View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Church rules

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has decided tonight that the Presbytery of Aberdeen did nothing wrong in appointing a minister who is homosexual. They do retirate that standards of conduct for ministers remain unchanged. The minister, who officiates in a church in the city of Aberdeen, lives in a homosexual relationship with another man. A complaint was formally lodged with the General Assembly, which is the Court of the Church, but rejected.

Another legal move, an Overture from the Presbytery of Lochcarron-Skye, will be discussed this coming Monday. Adopting the Overture, a proposal for Church law, would mean that training and admitting ministers who are in active homosexual relationships is not allowed.

I am much obliged to Stuart for clarifying this (to me) obscure piece of church law, which is having major repercussions around Scotland and beyond.


MV Polar Star called in this morning, and the Hebrides fully answered the expectations of its passengers: it was chucking it down with rain most of the day. Only now is the sun beginning to come out. You need a fairly deep pocket to cruise on Polar Star - $3,500 to $7,000 for a 12 day trip. The vessel can usually be found in Arctic surroundings, and commonly calls into the Hebrides at the start and the end of the season.

Saturday 23 May

Wet and miserable today, not a good day for the runners in the Stornoway Half Marathon. I did not count their number, but it was probably around 100 of them, filing past between 10.10 and 10.25 am. They have a 13 mile course to run, which goes out to Sandwick, then back towards the Castle Grounds, with a finish at the Golf Club.

Image courtesy Stornoway Running and Athletics Club

No, I've never fancied taking part. When I ever did do any running, I would usually perspire after about a quarter of a mile - and that was when I was a teenager. I can walk long distances though (or used to be able to). My longest one-day hike was 21 miles, and not on paved roads or pavements either. On roads like this (Isle of Rum, October 2004).

Hurricane update - 23 May

A tropical disturbance is approaching the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and will make landfall in the state of Mississippi later today. There is a chance of more than 50% that this system will become a tropical depression. Six hours ago, it lay 150 miles south of Mobile AL. Heavy rains and gusty winds of up to 30 mph are occurring from the extreme west of the Florida Panhandle as far as New Orleans.

Please monitor NHC output for the latest information.