Current Opening Hours at St Peter’s

Due to the ongoing work on the sewage system in the area, St Peter’s Church will be closed outside services. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Mon: Closed
Tues: 18:30-19:15
Wed: 09:00-10:15
Thur: 09:00 – 10:15
Fri: Closed
Sat: 17:30 – 20:00
Sun: 09:00-11:00

Roof repairs

In 2017, St Peter’s Church, Buckie made an application to the Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund and was fortunate to be one of the successful, out of the 1500 applications received by them in that year.

A Grant was awarded to enable the slates to be replaced on the Sanctuary Roof, and repairs to be carried out to the slates and the rain water goods on the North and South elevations of the Church.

The Nativity of St John the Baptist

For me it wasn’t a happy return from my recent holiday. I pulled a muscle in my back as I laid foot on my doorstep while shifting my suitcase. Then I learned that during my absence a number of parishioners had suddenly become seriously ill, and that one had passed away… So, you see, it really wasn’t a happy return. On the other hand, after having suffered soaring, even roasting temperatures abroad, it was so good to be back, welcomed home as I was by a chilly wind and night temperatures dipping to single-digits – essentially, what we call the Scottish summer! So, my return was a mixed bag overall. And that’s the everyday experience of most of us, with regular ups-and-downs and unexpected moments of either happiness or despair. Nobody likes the latter, and we do as much as we can to avoid it. But every now and again, unpleasant things that happen are simply unavoidable and we have to find ways of dealing with them.

Today’s first reading can come as a useful reference point for us. The main character grumbles at his fate: ‘I have toiled in vain, I have exhausted myself for nothing.’ He experiences a moment of despair, caused by a difficult situation. However, the main character in fact recalls that moment of dejection in the context of having found consolation: ‘all the while my cause was with the Lord, my reward with my God. […] My God was my strength.’ This is his recognition that he has never been abandoned by God, and never been left to his own devices in dealing with adversity. The first reading is actually a specific and rather moving hymn of praise, sung by the character who has recognised God’s work throughout his life, since he was born: ‘The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb He pronounced my name. […] He formed me in the womb to be his servant.’

As I mentioned earlier, today’s first reading can act as a useful reference point. Firstly, it is there to help you realise that you are in this world because God wanted you, and He wanted you for a purpose. The Lord called you before you were born, from your mother’s womb He pronounced your name. In God’s eyes you’re not an anonymous figure in a numberless mass of people. In His eyes you’re as special an individual as if you were the only person in the whole universe.

Secondly, whatever has happened in your life to date, you have never ever been abandoned by God. All the experiences you have been through, whether nice or nasty, have shaped and formed you. Who and what you are now is the result of innumerable interactions within yourself and external to yourself. The overused phrase: ‘What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger’ is based on experience – and most often turns out to be true.

And finally, whatever you have to deal with right now simply involves taking another step forward. It’s another challenge that can give you a better insight into who and what you are, in order to take you to even greater heights of human achievement, or of what we call in the Church – sainthood.

That struggle never ends as long as we live on God’s earth. We can see that truth at the end of the first reading. When the main character praises God for what He’s done to him, a new goal is set: ‘It’s not enough for you to be my servant. […] I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’ With this new goal, or new challenge, God deliberately changes the perspective of the main character, redirecting his attention outwards towards others. That’s typical of God who wants you too to change your perspective and turn your attention away from yourself and towards other people. Because, paradoxically, the less you focus on yourself, the less unhappy you feel. The more you give out, the more you get back.

11th Sunday in Ordinary time

It was 30 years ago, in a country openly hostile to Christianity. The Catholic Church was heavily restricted in Her mission. As a young man, I asked a certain priest to help me buy a Bible. This was a rather challenging task in the reality of the time and place. A week or so later he called me to meet him in the parish office, and there he handed over a big brown envelope containing a brand-new copy of the Bible. I offered to cover all the costs, as agreed, but he refused to accept a penny. When I read the parables in today’s gospel, I instantly recalled that moment from my distant past. That priest’s simple but generous gesture was planting a seed. I’m absolutely certain he did that off-the-cuff, without any premeditated, long-term plan in mind. He was just that kind of a priest: helpful, kind and generous, though never naïve.

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Day for Life 2018

THE EVIL OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING – MODERN SLAVERY

As you know, the Annual Day for Life falls on the Feast of the Visitation of our Lady, 31st May, which this year occurs on a Thursday. So that the whole Catholic Community can participate in this important annual reminder of the dignity and sacredness of human life, the Bishops of Scotland ask you to celebrate it in your parishes on a free Sunday as near as possible to this date.

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Pastoral Letter on Safeguarding

My Dear People,

I write, on behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, to draw your attention to the publication of our Church’s new Safeguarding materials which come into force on 21 May 2018. These include ‘In God’s Image’, the document which offers comprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding, including compliance with new Safeguarding standards. This has been shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of Safeguarding in the Church, both in Scotland and internationally. In ratifying this publication, the Bishops have taken the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the Church.

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7th Sunday of Easter

The Great Wall of China. Hadrian’s Wall. The Berlin Wall. The Iron Curtain. The Korean Demarcation Line. The Israel-Gaza barrier. These are just a few examples of physical barriers people have put up to separate themselves effectively from others. I believe there’s another one planned along the Mexican-American border. When such a massive construction effort is undertaken, it’s usually driven by – and justified by – one big idea or an ideology. Such projects are almost invariably divisive, not merely in a literal sense, but more notably both culturally and mentally. They create a sense of superiority on one side and inferiority on the other, consequently fostering attitudes like derision, mockery, disregard, contempt and so on. In the extreme, those excluded can effectively be dehumanised, as we saw in the Jewish ghettos established by the Nazis. Instinctively we feel that putting up barriers is wrong but, on the other hand, fencing of this kind offers a sense of safety, even if it is only illusory.

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