From the Rector

Dear friends,

Even with the restrictions in place there are a lot of things happening at Holy Cross in the next few weeks.

The first Sunday in October is our Harvest Festival.

Baptism is the sacrament that makes us Christians, part of the Church which is the Body of Christ. We are blessed to be having two baptisms at Holy Cross in October – Bess, my daughter, on Sunday 18th October and Emilia, the daughter of Zoe Kirkpatrick, on Sunday 25th October. We will use the modern Scottish Episcopalian Rite of Baptism in our normal Sunday Eucharist. It reminds us of our own Baptism and in the Rite there is the opportunity to welcome new members to our church. Both Emilia and Bess are regular worshippers with us and feel at home in our church.

Looked at from Heaven this world must seem a place where new souls are constantly being born, and often re-born in Baptism, and then passing from this world in death which is a re-birth into a new life.

I was at St Mary’s Cathedral recently for the delayed Chrism Mass (a Eucharist, usually celebrated on Maundy Thursday, where the Bishop consecrates the Holy oils for the new year and all the clergy renew their ordination vows), and among the departed prayed for was our own Helen Allan. Recently we also buried the ashes of Elgar Dickinson and his sister Anne in our garden of remembrance. More recently we received the sad news of the death of Chantal Tuke, a member of Holy Cross who moved to England not that long ago. We hope to have memorial services for Chantal and Helen at Holy Cross when restrictions are lifted.

They, and their families, all remain in our thoughts and prayers and we will remember all the departed members of our congregation and our relatives, friends and benefactors on All Souls Day.

Thanks to all who helped make our Patronal Feast last month, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, such a success despite the coronavirus restrictions. There was a remarkable depth of silence at the Vigil as we prayed together in the candlelit church and many comments on the beauty of our building from those who saw the photographs.

Thanks also to all those who keep Holy Cross running, particularly welcomers and cleaners on Sundays, those who have contributed to our new heating system which should be in action by the time you read this, and all of you who just keep an eye out for your neighbours and friends in the congregation. It has been an unusual but very heartening first seven months for Izzy, Bess and me.

November is a month of Remembrance but even in October we occasionally turn to look towards the expectation and new life of Advent and Christmas. We don’t know what restrictions will be in place then and whether we will even be able to sing Christmas Carols – I suspect not. How might we celebrate Christmas if we can’t sing and can’t have the Christingle service?

Let us pray for each other and all who are working to keep us safe, and let us work to be a community of love and prayer, united around Jesus in Word and Sacrament.

With love in Christ,


Photograph, the Oratory at the Rectory.

Read Stephen’s ‘thoughts on liturgy, history and religion’ in his blog

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