Dementia Friends Scotland is an Alzheimer Scotland initiative to raise awareness of dementia and reduce the stigma about this condition. Nicki arranged for a speaker to come from Alzheimer Scotland to come and talk at St.Cuthbert’s. Anne McWhinnie told us about the things we could do to help people living with dementia and how they could still be a valued part of their local community. It was an informative and fun session and many of us came away having increased our knowledge of dementia and a better insight about how we could help people living with this illness. https://www.alzscot.org/our-work/dementia-friendly-communities/dementia-friends-scotland
On the first Saturday in September the Colinton Wekulele Group gave their 1st public performed to the Brew & Blether gathering. They played their ukuleles while song sheets were provide for the audience to sing along to old favourites. A welcome cup of tea and a slice of cake were provided by the catering ladies, much enjoyment was had by all.
On 25th August the Revd. Dr. Margaret A. Dinely was officially welcomed to St.Cuthbert’s as a NSM (non-stipendary-minister). In her sermon she told the congregation about her life, her calling to the Church and her journey to Colinton and St.Cuthbert’s. Following the service she is seen cutting her ‘Welcome to St.Cuthbert’s’ cake .
On a sunny Saturday, at the beginning of July, Kate and Gabriel were married at St.Cuthbert’s
St Cuthbert’s was one of the twelve churches in the Edinburgh Diocese which participated in Thy Kingdom Come, ten days of continuous prayer from Ascension Day to Pentecost.
The church was open for twenty four hours, 9.00am on Thursday 6 June to 9.00am on Friday 7 June and there were always people available to welcome and help as necessary. Both church and garden were prepared to be places to find peace and prayers in different ways. A range of ways to focus on prayer was offered, from icons, candles and a prayer tree (the first thing to see as people came into the church) to picture making and a prayer walk. There were also more formal services, morning, afternoon, evening and night prayer and a final morning prayer service on the Friday morning.
The painting was clearly enjoyed. One of the volunteers had serendipitously found a pile of discarded slates and had brought them with stones in for people to decorate and write thoughts on. These are now in various locations around the church garden. The prayers for healing were obviously very personal and moving. For some people the three “Stilling and Examen” sessions were a new experience. Based on the examen of Ignacias Loyola the basic five steps were becoming aware of God’s presence, renewing each day with gratitude, paying attention to one’s emotions, choosing one feature of the day and praying from it and finally looking forward to the next day. These five steps provide a useful structure to contemplation and prayer.
It is not possible to measure the success of such a venture. What has come back from those who participated in both the organisation and the separate parts of the event is that it was for all very meaningful. One person said that for her the most special was praying the Novena prayers at 4.00am in a silent church, aware of others from the 114 countries around the world at their different times of day and night also praying. For those who simply sat and waited to welcome people it was a time for peace and reflection: even just watching the candles in the darkness at midnight or seeing the daylight come up through the windows and people beginning to go to work through the open door were moving in their different ways. Comments were made about the formal prayer services being “restful and intimate”; about” becoming aware of the many gifts of people in the congregation” and above all the feeling that at St Cuthbert’s ”we are a praying people”.
Compiled from comments from people who took part.
It is said that “time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, I can hardly believe my placement at St Cuthbert’s will soon be at an end – on Easter Sunday. I arrived in September somewhat nervous at all that lay ahead. I quickly found that I had no need to be anxious. Everyone has been encouraging and helpful as I’ve learned about many aspects of church ministry. I very much appreciated the warm welcome I received. I also appreciated the many ways you took me into your hearts and supported the different things I was involved in; including the Pilgrim course, the Welcoming the Light event and my first sung Evensong.
I have enjoyed preaching and assisting with services as well as pastoral visits and giving home communion. With your encouragement and useful feedback, I have grown in confidence in each area of ministry. Nicki has supported me to do things well but also to take risks and be less worried about getting things wrong than I might otherwise be. This has helped me to try things out, trusting God’s help, and become more capable and at ease with what is required of me.
All being well, I will be ordained in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow on Saturday 14th September then I will begin my curacy in my home diocese. It will be a joy to be back, but I will miss Edinburgh and the lovely people I’ve met here. Thank you for being so good to me. It has been a real pleasure to be your ministry student.