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.

Re-opening update

Dear friends

As intimated earlier, the Deacons’ Court met to discuss the practical arrangements for public gatherings resuming in our congregation this Lord’s Day.

As stated previously, ALL means of live broadcasting will continue, both by YouTube and telephone, so that those unable to return to worship at present will not be cut off from the services. We fully recognise and support those who cannot for the present return to the building for worship.

At present, we would encourage all those who intend to attend physically to take note of the following measures:

a. Two metre (2m) distancing will be followed carefully. Some pews will be cordoned off, and each household will be shown to a designated space. Social distancing does not apply within households or extended households, but it does apply between all separate households without exception.

b. For anyone who wishes to use a face-mask, you are welcome to bring your own or use one of the masks provided at the entrance door.

c. Be assured that additional cleaning of the church building will take place, according to current guidelines.

d. Weather permitting the main door of the church will be latched open before the service, to avoid common contact with the door handle. This applies to the inner door as well. Dependant on the wind strength and direction, the congregation will exit at one of the doors located at either side of the pulpit-end of the building. Again, wind and weather permitting, windows will be opened to increase ventilation.

e. A register will be kept of those attending, in order to assist with any tracing that may be necessary in the event of an outbreak connected with our congregation. This register will be held only for a period of 21 days from the service it records.

f. A full rundown of the new measures will be given from the pulpit before the worship commences.

If you have any queries or concerns in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact the minister. In the meantime, we covet your prayers more than ever for the resumption of our gatherings. We have sought the Lord’s mercy for this, and we trust that we are enabled to enjoy much of God’s grace this Lord’s Day.

Sermon broadcast outage

Dear friends

Tonight, about two thirds of the way through the sermon, the connection to YouTube’s servers was lost, resulting in an early termination of the broadcast. So no, it wasn’t your equipment, it was a fault at our end. Apologies to all who had their worship interrupted. We will review what went wrong and try to correct it.

Trust your are all safe and well, in body and soul

Rev Greg MacDonald

Book Fellowship

Dear Friends

As intimated on the Lord’s Day, we hope to have another congregational fellowship this Thursday at 8pm.

As agreed last week we intend to try and cover a little of the Pilgrim’s Progress each time. This week we are just beginning, so if you are able to access a copy of the book, then please read up to the point where Pliable returns to Destruction. The text then says: “And thus much concerning Pliable.” If you do not have a copy at home then I can send a link where to access a digital copy or ebook.

Depending on your copy it is probably six or seven pages worth of text. Children are welcome to join us, and probably have their own copies of the story.

As before, this fellowship can be accessed by Zoom conference using the same details as before – either telephone or weblink.

If anyone is unsure at all, or struggling to join in the meeting then please just call or email the manse, and we will do our best to get you logged in!

Looking forward to seeing you all again.

Every blessing

Greg MacDonald