Residential Weekend #4

The fourth residential of this academic year begins this Friday, as ever set in the tranquil environs of St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull. Staff and students look forward to having three guests in their midst over the 48 hours they are together.

Aidan Strange will be working with the Final Year candidates as they come towards the end of a module on pastoral care, more specifically on the creation of ‘safe church’. Aidan, the SEC’s Digital Communications Co-ordinator since 2017, has responsibility for website content management, video and audio work, social media content management and provincial online worship, and so is ideally qualified to teach others about the uses and abuses of social media. Using such technology wisely is a crucial ministerial skill for today’s world.

Emily Walker will be leading Saturday afternoon’s ‘Music and Liturgy’ session, another in SEI’s series of optional seminars when a skilled practitioner is invited to demonstrate the kind of music – hymns, worship songs, chants – they use to equip congregations in their praise of God.  Emily is a former Iona Abbey musician and Associate Member of the Iona Community, and has worked and volunteered throughout her life in a number of churches and retreat/conference centres around the UK as a musician and liturgist. Having moved from Leicester to the Lothians in 2021, she is now part of the music team at Holy Trinity, Haddington.

The Revd Dr Jenny Holden (above) will be with us for the whole weekend, and will preside at Sunday’s service. Starting in February this year, Jenny serves as the Advisor for Christian Life in the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. This new role is allied to the Season for Christian Life and involves working with individuals and congregations to grow their understandings of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Jenny is the Diocesan Advisor to one of the second year ordinands, Helen Randall, who will be preaching at that service.

These guest inputs are part of a programme which includes teaching by the core staff – Dr Tiplady’s Mission and Evangelism modules and Dr Tomlinson’s Reflective Practice classes – eight acts of worship, and plenty of time for shared prayer and conversation, rest and refreshment. Not forgetting that early morning run up Kinnoull Hill so enjoyed by some

Photos courtesy of Ross Stirling-Young and Godwin Chimara