It is wonderful to be here in Arran. It hasn’t quite registered fully that we’re not just here on a short break or holiday. The last year has meant several trips back and forward visiting Sannox Christian Centre and also Arran Baptist Church who, between them, will have a good chunk of my time in this new season of ministry. I’ve begun to get an insight on what’s happening at Sannox, and my induction to the Baptist Church ministry on the island is later in the month. Quite nice not preaching every week at the moment!
Since arriving, some wonderful news has encouraged us no end with regards accommodation. And, whilst our removal company are a bit on the busy side to enable them to deliver our possessions to us on the island, we hope to be in and settled into our new place by the end of August.
We do have some very interesting (but friendly!) neighbours in our new home. We will be living in a house by Kilbride cemetery in Lamlash. Less than 200/300 yards away from the front door are the resting places of my great-grandparents, my great-great grandparents and several other family members. Just down the hill and along is the parish church where my grandparents were married, and behind that, the home where my gran’s 14 brothers and sisters were brought up. Round the corner from there, the birthplace cottage of my great-grandfather. The roots are quite literally in the soil here and I feel quite at home. There are, of course, living family members on the island and hopefully we’ll catch up with them before too long.
There will be, in time, lots of of things to say and updates to bring. Needless to say, life and ministry will be very different here in this unique situation. I already know something of the challenges that we’ll face, but beginning to dream with others what opportunities we can create to serve this ‘island parish.’
An Arran Blessing:
“Bless, O Lord, the thing on which my eye doth rest.
Bless, O Lord, the thing on which my hope doth rest.
Bless, O Lord, my reason and my purpose.
Bless, O bless through them, O Lord of life.
Now Bless, O Lord, the Isle of Arran
And bless thy people here before thee.
And make they face to shine upon us,
And bring us closer, Lord, to Thee.”