We had a special time last weekend at Mairi and Conor’s wedding. Words like joy, beauty, fellowship, love, kindness and hospitality only express part of what it was like – so I thought I would share with you some pre, during and post photos….
Over the Sea From Skye
Skye is stunning but at this time of year it is too overcrowded with tourists so we gave
ourselves plenty time to drive to Uig. To be honest waiting at the Ferry is not the most pleasant of experiences. Rundown would perhaps be the kindest thing. However the restaurant closing at 5pm whilst hundreds are waiting to board a 6:30pm ferry just about sums up the state of the tourist provision in that otherwise beautiful part of the world!
We drove into Tarbert and then on a surprizingly good road up to Stornoway to visit Annabels’ brother Donnie and his wife Christine for a couple of nights. We loved being with them. I especially loved meeting Annabel’s 97 year old Aunt Mary – a gracious and sharp Free Presbyterian lady with a good grasp of what is going on in the church. As she spoke Gaelic to ‘Ella’ and myself I couldn’t help but think that Gaelic sounds such a poetic and affectionate language.
A Joyful Celebration
On Saturday we headed down to Tarbert for the wedding on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day (Friday had been wind and rain). After a quick visit to the new Harris distillery (a must revisit) we headed up to the church. I don’t think I have ever since a groom with such a wide (and permanent) grin as Conor sported!
The service itself was everything a Christian wedding should be – joyful, biblical, Christ centred and prayerful. The music and singing were lovely. The couple were so relaxed and it was a real privilege to share in such an occasion. I loved the number of prayers and for me the most stunning was that of Conor’s granny – what a Godly and extraordinary woman! Afterwards we headed out into the sunshine ..
“The Wildest group of Sober People I have ever Seen!”
The reception was held on the West side of Harris at the Talla na Mara centre –
I think it is undoubetdly the most beautiful wedding setting I have ever been at. The reception was worthy of it. I thought the food was superb (even though I could not participate in the more elaborate desserts and had to stick with fruit). The speeches were very moving and again Christ centred – these were two very committed Christian families being united together and it was evident that the deep love that exists between them, exists because of their love for Christ.
And it was also a St Petes wedding – not because it was held in our building but because of the people. Conor and Mairi are of course part of our congregation and several of the current members and some who have now left us were present…its always good to be reunited at a wedding rather than a funeral! I was especially proud of Chad whose best mans’ speech (which he was very nervous about) was one of the best, if not the best, I have heard.
I think the best comment I heard was from one of the staff who observed “thats the wildest group of sober people I have ever seen”!
A Peaceful Lord’s Day
We stayed with the sweetest couple you will ever meet in your life – Neil and Katag MacKinnon – just a couple of miles outside Tarbert. There is something about Lewis and Harris hospitality which at its best is something really special. The warmth, the Christ-centred spirituality and the reality….
An Eclectic Free Church
On Sunday we worshipped in North Harris Free Church – an very unusual Free Church on the islands. Having come out of the Church of Scotland they have faced their own challenges, but under the leadership of their minister David Macleod and a strong Kirk Session they are making real progress. They are a warm and eclectic congregation – and their worship reflects that – everything from a solo version of Amazing Grace, a childrens song, to a moving rendition of two verses of the Gaelic Psalm 40. The latter was like a sea, with waves of sound coming from all over the room. The community centre where they meet was packed (although they have bought the Harris Inn which they are going to use as their building – see Septembers Record for more details). It was wonderful to meet an artist, a policeman, doctors, an NHS administrator, crofters, hotel owner and the distillery manager! Loved the fellowship, the praise and the preaching.
Celebrations Continue on the Ferry
When we took the ferry back to Skye – it was filled with wedding guests and the new Mr and Mrs Morrison. What a great way to end the festivities!
The Long Journey Home
The drive from Uig to Dundee is 230 miles – but what a 230 miles! Through some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere on the planet – the photos below are just before coming into Invermoriston.
As you can see – so much beauty….in people and places. So much to be thankful for. The beauty of the Lord our God was upon us!