Weekly Newsletter


Sunday 27th September 2020

Readings: Deuteronomy 8.7-18; Psalm 65; 2 Corinthians 9.6-15; Luke 12.16-30

Collect of the Day

Creator of the fruitful earth, you have made us stewards of all things. Give us grateful hearts for all your goodness, and steadfast wills to use your bounty well, that the whole human family, today and in generations to come, may with us give thanks for the riches of your creation. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

Dear Cathedral member,

Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord:

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

From the Benedicite – a Song of Creation

This week is our celebration of Harvest. Celebrating that festival in the midst of the city, so tied as Harvest is to the seasons and to the produce of the land, is a challenge at the best of times. At this time, when gathering together is difficult, and a second wave of the pandemic appears to be upon us, such celebration feels even harder. We may well feel that the created world has turned upon us, imperilling our usual order. And yet lockdown did provide unusual space for a re-connection with nature, and, above all, a renewed sense of our dependence: that we are not as ‘in control’ as we like to imagine; that life has a fragility which makes the need to celebrate all the more necessary; that what sustains us in life, the produce and bounty of the earth, needs to be recognised, affirmed, and nourished for future generations. Harvest is the Festival, in the midst of this season of Creation-time, which tries to do all that. The note of thanksgiving and celebration which runs through it is the other side of a recognition of that dependence: because we depend upon the earth, its produce brings forth our thanksgiving. And reinforces our responsibility for its care.

It is difficult to have our usual Harvest collection of produce – a collection that we have in recent years donated to the North West Edinburgh Food Bank. The Social Responsibility Committee is encouraging us to give directly to the Food Bank this year, but any non-perishable goods brought to the Cathedral by this Sunday (September 27th) will be taken to the Food Bank directly after a suitable period of quarantine. Full details of how to donate are given in the article, which you can find here.

Despite the increased restrictions brought in by the Scottish Government this week, acts of public worship can continue. In fact, we are increasing the number of public services, now that the organ builders have finished and we can open up the building further. So from the beginning of October, we will be holding a simple said lunchtime Eucharist at 1pm on Thursdays in the Lady Chapel. We will also be saying Morning Prayer, and a Eucharist, on Saturdays at 8am in the Lady Chapel and on Zoom. And finally, from a week on Sunday (October 4th), we will re-start the 8am Eucharist (1929 liturgy) again in the Lady Chapel. All services will, of course, continue to operate within the Episcopal Church’s, and our own, guidelines for worshipping safely.

We are delighted that the work of restoring the organ is complete, and are very impressed with the job that Harrison & Harrison have done. It is already sounding magnificent, as those who heard the Voluntary last Sunday afternoon will attest. We are told it will sound even better once it’s had the chance to ‘bed in’. Once we are able to, we will plan a series of recitals to display the organ in its full glory, but in the meantime we hope you find opportunities to enjoy it on our recorded services or in person on a Sunday afternoon.

Music this Sunday afternoon will be provided by Robert Woodford (tenor) and Adam Wilson, Assistant Organist. Robert will sing Creator God by Margaret Rizza, as well as the responsorial psalm. Words for that psalm, if you would like to download them before coming on Sunday, can be found here.

This weekend is Edinburgh Doors Open Day. Many venues have made information and videos available online, in place of visiting this year. The Cathedral has produced a short video about the Song School, which we have often opened on this day in the past, available and you can find that here.

Services this week

Online pre-recorded Sunday worship will continue to be available via the website and on Facebook: here

Sunday 1530, said Eucharist in the Cathedral. If you would like to download the psalm of the day, that can be found here
You can find guidelines for how we manage public worship in the Cathedral, on our website, here.

Thursday 1300, Eucharist in the Lady Chapel

Monday – Saturday 0800, Morning Prayer and Eucharist in the Lady Chapel and online on Zoom
Monday – Friday 1730, Evening Prayer in the Lady Chapel and online on Zoom
If you would like the Zoom link for Morning and/or Evening Prayer
please email: office@cathedral.net

This week, the Cathedral is open for personal prayer every day 9am – 6pm. This depends upon having volunteers available to help staff the building, so there may be times when we unfortunately have to close early.


Please pray for David Todd and Russell Duncan, to be ordained deacons next Sunday 4th October at 1.30pm in the Cathedral. David will serve his curacy at St Mark’s Portobello, and Russell will serve at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield. The service will be live streamed on our Facebook page.

The Cathedral is this week advertising for an Administrator to replace Rosemary who retired earlier this summer. The post is for 15 hours/week. Further details can be found on our website here or from the Vice Provost. Please do consider those who might apply.

We have been contacted by a researcher at the University of Oxford, who is conducted research into the experience of Evensong, and over recent months, its absence. She would appreciate responses to a short questionnaire online. If you would like to take part in that, please click here.

The Cathedral Book Group will meet next via Zoom on Tuesday 27 October, 7.30pm, to discuss ‘Living with the Psalms’ by John L. Bell (SPCK Paperback ISBN: 9780281084005 eBook ISBN: 9780281084012) The publisher tells us: “John explores the Psalms as they relate to daily life, drawing on stories and personal testimonies to help us to rejoice, grieve or draw encouragement from this most extraordinary and fascinating collection of sacred poems and songs”. Please email ecumenical@cathedral.net if you’d like to join the discussion on 27 October and/or be added to the Book Group email list.

Easyfundraising: many of you will be familiar with the website easyfundraising with which we’ve now registered to help raise money for the Cathedral. If you don’t know about it, it’s a way of helping the Cathedral simply by shopping online. Easyfundraising turns your everyday online shopping into FREE donations when you use them to shop with over 4,000 retailers such as eBay, John Lewis, Argos, ASOS and Booking.com. Retailers then make a small donation to say ‘thank you’ and easyfundraising gives those free funds to whichever charity you have signed up for. If you would like to take up this opportunity then please register using this unique link – just click sign up –
Once you’ve signed up and raised £5 in donations, easyfundraising will give us an extra £5 donation. There’s no catch or hidden charges and St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh will be really grateful for your donations.

Our Sunday Groups have resumed meeting online on Zoom on Sunday mornings. If you would like more details on how a child might join in, then please do email Andy, chaplain@cathedral.net.

If you appreciate our worship and don’t already donate via standing order, then you might consider donating via the button on our website homepage www.cathedral.net  This is a challenging time financially for many, including the Cathedral.  If you are in a position to support us, we would be immensely grateful.

With every blessing,

John Conway, Provost                         provost@cathedral.net           07791508103
Marion Chatterley, Vice Provost          marion@cathedral.net           07771982163
Andy Philip, Chaplain                          chaplain@cathedral.net         07593905473