About Us

Our Mission

Mission, like charity, begins at home.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose gestures of ‘saving’ other people or bashing them over the head with biblical texts.  Mission is merely the sharing of what is important to us in St John’s. 

Each and every baptised person has a faith story to tell and that may just touch the life of another person.   Only a very few persons have the gift to convert thousands.  Very few people are converted by putting up a notice on the church notice board. 

What converts is personal relationships: the personal sharing of what is important.  From time to time we may have the opportunity to say to someone – your faith is fragile, let us help you by offering to share a bit of our faith with you until you feel stronger.  This can only be done on a one to one basis and it helps to build relationships which can reflect something of our own relationship to Our Lord and Saviour.

Mission does not have to be done ‘far away’ and for ‘other people’.  It belongs where we are and it belongs to each one of us.

What we seek to do in St John’s is to give people the confidence to speak about their Faith.  “This is me – and I’m an Episcopalian/Anglican/Christian”

If we stand up for what we see (and know) to be True – then others cannot but be affected by that – even if they ultimately reject it and say that it’s not for them, they can come to respect it.

Jesus left the mission of the Church to twelve hesitant, frightened, uneducated men and look what happened to it!

Our Christian stories are the continuing pages of the New Testament ; we too will be numbered among the saints for standing up for Christ.

We continue to support local, national and international charities and in recent years have raised funds for:

 

  • Aberlour Child Care Trust
  • Christian Aid and SCIAF
  • Water Aid
  • The Leprosy Mission (Scotland)
  • Mary’s Meals
  • The Royal British Legion (Scotland)
  • The Salvation Army
  • BLESMA (British Limbless Ex Service Association) Scotland
  • RNLI
  • Mountains Animal Sanctuary, Glen Ogil.

History

History
St John's ForfarSt John’s is one of the oldest charges in the Scottish Episcopal Church, the first Rector’s ministry dating from 1688, when the post-Reformation Church in Scotland came to its so-far irrevocable division into Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations.

Among the clergy who have served in St John’s since then have been:

George Skene
, who served as a Chaplain in the Jacobite army led by Charles Edward Stuart – ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ – and whose portrait and walking cane are kept in the sacristy.

John Skinner
, Rector 1797-1841. His grandfather was the famed John Skinner, writer of “Tullochgorum”, the poet-priest of Linshart and friend of Robert Burns. His father, too, was named John (1744-1816), and he became Bishop of Aberdeen and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Bishop John Skinner was one of the three Scottish Bishops who in 1784 consecrated Samuel Seabury as the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the then new United States of America. Of his sons, John was Rector of Forfar, and William succeeded his father as Bishop of Aberdeen.

Images of St John's
Please click on an image for an enlarged view and further details.



St John’s Church Stained Glass Windows

When the present St John’s Church was consecrated in 1881 the windows were probably all made up of small, leaded, frosted glass panels such as still form the porch lights and the large window that faces the High Street. However over the years the stained-glass windows which now adorn the building have been given by a number of the faithful members of the congregation, mostly in memory of its benefactors and their loved ones, and they bring a special beauty and inspiration to the Church.

Various different artists and craftsmen were commissioned to design and make the windows. Those by Kempe (as in the Chancel) and Burne-Jones (next to the Pulpit) are particularly fine, as is the modern window in the Lady Chapel, which is an excellent example of the work of Septimus Waugh of York.

Every stained-glass window has its own story to tell and descriptions can be found in a booklet at the back of the church. 

 

St Margaret's Lunanhead - was built in 1907 in the planned village of Carsebarracks on the site of an earlier chapel by the builder/architect William L. McLean of Forfar. It was built as a gift of Mrs Susan Helen Gray of Bankhead House in memory of her husband. Features include a stained glass window of the Crucifixion by A.D. Fleming of London 1913.  Also there are lovely murals by Miss W.M. Watson of Edinburgh dating from 1909. Work by the same artist can be seen also on the wooden panels at the back of the Lady Chapel in St John's Church.

Nowadays the name Lunanhead covers everywhere in these environs.

 

Casting the Net

Casting the Net
Casting the Net [CTN] is a programme of mission and growth that was approved by the Diocesan Synod in September 2008. It is a simple but effective way to encourage congregations to grow both spiritually and numerically. Together we think about our congregation as a living community of God’s people and then take practical steps along that path of growth. It is a process through which each congregation, with the support of the diocese, is helped to embrace the mission and growth needed to build the Kingdom of God in Scotland.

Together each congregation completes an audit of the Nine Marks of Mission. As a result they select the Marks they will develop in order to reach out to their particular community.


Fuller details about Casting the Net

In the early stages, St John’s Church piloted aspects of CTN that concerned planning and subsequent action. The congregation and vestry agreed to focus on Marks of Mission 2, 4 and 7 namely:

  • to transform lives and communities through receiving the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • to reach out to children and young people.
  • to share our faith by confident and sensitive evangelism: witnessing to God’s power and presence.


A detailed plan was officially launched in September 2007.

St John’s reaches out to the community with the Good News of Jesus Christ in various ways. We invite and welcome everyone to our services, study groups, meditations and to a range of social, musical and fund raising events. New friends are made here and fellowship is enjoyed.

The church is open daily from about 9.30am to 2pm for those seeking quietness and prayer or simply to enjoy its beauty.

We work with other churches and organisations to support charities and where we perceive there is a particular need.

At present we are prayerfully considering how best to reach the children and young people in our families and in our community.



The photographs are of a two-part display which was mounted in the vestibule of the Church. We open the Church every day so that passers by in Forfar might be drawn towards it and encouraged to come in. 

In the first, the disciples’ fishing boat is represented as it hauls in the miraculous catch of fish.

The second photograph tells the story of Casting the Net.

The third and fourth photographs continue the story as the disciples meet with Jesus on the beach and share a meal with him.

The commentary explains what has happened.

Books

Books by Edward Luscombe
The Rt. Rev. Edward Luscombe, who served as Bishop of Brechin for 15 years and as Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 1985 until 1990, is an acclaimed scholar of Scottish Church History. He has written the following books:

  • Matthew Luscombe, Missionary Bishop in Europe of The Scottish Episcopal Church (Published 1992 by The Scottish Episcopal Church)
  • A Seminary of Learning – History of Edinburgh Theological College (Published 1994 by The Scottish Episcopal Church)
  • The Scottish Episcopal Church In The Twentieth Century (Published 1996 By The Scottish Episcopal Church) Find out more general information on the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Find out more general information on the history of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Episcopacy In An Angus Glen (Glenesk) (Published in 2002 By The Author)
  • Steps To Freedom (Synod of Laurencekirk 1804) (Published in 2004 By The Scottish Episcopal Church)
  • Hands Across The Sea (Scots & The Church of England in America in the Colonial Period) (Published in 2006 By Meadowside Publications, Dundee)
  • A Tale of Two Centuries (The Farquars of Pitscandly) (Published 2006 by the Author.)
  • Across The Years (The history of Episcopacy in Forfar 1560-2000) (Published in 2006 by the author.)
  • George Don, The Forfar Botanist (Published 2007 by The Pinkfoot Press in Collaboration with Angus Council Cultural Services.)

Latest News & Events

REVISED SERVICE DETAILS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

The Parish is in a vacancy situation, and during this time amendments have been made to the Service schedule.

There will be no 8.30am Service on Sundays until further notice. There will, however, be a Eucharistic Service at 11.00am as usual. 

-------------------------

There will be a Eucharistic Service each Wednesday at 10.15am led by one of the following:

Rev'd David Cameron, Rev'd Janice Cameron, Rev'd Ian Young or Rev'd Eryl Rowlands.

-----------------

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Download The Eagle

'The Eagle' is our monthly newsletter.