October/November 2020

Dear Friends,

The first Sunday in October as you know is always kept as our Feast of Dedication but the actual date of dedication was the 9 th of November 1870, which in the Kalendar is the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. In attendance amongst others on that day were Fr John Comper, Bishop Suther (Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney), Bishop Eden (Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus) and Fr Mackonochie of St Alban's Holburn who some years afterwards died whilst walking in the snows above Kinlochleven. He was a great friend of Bishop Alexander Chinnery-Haldane of Argyll and the Isles. Unfortunately because of the pandemic we will not be able to have the sesquincentennial celebrations that I had envisaged. However the occasion will be marked and I hope that by this time next year we will be able to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St Margaret's becoming an Incumbency. Hopefully the contagion will have dissipated by then!

Of those at the Dedication of the Church in 1870 two men in particular, as well as Fr John Comper, stand out. One was Bishop Eden who in many different ways did so much to establish our church in Inverness and the Highlands and Fr Alexander Heriot Mackonochie, who had the reputation of being persecuted for his High Church Liturgical practices in London. His ministry was legendary in the slum areas of the London Docks. Their presence at the inception of St Margaret's was a good start and we have a great tradition and history in this place. Over the years we have only had eleven Rectors, three of whom served in this place for twenty-five years or more, which speaks volumes about the nature of this congregation. Many men from this charge have gone forward to be ordained and to serve in the wider church. We have strong community here and I hope and pray that that will obtain in the future.

The Vestry, Wardens and I have decided that at St Margaret's Tide this year we should have a Week of Giving. The Covid 19 outbreak has unfortunately affected our finances and we will need to have this special fundraising event to help keep the ship sailing smoothly on tack. It has been many years since we have done this and hopefully folks will contribute towards this effort. Life in general at the moment is not easy and it is not easy for our church either. So please, if you can, take this on board for the sake of St Margaret's and its future. There are more details about this on page 5 and the back cover of the magazine.

I draw your attention to All Souls' Day which is on Monday the 2 nd of November. There will be Masses at 12.00 noon and 7.30 pm. There will be the usual sheet for names of departed that do not occur in the Chantry Book and whom you may wish to be remembered at the requiems.

Good to see a strong cohort out for Sunday Parish Mass. It all feels a bit different at the moment with no singing but hopefully that won't last for ever. The Church must be strong at this time in what seems in many ways to be a beleaguered world. We are here to celebrate the sacraments, to preach the Gospel and to offer a message of hope.

Thank goodness we are open again!

Take care,

All sincere good wishes,

As Aye,

Fr. Emsley