Letter from the Manse

April 2024

Dear Friends,

Dr Jack
Dr Jim Jack is the Minister at Duddingston Kirk

The third of our special 900 services was our Easter celebrations. This began with Palm Sunday when the Congregation walked through the church gardens waving palm branches following Jesus and a donkey! (Actually, we had two donkeys as the donkeys were apparently shy and needed each other for company! )

During Holy Week, each evening we gathered at 7 o’clock. Our Drama Group performed a series of sketches introducing us to people who had witnessed Jesus each day of that week before his crucifixion. The plays were written by Rev Dr Susan Brown who used to be minister of Dornoch Cathedral, also celebrating their 900th anniversary this year. Susan was the master of ceremonies at our reception when Liz and I got married.

Also during Holy Week services we had input from our choir under the leadership of John Anderson and we heard the music of Amelia Leishman, who was announced as Edinburgh’s young musician of the year that same week.

The Holy Week services were memorable for their powerful messages and were a valuable addition to our 900 celebrations. We thank the Drama Group under the direction of Chris Dall.The 900 celebrations continued the following Sunday with our 7am service in Jock Tamson’s Gairden overlooking Duddingston Loch. Bearing in mind this was the weekend that the clocks changed, losing one hour, we did really well to be up at a service which was really 6am. The weather on both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday was wonderful, sunny and dry – unlike the week in between. The Early service was followed by breakfast in the Church Hall when around fifty people gathered. We thank the Events Team for enabling this to happen.

Our Easter Day Service in the Kirk was also memorable. It was during our celebration of Communion, when the duty elders had distributed the elements and we were expecting them to return to the communion table, that in came Jesus and the twelve disciples. They took their places at the table and recreated Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper.

Last Supper

They held this pose silently and then one by one left Jesus, who raised the communion cup and then went off to join them. As a congregation we literally took communion in the presence of Christ and his disciples. This was an act of ministry I have been wanting to do for some time and 900 has made this possible. After the service our children retreated to the garden to roll their eggs down ‘Easter Egg Hill’.

Our next 900 Service will be our fourth and will be our celebration of Pentecost on 19th May. Pentecost is the time we remember the Holy Spirit coming upon the church. It is that Spirit of God who makes us who we are.

Our celebration of Pentecost will be looking at who we are before God.

Enter our Kirk, not as a stranger, because you belong here. Discover its history in every stone.
Rest a while and enjoy the peace of this place of prayer and worship.

Rev Dr Jim Jack.