28th July,2018, the day of our first Diocesan Pilgrimage to St Andrews, was a day to remember. It was a day of sunshine and showers, a day for prayer and song, conversation and laughter.

Those hardy souls who tramped the first five miles from the picturesque village of Ceres were rather damp when they arrived at Craigtoun Park. It was easy to distinguish between them and those who joined them for the second half of the journey but the excitement grew as we caught a glimpse of the twin towers of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in the distance. The sun had dried clothes and hair by the time we arrived at Hallow Hill where even more pilgrims were waiting for us.


A long line of about 70 walkers threaded their way along the Lade Braes towards St Andrew’s Church. There were Episcopalians from Newport on Tay and Tayport,  Leven, Glenrothes,  Lochgelly and Kinross, Dunfermline and Rosyth, Aberfoyle, Doune, Dunblane and Dollar, Stirling, Perth, Blairgowrie, Forfar, Cupar, Ladybank and St Andrews. There were Catholics from Tayport and Dundee, Methodists and members of the Church of Scotland, two medievalists from Glasgow University and a couple who live near the Camino in France.


We arrived at our destination in bright sunshine and then made our way to All Saints for a welcome cup of tea and evensong. Thank you, Alasdair Coles and Nick Cooke for organising the pilgrimage, to all who led the reflections along the way and the final worship, including Bishops Bruce and Bob, and to the two churches for their hospitality.

There was talk of another pilgrimage next year and some were even planning a trip to walk the Camino. In the meantime, should any church group like to walk part of the Fife Pilgrim Way in the coming months, Alasdair would be happy to be your guide. He can be contacted at alasdaircoles@btinternet.com.


Nerys Brown

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The Photography as Prayer exhibition will be touring the diocese in September and October. There was an excellent response to the appeal for photographs reflecting the life of the diocese.  All 50 entries will be displayed in each of the six host churches.  There will be a launch event which will include a reflection by photographer and Lay Reader, Ian Scott from St Margaret’s Leven,  and time to pray together.    Thereafter there will be an opportunity to view and respond to the images.  Twelve of the photographs will be selected for our diocesan calendar which can be viewed and ordered at these events.

If you would like to have the exhibition in your church or church hall during November or December, please get in touch with Reverend Nerys Brown on nerysannjones@aol.com


Photography Exhibition Poster 2018

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St Andrews Diocese Mothers’ Union’s work and involvement in local prisons

A report by Margaret Slater


For many years members of the Mothers’ Union have been involved with HMP Cornton Vale near Stirling.  Every Christmas we have bought presents for each prisoner and given them a Christmas card.  More recently we started to collect knickers for the prisoners and I have taken in hundreds of pairs in  the last few years.  I also take in socks throughout the year.  Last Christmas there were only about 90 prisoners, there are usually approximately 240 prisoners. We had a tremendous response due to information being posted on our Diocesan website.  It meant that every prisoner got at least 3 presents from people in our Diocese.  A big thank you to everyone who kindly donated.  A prisoner made a special card showing their appreciation.

A small group of MU members were invited to visit Cornton Vale prison a few months ago.  We were welcomed by the Staff Training and Development Manager, he explained what was happening at Cornton Vale at present.  They have started the demolition of some of the prison blocks.   We were introduced to the Social Community Development Officer, who told us about his job organising work placements for the prisoners before they leave prison.  He was very passionate about the girls and teaching them life skills .Then we met the assistant governor who also explained about the new prison which is going to be a state-of-the art prison. He is very excited about the future for Cornton Vale. The windows will be huge made from strengthened glass – no bars. The building will be shaped as a crescent overlooking the Fintry Hills and Ben Lomond.  Each room will have ensuite facilities, so different from the existing prison, where because of security, during the night the girls could wait up to 50 minutes to use the bathroom. The girls have very little dignity. These 3 men were so passionate about the future for Cornton Vale prison.

The visit lasted almost 4 hours.  We were shown round the facilities, library, hairdressing, life skills kitchen, Ross House, a special unit for vulnerable females, temporary chapel and the community garden.  All these are going to be pulled down to build this brand new facility which hopefully will  be the start to the rehabilitation of  these girls, giving them the skills, confidence and self-esteem to come out of prison better persons.

In addition, there will be 5 Community Custody Units throughout Scotland which cater for 20 lower risk offenders so that they can be nearer to their families.  Hopefully this will help them to rehabilitate in a less threatening way. To put them in prison can make them more hardened criminals.  Dundee and Maryhill have been identified as suitable places for two of these Units and should be up and running by 2020.

Mothers’ Union are also involved with Glenochil prison.  We go alternate Wednesdays and Saturdays and spend time with the children in the visiting hall.  This means that they get some normality in what could be otherwise a daunting experience.  Very often they have travelled a considerable distance to visit their relative and to sit for 2 hours can also be very boring.  We play and interact with them. It is very worthwhile but we are always looking for new volunteers.

If you are interested in supporting our prison work in any way, please contact me at jmargaretslater@hotmail.com.

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The Rev Canon Ian Paton has been elected as the new Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane,

 The election of the new bishop was carried out by the Electoral Synod (comprising representatives of clergy and lay members from the Diocese).

The Rev Canon Ian Paton (Bishop Elect for the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane) has been Rector of Old St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh since 1997, and is also honorary Anglican Chaplain to Edinburgh University, Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh and Associate Tutor at the Scottish Episcopal Institute. He was previously a rector in East Lothian, Vice-Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, a university chaplain in Oxford, a bishop’s chaplain, and a curate in Reading. He is a former convener of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s (SEC) provincial Liturgy Committee, involved in writing new services for the SEC, and continues to teach worship to students training for ministry. He is a supporter of the ordination of women, the rights of LGBTQI people, and the inclusion of people of all ages in the Church.


Canon Ian Paton is married and he and his wife have, between them, four grown-up children. They enjoy art and poetry, hospitality around the dinner table and have a love of the sea.

On hearing the news of his election Canon Ian Paton said “I am very happy and deeply honoured to have been elected by the people of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane to serve them as their Bishop.  I ask for your prayers for the whole Diocese, and for me, as we set out together on this new journey for all of us.”

The service of consecration will take place – date yet to be confirmed – in St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth. 

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Episcopal Election

In the process to elect a new bishop, the Preparatory Committee of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane has been unable to achieve a shortlist of candidates by the due date. (Under the canonical process the Preparatory Committee is charged with preparing a shortlist of no fewer than three, nor more than five, candidates for presentation to the Electoral Synod.) In light of this, the Electoral Synod  will meet to hear an explanation of the position from its Preparatory Committee and will be invited to consider a second round of the election process which, following a new mandate from the Primus, would then allow a period of 120 days from the date of the new mandate for elections to take place.


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The Christmas Card Competition has been won by Laura Buxel, aged 10 from St Mary’s, Dunblane.  Well done to Laura.

A big thank you and well done to all who took part.  Your entries will be shown on the Diocesan Facebook page in the lead up to Christmas.

Orders are now being taken for Christmas cards.  You can download the order form below.

Order Form


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