Interview with Richard Holloway

Stark Talk on 19 December was a fascinating interview with the former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Right Rev Richard Holloway.
Host Edi Stark talked to Bishop Holloway about family life and his early resolve to be an Anglican priest in a 45-minute look back on his life which was at times emotion as well as poignant. The interview can be listened to at the link below, and will be available online for a year.

A Meditation from Bishop Kevin

A meditation from Bishop Kevin, on the recent Blessing of the Crib in George Square, Glasgow.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
St Francis of Assisi in 1233 created a Christmas Crib in the town of Greccio. He wanted people to be able to appreciate the depths of God’s love for them, by being able to see the primitive conditions in which the Son of God was pleased to be born. And so, the figures of Mary and Joseph and the animals and the manger were arranged and, after Midnight Mass, the 'bambino', the figure of the baby Jesus, was placed in the manger. The name given by the angels to Jesus at his birth was Emmanuel, meaning God is with us.
Elspeth and I have a crib set at home which we bought the very first Christmas we were married. It is the centre of our Christmas decorations, as the crib is the centre of decorations in George Square and our churches.
As you look at a crib this year, at home, in church, or in George Square, remember that in the Orthodox churches, personal devotions at the crib are very much a part of the Christmas celebrations. Cribs are visited to focus our prayers but not to bribe God to give us what we want; pray not to try and bribe God but because somehow, mysteriously, God is with us, alongside us, and when we pray for others, we bring them with us to visit our Lord. 
As you look at the crib ask yourself the question, what would you take to the crib? Sorrow, anguish, disappointment, joy, the wonder of life’s good things?
As you look at the crib…
Look and see:
Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, born like any human baby with infinite potential to Love and in Love to prove God is Love, and God is with us.
As you look at the crib…
Look and see:
A young, unmarried couple living on benefits in poverty with a newborn baby. Still the baby with infinite potential to Love and to prove in Love, God is with us.
Look and see:
The poor, the refugees, asylum seekers that Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus were, when they left the stable to seek exile in Egypt. Through the desert that COP26 warned us will change and expand, but still the human baby will have infinite potential to Love and in Love to prove God is with us.
Look and see:
In George Square, a baby with infinite potential to Love – look at a baby and see God.
Prayer for use at the Crib
O God the Son, highest and holiest,
Who humbled yourself to share our birth and our death:
Bring us with the shepherds and the wise men
To kneel before your holy cradle,
That we may come to sing with your angels
Your glorious praises in heaven.
Where, with the Father and the Holy Spirit
You live and reign, God, world without end.
My prayer for you
May the humility of the shepherds,
The perseverance of the wise men, the joy of the angels,
And the peace of the Christ Child,
Be God’s gift to you and your families,
This Christmas time, and always.
God bless you all.
+ Kevin, Glasgow and Galloway

Advent – 2021

The days are surely coming
Abram and Sarai knew this.
Okay Sarai laughed,
and Abram scoffed,
but eventually they knew it.

The days are surely coming
Isaac and Rebekah knew this.
Okay Rebekah felt betrayed,
and Isaac married someone else,
but ultimately they knew it.

The days are surely coming
Ruth and Boaz knew this.
Okay Ruth was a pawn,
and Boaz was manipulated,
but they knew it.

The Patriarchs and Matriarchs
all knew the days were coming,
the days when God would come and reign upon the earth.
They maybe,
at first at least,
didn’t realise they too were part of the plan
but they learnt to know it.

The days are surely coming
Jerimiah cried afresh.
What the matriarchs and patriarchs had known
had been forgotten once again.
God’s promises will come true,
day and night,
be ready for the restoration
that will come.
A time when those tossed aside,
will have a seat at the only table
that really matters.
A time when those who know
bare trees of hunger,
will have a banquet
laid before them.
A time when the sun, the moon, the stars,
the seas, the waves, the land,
will cry out all of creations pain and_
God will respond;
God will keep the promise, promised long ago.
Hearts not weighed down by earth bound cares
will know joy and love unbounding.

Anchoress Julian knew,
All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.
She knew the days are surely coming.

Do you?

Are you ready to take your place 
in the story cast long ago, not about a baby in a stable
but your role in the righting of the world?
Are you ready to play your part,
the part that only you can play,
in what may seem improbable? 
Your part in
loving in God's Kindom.
Are you ready?
The days are surely coming.

Advent Morning Prayers

Advent Morning Prayers are taking place at 8am until Friday 24th December apart from Sundays. You can join via zoom from 7:55am the service lasts around 10mins.

Meeting ID: 876 2390 7573
Passcode: Angels

You do not need any liturgy, it is a time of silence, music, image and word; a gentle start to the day.

Christmas Services – Updated

On Sunday 19th December, we will be having a service of lessons and carols. Come join us and hear the story which is the reason for the season, in word and song.

Our Christmas Eve service this year will be a joint one hosted by St Paul and St John the Evangelist, held at 7.30pm. While on Christmas Day we will celebrate with our friends over in Cumbernauld at 11am.

Bishop John Taylor RIP

The official diocesan announcement can be found here.

The bell tolls
marking more than a death,
a life of faith well lived.
The sombre timbre
resonates our grief,
recalls voice and gentle smile,
word of encouragement, blessing, prayer.
Hands that laid on others
passing on The Great Commission,
anointing, blessing, serving_
God and God in all;
have found their rest.
Within its peal
a brighter resonance marks
a uniting one final time.
Hope realised,
faith completed,
the final communion 
of body, blood and spirit;
united to the great I AM,
who is all in all,
in life and death.

St Margaret of Scotland

Margaret, Queen of this land
but child of another
a bargaining chip
such was a daughter’s lot.

Margaret, Queen of this land
and child of God,
a woman of precious faith.
Peace and security garnered
through a life polished with prayer
and God as her companion in all her journeying
over sea and land, through trials and tribulations.

Despite the times and seasons through which she lived,
Margaret, saint and queen,
Scotland’s precious pearl,
radiated Christ’s love and comfort

She wore the breastplate of faith and love
faith strong and true, exampled
through words and deeds of kindness’
of love in action, not done at arm’s length
in personal acts of sacrifice and service
done in secret not lauded for all to see.

She wore the helmet of hope,
hope not just for this life and for herself
but hope for all and for eternity
casting the Light of Christ throughout this land
creating light and hope were darkness and despair tried to reign.
Through healing of mind and bodies
through teaching, equipping and serving others
She shared the Gospel message of impartiality
for Margaret knew, despite her high status
that all are precious in God’s sight.

As we live through these times and seasons
where the grit of covid and its restrictions
can irritate and make us want to cast all aside
to just rid ourselves of its constant annoying itch
which we can’t quite scratch to satisfactions point.
Plant in our minds the pearl, O God,
that through such times and seasons
with the breastplate of faith and love
the helmet of hope
you will, and can hone us to be such pearls as Margaret was
so we too reflect Christ’s light in this
your land.
Pearl of Scotland

Christmas Shopping

That time of the year is upon us once more, if you are someone who buys from Amazon you can now also support St Paul & St John the Evangelist buy purchasing your items through the portal below. You don’t pay any more and the church gets a very small amount from qualifying purchases. If you click below you will be taken to the official Amazon store you will see everything is as was in your previous none smile store. At the top left you will see a tab for selecting the charity you wish to support – we hope you will choose us, we are listed as St Paul & St John The Evangelist.

Thank you.