Church of Scotland
The Churches of Strathnairn and Strathdearn
by Interim Moderator the Rev Robert E Brookes
Dear Friends, I received an email from the Church of Scotland task group about the Coronavirus on Tuesday evening. They have been diligent in sending out advice and information to ministers… All ministers of Charges have been strongly advised to not undertake any services in our Churches for the foreseeable future. This does not include funerals and apparently weddings. While this is very upsetting and will disturb many that our doors of the Church have to be closed, I believe it is wise for the time being. Safety is paramount and to stop this virus from spreading we have to do all that we can. The Church at the moment closed even for quiet reflection…I think that the risk is too high…Many of us like to sit in a Church and contemplate during a time of Crisis, please do what I am planning…to sit outside, enjoy nature and allow God to talk. Play a lovely piece of music, listen to the nature radio station…read a reflective book, go for a walk. We are social people who like to have contact, and it’s difficult to keep away from folk, especially those we love. There will come a time when we will return to normality…for the time being we have to do what is best, and to keep safe.
The Parish of Daviot & Dunlichity
The Church of Daviot was granted its charter in the 13th century as a mensal kirk for Elgin Cathedral and the Abbey of Pluscarden. The original church may have been built about the time of the reformation. A later church was certainly built in 1763-4 although no trace remains. The present church dates from 1826 and was completely restored in 1991.
Dunlichity Church is on a very ancient site. It is believed that St Finan preached here. In 1643 an effigy of St Finan was taken from Dunlichity and burnt at the Mercat Cross in Inverness. The present church dates from 1758 and is situated beside a small hillock, locally known for generations as Cnoc an t’Saigart, the ‘Priest’s Hillock’. Dunlichity church was closed for worship in 2019.
The Parish of Moy, Dalarossie & Tomatin
The Parish of Moy, Dalarossie & Tomatin in Strathdearn is a rural community with a population of approximately 630. Most people live in Tomatin, 16 miles from Inverness. The village is set at the southern extreme of the Presbytery, in the Monadhliath mountains.
The village of Tomatin is three miles from Slochd Summit and 1,000 feet above sea level, and is about a 20 minute drive on the A9 from both Inverness to the north and Aviemore to the south.
Of the three Churches we used to have in the Parish our only remaining Church is Dalarossie, 3 miles upstream from Bridgend on old A9.
We who are part of the Churches of Strathnairn and Strathdearn see the church family as one where all are welcome….a refuge for all, a spiritual family who gather throughout the week…we like to think we do not judge another person because of their race , sexual orientation or beliefs. We accept all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and try to follow the Word of God living out the gospel within our Church and community to the best we can. Our expectations are that God is at the fore front of our lives and when we offer the right hand of fellowship and peace, it is given freely, we pray it is received in the manner it’s offered.
We know we are not perfect and that we can at times get things wrong….yet we believe in forgiving, accepting one another and looking towards the future through the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ where all are welcome and and the stranger will find a seat at the Lords Table.
As the hymnals words ring out, “All are welcome in this place..let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive: built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vaults of grace…
We believe it is here where the love of Christ shall end divisions, All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this holy place”.
This is where we worship God not just within a building, it is throughout our daily lives singing his praise freely without fear. We as a congregation say to all who are visiting, come to our safe haven, where you can express your faith, in a way that one can smile and laugh joyfully worshiping God and where you will find a warm welcome…. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. All are welcome in this place.
God bless. Rev. Robert E Brookes.