April- May 2018

Dear Friends,

It is really good that we shall have pupils and staff from St Machar Academy in Church this coming Wednesday morning for their Holy Week service. To see the Church packed with youngsters is a joy. Please also remember our traditional joint Stations of the Cross with St Peter's in the Castlegate. Our ecumenical witness is so important.

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all of you for your kindness and generosity to me on the occasion of my 65 th Birthday. I do appreciate all the gifts and cards which you gave me. As I said in the Hall on the Sunday after I have now been 28 years as Rector of St Margaret's and there is no group of people that I would sooner be with, nor place that I would sooner serve in than St Margaret's. This is a good community, which is not only generous but which also has such a firm grip of the Faith and for that I rejoice. There is something special about St Margaret's and for that we rejoice.

I was recently asked if I would consider starting up the 8 o'clock Said Mass again on a Sunday morning. It was a shame that it fell by the wayside many years ago, but if there is a sense that some would appreciate the opportunity to have it re-instated then please let me know and I shall take things forward. I think it important that people have choice and there is something special about a quiet Mass in the Holy Name Chapel early on a Sunday.

Steven and I are hoping to walk from St Andrews to Iona in May to raise money for UCAN. This is an important charity which does much good work at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Urology Department. So please pray for clement weather as we trek our way across the centre of Scotland from Fife to Argyll. The Walk had been postponed from last year on account of Diocesan duties and commitments.

At the end of April we intend to join the Congregation of St Michael's Inverness as they celebrate Canon Mackintosh day, which will be within the octave of his remembrance. The Mass will take place on Saturday 28 th of April at 1pm. If you would like to go then please enter your name on the sheet provided at the South Door. We have yet to decide whether we are going to go by bus, train or car. Canon John Cuthbert of St Michael's is keen that we rekindle the connection between St Margaret's and St Michael's Inverness. Over the years there has been a special relationship between our two congregations and it is good that we have opportunity to get together. I am to preach on that occasion.

This year is the 25 th Gallowgate Festival. It was originally started to celebrate the 900 th Anniversary of the death of St Margaret of Scotland in 1093. It is hoped that this will be a bigger event than those of recent years. You will remember that on the first Festival we occupied the whole of the Gallowgate car-park! Planning has already started for a week-long series of events.

Corpus Christi is on the last day of May. I do not have to remind you of the importance of this Festival. I do hope that we will come together for the Mass and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and give this Feast Day its due honour and recognition.

This seems to have been an incredibly long winter. I do hope that we will soon be blessed with better days. The one consolation is that the weeds have been slow to grow!

All good blessings for Easter as we rejoice in the hope of a Blessed Resurrection,

Your sincere friend and Rector,

As Aye,

Fr. Emsley