About a year ago, the funeral and celebration of Denis Smith’s life took place at St James the Less Church. It was an uplifting and eye-opening occasion. The church was full of family, friends and colleagues of Denis. Folk musicians (including members of his own family) payed homage to Denis by playing folk music that he loved. We learned a lot about this extraordinary man. Many of us had only known him in the later years of his life when he was suffering from dementia. Lynda Smith wrote this article about Denis, and it seems fitting to post it online now to mark his anniversary. Please click on the image below to download the document.
Family and friends of Irene Hair attended her funeral on 22nd October, when her life was remembered and celebrated. Her daughter, Val McGavin, gave a personal reflection on the life of her mum, and kindly agreed to share it with us in Outreach Online. It’s a lovely tribute for a lovely woman. Please click the image below to open the article.
On 21st September, as part of the International Peace One Day celebrations, people will be gathering to dedicate the peace pole commissioned by St James the Less. It has been handcrafted with love and care by Andrew McCaullye, who has repurposed an electricity pole and wax from the remnants of candles burned in church.
The English phrase, May peace prevail on Earth, spirals around the top of the pole, encouraging onlookers to come close and walk around it. This is matched at the bottom of the pole, with a nod to our Scottish heritage, as we find the phrase in Gallic. Vertically around the pole we find the phrase in Hebrew, a biblical language and a sign of our continuing prayers for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Russian is included in acknowledgement of growing tensions and conflicts in Ukraine and other once-Soviet states, and as a prayer for peace in these lands. Twi is included as a reminder of our diocesan partnership with Ghana, this is one of the most peaceful places in Africa, despite tribes speaking 5 native languages, as well as the official English. Fante, most commonly spoken in Cape Coast is not written down, so Twi serves and reminds us to pray for our partners in Ghana and for peace throughout the continent of Africa. Tibetan is included as we pray for people whose struggle for peace goes on over many years and can all too easily be forgotten.
As we dedicate the pole, we will pray:
Gracious God, hear us.
Sanctify this pole dedicated to the peace you offer through Christ.
Let it be to all who see it a sign that peace will come on earth and a prompt to our prayers and diligent work for peace. Accept here the continual reading of the words “May Peace prevail on earth” as the heartfelt prayers of your people. Grant that all who look upon this pole may be blessed by your spirit of peace. Blessed be your Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; now and for endless ages. Amen.
I do hope you will lift your heart in prayer and or longing for peace whenever you go past.
To find out more about the Peace Pole project pop over to http://www.maypeaceprevailonearth.org.uk At the time of posting St JtL’s was the newest peace pole.