About the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Scottish Episcopal Church is the Anglican Church in Scotland, in full communion with the Church of England and the other Churches within the Anglican family.
The Northwest Charge comprises a group of congregations of the Scottish Episcopal Church situated in the beautiful Northwest Highlands.
It forms part of the United Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness, under the episcopal oversight of the Most Rev'd Mark Strange, covering the whole of the far Northwest Highlands from Tongue, on the north coast, to Dundonnell, south of Ullapool, with worship-centers dotted around the coast at Ullapool, Achiltibuie, Lochinver, Kinlochbervie and Tongue.
The Dioceses of Moray, Ross and Caithness came together to form the present United Diocese under Bishop Eden in 1864.
These three Dioceses were founded in the 12th Century, although the Church was active through the work of the great Celtic missionary saints and bishops before that and throughout the dark ages. The Northwest Charge is proud to have two of these missionary bishops as its patrons - St Boniface and St Gilbert.
Today the Diocese comprises some 40 congregations which are drawn together from an area roughly the size of Wales.
On Saturday 16th August 2014, there was an event with a difference-to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Diocese of Moray and the 150th anniversary of the Uniting of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness -was held at the ancient Old Kirk at Inchnadamph. Christian worship has been known to have been held on this site for about a millennium, so it was a fitting privilege to be part of that continuing Christian witness for this occasion. The aim of the day was to take an appreciative look at the local importance of Celtic Christianity and the local links with Iona from the early days of St Columba. The Rev'd Joanna Anderson from the Iona Community led the day, and it was thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting. The singing was joyful, the worship and preaching and addresses captivating and it may have been several hundred years since anything like this last occurred in Inchnadamph Kirk.
A message from the Rector – the Rev’d Canon Nicholas Court.
Welcome and greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
I first came to live in the Northwest Highlands in 2002, having served 6 years in the Church of England, and 8 years in the Church in Wales, taking up the duties as Mission Rector for this Charge in 2011.
The purpose of this gathered group of congregations in my care is the same as for any Church - to make Christ known. We have something of a head-start with this, just by living surrounded by so much open space and beauty, where it often seems as if the finger of God has drawn the landscape.
In square mileage, the Northwest Charge is the largest grouping of congregations in the UK, covering basically the top left-hand corner of Scotland! Many people who come here to live or to visit latch onto the wonder and spirituality of this place, and often say it’s like stepping into a magnificent, living, open-air cathedral. And so, like many others, in my spare time I take delight in walking the hills of this cathedral (many of them not for the faint-hearted!), and trying to catch the illusive wild trout which inhabit the peaty waters of the lochs and burns which nestle into the landscape.
As the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), we are the Anglican presence in Scotland, and under the episcopal oversight of the Most Rev’d Mark Strange (who is both Bishop of this United Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the SEC), we enjoy full communion with Anglican Churches throughout the world.
I hope you will enjoy your visits to our website, and that if you should find yourself visiting or even moving into a new home in the Northwest Highlands, you will join us in worship at one of the 5 places where the congregations of the Northwest Charge gather – at Ullapool, Achiltibuie, Lochinver, Kinlochbervie and Tongue.
In His service,
Brief Recent History
In the 1970's Bishop George Sessford sent Priests on a monthly basis from Inverness to provide for the pastoral and liturgical care of souls in this remote area. Notable among these was the Rev'd Canon Stewart Mallin, until a resident priest, Fr. Stanley Bennie, was appointed in the mid 1970's.
Fr. Christopher Dormer succeeded him in October 1981 as "Itinerant Priest" of the West Coast Charge (everything from Kyle of Lochalsh to Cape Wrath.) During the interregnum from October 1998 until Fr. Nicholas Court was licensed in 2009 as Mission Priest - and then Mission Rector of the newly-formed Northwest Charge in March 2011 - the congregations were cared for by priests from further afield in the Diocese
The Revd. David Higgon
I was born and brought up in a small mining community near Swansea where religion and politics were always closely linked. My mother’s family were Welsh speaking Calvinists but somehow, I found my way into the Anglican Church in Wales.
After graduating from Swansea University, I spent the next twenty five years working in the coal mining and power generation industries.
While working full time, I studied for a MBA in Strategic management at Birmingham University and later for a MA in Pastoral and Theological Studies at Nottingham University, which I undertook as part of my ministry training at the East Midland Ministry Training Course, where my pastoral studies tutor was none other than Revd. Gordon Slight now based at Lochinvar.
I was ordained in 2000 at Derby Cathedral and after serving a curacy at Crich and South Wingfield in Derbyshire, I was appointed as Anglican Chaplain at Dovegate Prison near Uttoxeter and later as Coordinating Chaplain at Ranby Prison in Nottinghamshire.
I have been married to Carol for 35 years and together we have been foster carers and subsequently adoptive parents. We have 8 children, six sons, 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. I stay at Dundonnell with my daughter Bethany (who attends Ullapool High School), while flitting back and forth to our other family home in Derbyshire. In recent years the focus of my ministry has moved from criminal justice to ecological and environmental justice for God’s creation.
I am undertaking a part time degree course with the University of the Highlands and Islands in Gaelic Scotland and have joined the North-West Gaelic Choir. I am keen to be able to read the bible in Gaelic, and would love to hear from anyone who could help me in this endeavour.
Northwest Highlands Congregations
The Scottish Episcopal Church is the Anglican Church in Scotland, in full communion with the Church of England and the other Churches within the Anglican Family.
The Northwest charge is under the episcopal oversight of the Most Rev'd Mark Strange, Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness. www.moray.anglican.org
Our worship is centered upon the Holy Eucharist, our congregations being enriched by those who join us from many traditions from outside of Anglicanism. We aim to make our outreach into the life of the communities of the Northwest Highlands bear the marks of discipleship of Jesus Christ.
We extend a very warm welcome to you to join us in worship as we seek God's will. whether you live here or are just visiting this beautiful part of God's Creation!
If you are planning to visit the Northwest Highlands for any reason, we hope your stay will be a pleasant, safe and relaxing time away.
The villages of Ullapool, Achiltibuie, Lochinver, Kinlochbervie and Tongue have regular Eucharist services. The times and days for these Services are listed on the Services page within this website.
We hope you will enjoy visiting our website, and getting a flavour of who we are and what we do.
The provincial website is www.scotland.anglican.org
Three bedroom Flat
The Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, Ullapool, is housed in the ground floor of a house that is situated in the centre of the village.
On the first floor there is a furnished two-bedroom flat. This is made available to Clergy, Church workers and small Church groups for retreat, quiet time and those wanting "time out".
If you would like further details please contact;
Mrs Gilly Court on 01854 612506
The village of Ullapool, Loch Broom and the North West Highland Hills