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News and Notices - Sunday, 8th May 2015

posted 10 Mar 2015, 10:38 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 10 Mar 2015, 10:40 ]


  • Tuesday 10th March
    • 10.00 am - Lent Communion, St Thomas’
    • 7.30 pm -   Lent study course, Rectory
  • Wednesday 11th March
    • 9.00 am - Morning Prayer, St Thomas'
  • Sunday 15th March - Mothering Sunday


  1. Extracts from draft minutes of the vestry meeting of 4th March are attached. Please note these are draft and very much open to correction.
  2. A new version of ‘The Year Ahead’ is attached. Note that the vestry are offering St Thomas' for participation in Aberdeenshire ‘Doors Open Day’ on 19th and 20th September, and are planning Harvest Festival for that weekend to reflect the Doors Open Day theme of food and drink.  Aberdeenshire Council are still putting together their list of properties, but have emailed to say that they are ‘really pleased’ with the offer of St Thomas'.
  3. The next edition of the Tattler is in preparation. Please forward any contributions to Sheila by 18th March.
  4. Thanks to those who contributed to the World Day of Prayer. It went well, though numbers were affected by having Diocesan Synod and a popular film at the Community Centre on the same night. The date for next year is 4th March 2016. It will be organised by Cuba and St Thomas' will be hosting the local session.
  5. Synod this year was held in the new church at Westhill and I am reporting to you as you Lay Representative:-

Westhill itself is a most interesting building, already large and designed for expansion. The sanctuary is complemented by substantial amounts of breakout space and an active cafe. It also has the most uplifting lavatories I have ever seen, at least in the Ladies where all sorts of happy messages are chalked on the mirrors. A lot of thought has gone into the detail of planning and it really shows the one form of the way forward for church building.

There was a short business meeting Friday 6th March. The main point for Upper Deeside churches is that Vittoria is now the diocesan rep on the Provincial Panel for Episcopal Elections. One year amongst us and she is already choosing bishops! She says she only accepted because no bishop of the seven we have is due to retire in her four year appointment, but who knows.....

The main business of this year’s Synod was a long facilitated discussion of human sexuality which took up most of Saturday. It wasn’t designed to come to any conclusions, far less a consensus, so discussions weren’t minuted and there was no vote: rather it was intended to, ‘help each of us understand issues of human sexuality within the life of our church’ and ‘help those who in due course do have to engage in more formal debates at General Synod’. It took the form of a series of very brave, and sometimes clearly painful, public conversations about people’s experiences and developing understanding. We were asked to lay assumptions aside, to listen to each other and to respect each other. We did all that. But beyond that I felt there was a rather surprising atmosphere of trust and mutual support created in that large gathering, in part as we realised through all the stories how the huge variety of human sexual experience is increasingly evident to almost all of us - in our family life, our work life and community engagement outside the church.

Anne Harper – Vestry Secretary and Lay Representative

St. Thomas' Church Aboyne,
10 Mar 2015, 10:43
St. Thomas' Church Aboyne,
10 Mar 2015, 10:43