The Kessock effect…

March 12, 2012

Over the past two weekends I had the privilege of spending time with church leaders from two major denominations in Scotland.

On the 3rd March I was at an event convened by the Church of Scotland at the Barn Church in Culloden was looking at how different expressions of church could work together missionally called “New alongside the Old; Partners in mission”. During his welcome and outlining the purpose of the day the minister from Hilton church explained why an image of the Kessock bridge was on the programme… a bridge is a connection, it connects people from one place to another and that the event was as bridge where different church expressions could become connected and that we in the church are also bridges into our cities, towns and communities.

Then on the 10th March I attended the diocesan synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church to share a little about the work of Street Pastors in Inverness. We started the day worshiping together at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Inverness. The Bishops address also talked about the Kessock bridge, how it links communities and the how the church was reshaping itself to pursue a missional agenda that will guide the church in the decades to come.

The 10th March was also the feast day of St. Kessog, an Irish celtic cleric who made missional visit(s) to the Inverness area possibly 40-50 years before St Columba came. Kessock hill was named after him, and Kessock bridge gets its name from there.

I would not claim to know, or have fully researched the significance of St Kessog visit to the area in around 500ad, but found this little passage about his work… “For reasons unknown [St Kessog] captured the imagination of the common people… It may have been that because he worked among the people they could identify with him as part of their community… It may be because of his bravery working on the boundary of three Kingdoms often at war with each other. Or his exemplary life style of poverty and worship.”

I was very encouraged that at the core of both of these events with the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church lay a heart of mission. A mission to the community in which we live that encompassed the attributes of St Kessog 1500 years ago. Living, caring, worshiping in the community.

There is a bridge in Inverness called the Kessock Bridge and it is a physical reminder that spiritually in Christ Jesus there is a bridge between humanity and God, and this bridge is worked out in His church, his bride… that we all are part of.

More images and informatuon about the Kessock Bridge can be found on the “Undiscovered Scotland” website here.

A summary of the life of St Kessog can be found here.


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