab apple tree in full fruit.

Crab Apple Jelly

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Makes: 6 x 500ml jars


4 kg crab apples
1 kg caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced


Wash the apples, remove the blossom heads and cut out any bruised bits. Put in a saucepan, fill with water to cover the apples and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until the fruit is soft. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag or several layers of muslin and let drip overnight into a pan beneath. Don’t squeeze the bag, it will cloud the jelly.

The next day, measure the juice, and combine with sugar at the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 sugar. Add the lemon, then bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep at a rolling boil for 35–40 minutes, skimming off the froth regularly. To test, chill a dessert spoon in the fridge. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. Pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dark place.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Autumn at Harlow Carr - 2

From a distance I thought I was still in Scotland and that I was seeing a thistle! No - this is a globe artichoke!

Confusingly, three different, unrelated plants are all known by this name. The globe artichoke is related to the thistle. Its leaves are edible, as is the bottom part of the flower, called the heart (which you can also buy canned or frozen). The Jerusalem artichoke belongs to the sunflower family and it is the plant’s underground tubers that are eaten. They are rather knobbly and irregular in shape, with a pale brown or purple-red skin. The Chinese artichoke is a perennial herb of the mint family, grown for its edible tuberous underground stems. It has a sweet, nutty taste, similar to the Jerusalem artichoke. It’s much more difficult to find in shops than globe or Jerusalem artichokes.

Young globe artichoke buds can be cooked and eaten whole. Later, they still make a delicious starter boiled whole and served with melted butter, mayonnaise, hollandaise or vinaigrette. Break off each leaf and draw the soft fleshy base through your teeth, then pull or slice off the hairy ‘choke’ and eat the heart and the meaty bottom with the remaining sauce.

To prepare raw artichokes, cut the artichoke in half, through the 'equator' with a serrated knife. Discard the tops of the artichokes. Remove and discard the stem and pull off the tough outer leaves at the base. Trim around the base of the artichoke to remove what remains of the tough outer leaves from the sides and base, removing all of the dark green to leave only the white part. Then carefully remove the hairy 'choke' in the middle of the artichoke with a spoon and discard. You'll be left with the artichoke heart or 'fond'.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Autumn at Harlow Carr - 1

I recently paid a visit to the famous Harlow Carr Gardens (RHS) in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Harlow Carr is the most northerly of the four RHS Gardens, with its challenging conditions it offers the ideal place to view what can be grown successfully in the northern region. Much of the focus of recent work has been to introduce planting to inspire visitors throughout the season.

Our photo shows the Bramall Learning Centre and Library - of which I am a member.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The theme of our Eucharist today is 'Christ always interceding for us'. Christ who 'opened his arms on the cross' is like Moses whose arms were raised in prayer for his people. Today Christ asks us to join him in continual prayer and never lose heart.

Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone.
Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus out of every nation
hath redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia! not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us,
faith believes, nor questions how;
Though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o'er
shall our hearts forget his promise,
'I am with you evermore'?

Alleluia! bread of heaven,
thou on earth our food and stay!
Alleluia! here the sinful
flee to thee from day to day.
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
earth's Redeemer, plead for me.
Where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal,
thee the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary,
earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne.
Thou within the veil hast entered,
robed in flesh, our great High Priest.
Thou on earth both Priest and Victim
in the Eucharistic Feast.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Wick - 6

During my trip to Wick I enjoyed a three course lunch (costing £14.95) at No 1 Bistro at Mackay's Hotel.

The photo above shows my dessert - it was delicious! I had smoked salmon for my starter and roast chicken for my main course. The coffee at the end of the meal was excellent, as was the glass of house white wine.

After lunch I had a walk before catching the 4.00 pm train from Wick Station arriving into Inverness at 8.10 pm.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Wick - 5

Ebenezer Place, in Wick, Caithness, Scotland, is credited by the Guinness Book of Records as being the world's shortest street at 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in).

In 2006 it surpassed the previous record (5.2 m or 17 ft) set by Elgin Street, Bacup, Lancashire. The street has only one address: the front door of No. 1 Bistro, which is part of Mackays Hotel.

The street originated in 1883, when 1 Ebenezer Place was constructed; the owner of the building, a hotel at the time, was instructed to paint a name on the shortest side of the hotel. It was officially declared a street in 1887.

But for its status as a street in its own right, the location of Ebenezer Place would be a junction of Union Street with River Street.

Let's now sing the hymn 'O the deep, deep love of Jesus' - to the tune Ebenezer.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Happy Feast!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wick - 4

One of the most beautiful buildings in Wick is the modern building belonging to Wick College.

North Highland College (UHI) has four campuses in Dornoch, Wick, Thurness, and Thurso. The college prides itself in offering courses, which not only meet the distinct needs of the local community, but also relies on its talent and strength. As a result, students can choose from subjects such as, equestrian studies, nuclear sciences, and veterinary nursing. The college also has the distinction of offering Scotland's first ever degree course in golf management.

We pray for all the staff and students as we sing our hymn.

Lord of beauty, thine the splendour
shown in earth and sky and sea,
burning sun and moonlight tender,
hill and river, flower and tree:
lest we fail our praise to render
touch our eyes that they may see.

Lord of wisdom, whom obeying
mighty waters ebb and flow,
while unhasting, undelaying,
planets on their courses go:
in thy laws thyself displaying,
teach our minds thyself to know.

Lord of life, alone sustaining
all below and all above,
Lord of love, by whose ordaining
sun and stars sublimely move:
in our earthly spirits reigning,
lift our hearts that we may love.

Lord of beauty, bid us own thee,
Lord of truth, our footsteps guide,
till as Love our hearts enthrone thee,
and, with vision purified,
Lord of all, when all have known thee,
thou in all art glorified.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wick - 3

Just opposite the railway station is Caithness General Hospital. It offers an extensive range of medical services.

Emergency Department
Assessment and Rehabilitation Services
General Surgery
General Medicine
MacMillan Nursing and Palliative Care
Obstetrics/Gynaecology Services
Renal Unit

Associated Services
Daycase surgery
Physiotherapy Services
Occupational Health Services
Dietetics Service
Speech & Language Therapy
Mental Health Services

Clinics for particular specialties:
General Surgery
General Medicine
Clinical Oncology
Pain Control
Paediatric Diabetic
Sleep Apnoea
Anaesthetic Assessment

We pray for all the patients and staff as we sing our hymn.

Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old
was strong to heal and save;
it triumphed o'er disease and death,
o'er darkness and the grave.
To thee they went, the blind, the dumb,
the palsied, and the lame,
the leper with his tainted life,
the sick with fevered frame.

And lo! thy touch brought life and health,
gave hearing, strength, and sight;
and youth renewed and frenzy calmed
owned thee, the Lord of light:
and now, O Lord, be near to bless,
almighty as of yore,
in crowded street, by restless couch,
as by Gennesaret's shore.

Be thou our great deliverer still,
thou Lord of life and death;
restore and quicken, soothe and bless,
with thine almighty breath:
to hands that work and eyes that see,
give wisdom's heavenly lore,
that whole and sick, and weak and strong,
may praise thee evermore.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Wick - 2

Here is Wick Railway Station - rather an attractive building.

All the trains that depart from here terminate at one place - Inverness!

Monday to Saturday there are 4 trains a day to Inverness leaving at 0620, 0812, 1236, and 1600. On the Sabbath there is just one train which leaves at 1153.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wick - 1

I recently went on a train journey from Inverness to Wick. The train left Inverness at 7.06 am and arrived into Wick at 11.32 am.

The Far North Line is a rural railway line entirely within the Highland area of Scotland, extending from Inverness to Thurso and Wick. It is the northernmost railway in the United Kingdom. The line has many sections of single-track, mostly north of Dingwall (home of the famous Highland Theological College). In common with other railway lines in the Highlands and northern Lowlands, it is not electrified and all trains are diesel-powered.

Split by the river Wick on the Estuary in the North East of Scotland. On the South side of the river is Pulteneytown the heart of the fishing industry where Wick harbour is located. Wick has a busy shopping centre. Wick was thought to originate in a viking settlement the name coming from the norse word VIK meaning bay.

Happy birthday to my Mother (Jean) - she is 93 today!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 8

On this Festival Octave Day we end our harvest celebrations with a great hymn of praise!

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!


O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!


Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.


Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.


And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!


And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.


Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!


Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 7

Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord, for He is kind.

For His mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

Let us blaze His Name abroad,
For of gods He is the God.


He with all commanding might
Filled the new made world with light.


He hath, with a piteous eye,
Looked upon our misery.


He the golden tressèd sun
Caused all day his course to run.


Th’horned moon to shine by night;
’Mid her spangled sisters bright.


All things living He doth feed,
His full hand supplies their need.


Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord, for He is kind.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 6

Here is another fine harvest hymn for us all to join in.

God, whose farm is all creation,
take the gratitude we give.
Take the finest of our harvest,
crops we grow that all may live.

Take our ploughing, seeding, reaping,
hopes and fears of sun and rain,
all our thinking, planning, waiting,
ripened in this fruit and grain.

All our labour, all our watching,
all our calendar of care
in these crops of your creation,
take, O God; they are our prayer.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 5

I am particularly fond of today's hymn.

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.

It looks as though this Harvest Loaf was baked (burnt) by King Alfred!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 4

Here we see the traditional harvest loaf - magnificent!

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.


What a fabulous hymn!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 3

There were harvest celebrations at Crathie Kirk last Sunday. I have been fortunate in obtaining some of the notices from the pew sheet (the section in italics is from my own personal knowledge.)

This morning we are glad to welcome back a few old friends of this parish. Included in that number are several of The Queen’s Chaplains who, after this service, along with members of our Kirk Session, will formally present, to Her Majesty, the two holly trees which were planted in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation.

A number of individuals from within the parish will also play a part in the service, and of course, particular thanks are due to all those responsible for decorating the church so beautifully, and to those who have donated all the flowers and fresh produce. The fresh goods will be distributed locally, and the rest will be given to support the work of The Cyrenians in Aberdeen. (It is touching to know that Her Majesty The Queen provided many of the flowers and fresh produce from her own garden at Balmoral Castle. She will have given much joy to some members of the local community.)

Here is a hymn which was sung at Crathie last Sunday.

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


Monday, 7 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 2

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 firstfruits of Thy blessing.
By Thee all human souls are fed with gifts of grace supernal;
Thou, who gives us our daily 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.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Harvest Festival - 1

Summer is ended, and today we start our celebration of harvest.

Heavenly Father,
you visit the earth and bless it,
you crown the year with your goodness:
We bless you for the fruits of the earth
which you have given for our use,
and we pray you
to sow the seed of your word in our hearts,
that it may bear fruit in our lives,
until we are gathered into your heavenly kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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 as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to 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 the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
to thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Pilgrims Table - 4

It is always good to praise our unsung heroes (or heroines) and here is one - Mrs Mildred Dougan.

Mildred has helped run The Pilgrims Table for many years and has put in hours of hard labour. I dread to think how many gallons of soup she must have made! Here she is seen taking a break after a particularly gruelling shift. A well-deserved Scotch pancake!

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Pilgrims Table - 3

There's nothing like a good cup of tea or coffee at mid-morning! One idea we introduced this year was 'Suspended Coffee'.

Many years ago in Naples, Italy, a tradition was born... Espresso Sospeso. Translating as 'suspended coffee', the idea is simple. Someone goes into a cafe, bakery, restaurant and pre-purchases a coffee or food. This is then a 'suspended coffee'

Someone in need can then go into the business and ask if they have any suspended coffees. They are then provided with warmth and nourishment at no cost to themselves.

Just to be clear - the couple in this photo are not drinking suspended coffees.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Pilgrims Table - 2

As you can see, The Pilgrims Table is located in a very beautiful building - the Old Boys School.

The Old Girls School is now called Bishop Eden School and is located about half a mile from the Cathedral. The Old Boys School is located within the Cathedral grounds.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Pilgrims Table - 1

The Pilgrims Table at St Andrew's Cathedral Inverness has now closed for the winter - but here is a photo taken during the summer months.

We had visitors from all parts of the world who enjoyed the excellent hospitality.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Summer in my Garden - 19

I think my summer bedding plants got quite upset when they read my blog yesterday morning. They thought they were about to be put into the garden waste bin!

Well, I'm not that cruel - they have a few more weeks yet - unless Jack Frost decides to visit my garden. The red, white, and blue colour scheme shows that I wish Scotland to stay part of the UK. Alex Salmond would not approve!

I harvested my potatoes yesterday - ready for Harvest Festival on Sunday.