Revd Dr Keith Suckling’s monthly leaflet

Scottish Episcopal Church

Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney Welcome to St Peter’s.

Revd Dr Keith Suckling SOSc

Priest in Charge

January – February 2016

Following the intensity of the Christmas and New Year celebrations it may seem that the first period covered by this leaflet would be a quiet few weeks before Lent begins, but two major dates stand out. January 25th celebrates the Conversion of St Paul, a major event of world history in itself, but leading up to this is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Fraserburgh is fortunate to have an active Churches Together group which we participate in fully. The group is organizing a series of prayer meetings at lunchtimes hosted in member churches. St Peter’s is the host on Tuesday 19 February. Unity and understanding continue to be a great need in the church and so at this time should be a focus for our prayers.

Then on 2 February the Christmas and Epiphany cycle of celebrations ends with the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, popularly known as Candlemas. We tell the story of Mary and Joseph taking the baby Jesus to the Temple where the old prophet Simeon recognizes him as the Saviour. The simple act of parents giving thanks to God for the birth of a son is transformed by Simeon’s response of joy that the child is to be ‘a light to lighten the nations’ (the Nunc Dimittis). In the traditional Candlemas Eucharist the symbol of light is beautifully represented in the procession with candles to the singing of Nunc Dimittis. This moment recalls the point in the Christingle service when the electric lights are turned off and the candlelight remains. Candles in winter give a special focus to the celebration of Christ as Light of the World. So that we do not miss this beautiful celebration we are transferring it to Sunday 31 January.


St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte Street, Fraserburgh, AB43 9LS

01346 518158,

Further notes ..

The singing of the Gospel Choir at the wedding in July was widely acclaimed. I am glad to be able to report that they will be returning to Fraserburgh on Saturday 9 April as part of a tour in preparation for a major event in Aberdeen in the summer. Watch out for posters and further information about The Sound of Many Waters.

Very early this year, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 10 February. We will include the imposition of ashes as a sign of penitence at our regular Wednesday morning Eucharist. We are also planning our Lent study group which this year will focus on several selected Psalms and follow the same format as last year, interviews on CD with an ecumenical group of speakers and then a free discussion. Dates and times will be in the weekly leaflet soon as will be details of the sessions being organised by Fraserburgh Churches Together.

You may have heard in the news of the outcome of the meeting of Primates of the Anglican Communion which met recently. There was no split as many were predicting. Instead the published outcome regrets that the Episcopal Church (in the USA, TEC) has changed or is in the process of changing its canons (rules) to allow it to celebrate same-sex marriages. In the USA, as I know from my recent visit, this is regarded as an essential expression of Christian love and many there do not understand why their view is not shared throughout the Anglican Communion. Further discussions are going to take place but over the next three years TEC will not speak for the Anglican Communion on matters of doctrine or on ecumenical matters.

A related piece of news concerns an agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England to work more closely together. This was published just before Christmas. The relationship of this agreement with the Scottish Episcopal Church is not clear and the Primus has raised some questions about it. I know from one Church of England bishop that (as is often the case) there is more background to this story than has been published and no doubt we will hear more in due course.

Further information on the Lent course:

The ancient poems we call Psalms are over 2000 years old. They were written in very different times from our own when humans could travel at the speed of a camel – not at the speed of sound. But these songs have stood the test of time for they address many of the problems we still face: violence, injustice, anger – and bewilderment. Why do the wicked prosper? Where is God when we suffer? In this 5-session course, Bishop Stephen Cottrell – a prolific and popular author – reflects on the psalms in general (and five psalms in particular). He invites us to join him as he does so.

Five Sessions:

Session 1        Know that the Lord is God       (Psalm 100)

Session 2        Out of the depths have I cried (Psalm 130)

Session 3         How long, O Lord? (Psalm 13)

Session 4         You spread a table before me (Psalm 23)

Session 5         Unless the Lord builds the house … (Psalm 127)


PARTICIPANTS on the course CD:

    • John Bell (Iona Community)
    • Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP (Blackfriars, Oxford)
    • Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin (Church of England priest)
    • REV Dr Jane Leach, Principal of Wesley House(Closing Reflections)
    • Calendar January – February 2016
    • Sundays 11am Holy Communion
    • Wednesdays at 10 am, Holy Communion
    • Fridays 6pm Evening Prayer
    • Fridays at 6.30 pm. Choir practice
    •  24 January  Parish Annual General Meeting
    • January17     Epiphany 219   Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St Peter’s (12.30-1 pm)24  Epiphany 3Parish Annual General Meeting
    • February7          Sunday before Lent10        Ash Wednesday. Eucharist with ashing ceremony 10 am.14         Lent 121         Lent 228         Lent 3

      Easter Day is 27 March.

      Gospel Choir Concert, Saturday 9 April.

Lent, Holy Week and Easter 2016
10 February: Ash Wednesday, 10 am.
Holy Communion and ashing ceremony.
6 March: Mothering Sunday, All-age Eucharist, 11 am.
20 March: Palm Sunday, Procession with palms, dramatized Passion
reading and Holy Communion, 11 am.
21-23 March: Evening prayer, 6 pm.
24 March: Maundy Thursday, Eucharist of Last Supper, 7 pm.
25 March: Good Friday, Liturgy 2 pm.
26 March: Easter Vigil with lighting of Paschal Candle, 7.30 pm.
27 March: Easter Day, Holy Communion, 11 am.
Wednesdays: 10 am Holy Communion, 11 am Come and Pray.
Fridays: 6 pm Evening Prayer
Lent Course: York Course on selected Psalms
Tuesdays at 7 pm, beginning on 16 February at Elizabeth Pittendrigh’s.
Second meeting (23 February at the Rectory).
Please see Keith for more details.
Bishop’s Appeal Lent boxes: available soon.
Fraserburgh Churches Together
Lent lunches at URC, 12 pm starting 12 February.
Lent course: Tuesday mornings, 10 am and Thursday evenings, 7 pm,
more details shortly.
Lent, Holy Week and Easter
at St Peter’s Here is a summary of all the services, activities and dates planned for Lent, Holy Week and Easter at St
Peter’s this year. We’ll give more details of the Holy Week and Easter services nearer the time, so this leaflet concentrates on the period of Lent which precedes it.
People often talk about giving something up for Lent. Here’s one way of doing it which you may not think about. Why not give up some time?
– time to come together with others for worship (Sunday mornings or Wednesday mornings), prayer (Wednesday mornings or Friday evenings) or sharing and discussion (Tuesday evenings). We all
continue to need each other’s support. I would particularly like to emphasise ‘Come and Pray’ which we are starting on Wednesdays at 11 am. This will be an informal group which will meet for 30 minutes to pray for the world, for people and places we know and for the needs of our own church and community. I would also like to invite you to join the discussions on the Psalms on Tuesday evenings. More details can be found on the poster in the
entrance and I’ll be glad to give more information. Our own activities are complemented by those we share in Fraserburgh Churches Together. This year in addition to the Friday lunches there are two opportunities to share in a Lent course on Tuesday mornings or Friday evenings.