Dear Friends,

As you will see in the Kalendar we have transferred St Luke and All Saints to the nearest Sundays. Also there is to be an evening Mass on St Andrew’s Day at 7.30 pm. after which we hope to launch the new book on *Scottish Liturgical Traditions and Religious Politics, From Reformers to Jacobites, 1540-1764. This is going to be a special occasion in the life of this place and I am delighted that St Margaret’s is so involved in this enterprise. There is also mention of Fr Robert Lyon on the 27th of October who in many ways personifies the sufferings of our native congregations in the post Culloden period. It has always seemed strange to me that at the time of the year when we remember all the departed there never has been specific mention of those who particularly sacrificed their lives for the Episcopal cause in Scotland. We will of course be having the usual Requiems on All Souls’ Day. If there are any names of people you wish to be remembered and who are not in the Chantry List please make sure that you enter their names on the sheet provided in Church. They will be mentioned at the evening Requiem.

We have all been saddened by the sudden death of Eric Marston. You will see on the back cover a poem by the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran which was lifted from the text of The Prophet and which will be read at his obsequies. It is a fabulous piece of writing and these words have resonated greatly with me and perhaps more poignantly because of the recent illness that afflicted me…

“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides,

that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

Let us at this time remember all who have gone before us in the Faith in Peace and in War. Let us rejoice in the fact that our belief is that after this mortal coil is ended and being purified by the fire of the love of God in that place of Refreshment and Light, we may come to apprehend the Beatific Vision of God. May all the departed Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.

At the last Vestry Meeting we agreed that the Covid restrictions should continue in Church for the time being. However as directed by the SEC‘s regulatory body we can now sing albeit behind a mask. I am sure that all of you will be pleased about that. When singing was proscribed you realise how important it is in Liturgy. Life and the Liturgy are beginning to creep back to normal!

The autumnal hues are beginning to appear and it is a special time of the year. It is good to live in a part of the world where the seasons are so pronounced. Let us rejoice in the beauties of God’s creation and let us also remember at this time the extremely important 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – to be held in Glasgow between the 31st October and the 12th of November. We hold all who will be attending in our prayers and also praying for the future of the planet too.

Every Good Wish,

As Aye,

Fr Emsley

*There was more about this book on page 4 of our last magazine.