Court Success


With gratitude to the Lord I am pleased to report the Success of Churches in Court of Session Action.

There is to be a hearing at 3pm to consider what is to happen next – Lord Braid has as yet issued no orders

A summary is provided below

Graeme Craig

(Copied from an email from Mr Craig to our congregations)

Zoom Details

The below Zoom details will serve for both the Worship services and any fellowship meetings held during this second lockdown period.

Please note, that a passcode is also required. For security reasons I will not post that to the website, but please contact me by email or phone to receive it. We expect to hold the first fellowship this Lord’s Day evening, about half an hour after the service. This is open to all in the congregation, and we can discuss what format of fellowship to use, going forward.

Topic: Ness FCC Service
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 865 6652 9919
Passcode: ****

Dial by your location
+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
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+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
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Meeting ID: 865 6652 9919
Passcode: ****
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Judicial Review

As previously intimated, Christian leaders in Scotland, supported by Christian Concern, have launched a petition to the Courts, seeking the overturning of the Scottish Government’s actions in taking to themselves the authority to close churches.

This is an extremely important matter and I have chosen to put own own name to this, and as such I am party to the action. If you like to know more, information is found on the Christian Concern website, and a promotional video is found here

Greg MacDonald

Buildings closed

Dear friends

It is with great sadness that the Kirk Session determined last night to once again close the building for its usual stated public gatherings for worship.

We recognise that with the local Covid ward near to capacity there is a legitimate concern in the island community at this time to restrict all possible sources of infection. We remain convinced that our own congregation is as safe as, if not more safe than, many places that remain open. We would expect the Scottish a government to return the islands to tier 3, once this present hospital-based cluster is under control.

Please do join in by YouTube or Zoom. If you require the Zoom details once more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Every bkessing

The Minister

Rev John MacLeod, Portmahomack

Dear friends

The following message came through this evening, and I thought it would be good to let the congregation know of Mr MacLeod’s passing.


It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that I report that Rev. John MacLeod, Portmahomack, passed away suddenly this afternoon. He had taken ill while out walking in the village and an air ambulance was called.

While it is sudden glory for the saints, we remember his dear wife, Joy, and their nine children and their respective families, as well as the Congregation of Tarbat. Indeed his passing is a great loss to the wider Church.

Obviously there are no further details at this time, and the funeral itself will be affected by the current restrictions.

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Graeme Craig

Brora Induction

The Northern Presbytery resolved at their meeting on 18 August to ordain and induct Rev Thomas Buchanan to the pastoral charge of Brora on Friday 4 September 2020 at 7.0pm.

It is expected that Rev John Keddie will preach and preside on this occasion.

Because of current Government imposed restrictions on the number of people permitted to gather in any one place for public worship and due to the limited accommodation in the congregation’s normal place of worship, Presbytery resolved to convene for the occasion at the Tarbat congregation’s church building in Portmahomack.  

Numbers of those permitted to be present on this occasion will therefore be strictly limited to those specifically invited by Presbytery, but it is hoped, God willing, that the entire service will be broadcast both in sound and vision by means of the Zoom conference call facility and the access details are as follows:-

To listen in and watch by computer, simply go to this URL

To use an ordinary phone or mobile phone

Dial 0131 460 1196

When a voice asks you for “Meeting ID” enter
248 797 585 #

Don’t forget the # — it’s the key at the bottom right of your phone keypad

When you’re asked for “Participant ID”, just press the # key again

That’s it! Just listen and around 7.0pm the service will start.

At the end of the service just put your phone down and it will disconnect.

Re-opening guidelines

Dear friends

Attached is our initial guidelines for reopening. No doubt these things will adapt as we go on, but for now this covers most areas of changes and routine.

Cross Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) 17th July 2020

Covid-19 re-opening Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Check

A. Notice of changes and procedures

1. A register will be kept of all worshippers for a period of three weeks after the service at which they attended. Visitors shall be asked to supply their name, address and phone number. A photographic record will be used for regular worshippers.

2. Church magazines, library books and other literature shall not be available in the church foyer.

3. All soft-furnishings shall be removed from the building.

4. The use of the rear hall, and minister’s vestry shall be restricted.

5. Increased ventilation in the church building shall be practiced either by means of the window vents or by opening the windows on tilt, weather dependant.

B. Guidance for worshippers after re-opening

1. Hand wash gel shall be available at the door of the church, and must be used by those entering the premises.

2. A ‘one-way’ system shall be employed, with worshippers entering via the main entrance, and being directed to exit via one of the side exits, depending on wind direction.

3. A two-metre distance shall be enforced at all times between households (or extended households). Parents are responsible to ensure their families maintain social distancing whilst at church.

4. Face coverings may be brought to the church, and shall also be available at the foyer for all who need them.

5. In order to minimise risk and ensure seating for each household, pews have been assigned for regular worshippers and visitors. You will be shown to your pew on arrival. The Deacons’ Court will strive to ensure that the same pews are used by the same households each week.

6. Congregants shall be encouraged to maintain social distancing after the services, until they have returned to their vehicle or homes.

C. Revised cleaning and hygiene routine

After the first Sabbath service, all door and window handles, light switches and other common-touch areas shall be cleaned with disinfectant wipes. Toilets shall be cleaned if they have been used.

Each Monday and Thursday the following cleaning shall be done:

• All door and window handles, light switches and other common-touch areas shall be cleaned with disinfectant wipes. Toilets shall be cleaned if they have been used.

• All occupied pews will be cleaned with disinfectant.

• If a visiting preacher has occupied the pulpit, it too shall be disinfected.

Through the week windows in the church building shall be opened regularly between services.