Our Autumn outing on 28 September began at 09.30 when we boarded our mini coach outside St Mark's. Our party of thirteen including John Reid and Mary McKenna and John and Barbara Clifford who made their own way to Samye Ling. Travelling south through the borders we stopped at Innerleithen to collect our last passenger, Liz. The minor roads from Traquair gave us stunning views, bathed in lovely Autumnal sunshine, when at around 11.30 amongst the backdrop of rolling hills, we caught our first sight of Samye Ling's golden dome of the main temple.
As winter grips we look forward to cold crisp days and huddling in by the fire. It’s all change, the colourful T-shirts are swapped for warm jumpers as the trees shed their leaves. We are accustomed to these seasonal changes and trust that spring will come, again, bringing new life and colour to the world. At St Mark’s we are in a period of change. We have a new part time Minister, with lots of energy and new ideas, an interesting programme of services ahead, new service leaders and a new Council.
Change can be difficult for many of us. It means letting go and embracing new ideas, meeting new people and finding new ways of working. At St Mark’s we are starting to consider what really matters to us and what may need to change as we move forward.
As you're probably aware I've a particular interest in self-care and exploring ways in which we can better look after ourselves.
An important aspect of self-care is how we look after our physical body. In particular, what we consume as food can have a profound effect on how we are, not just in terms of fuelling our physical processes, but also in relation to our psychological state and wider emotional wellbeing.
by Rev Peter Fairbrother
It is easy to see addiction as something out there, affecting others, nothing to do with ourselves.
Perhaps we might have ways of describing people with addiction to separate them off from ourselves: junkies, druggies, neds, criminals, the wasted. Or as I've heard said, given our church's proximity to where I used to work – the Spittal Street Substance Misuse Clinic around the corner - the addicted being referred to as 'y'know the type of people you come across around here late at night'... said with a shudder and a knowing look. We label defensively to set ourselves apart from those we perceive to carry the affliction of addiction. The 'not us'.
• Yet the truth is we are all addicts in one way or another.
• We are all sometime inhabitants of the realm of the hungry ghost.
• We are all constantly seeking something outside ourselves to curb an insatiable yearning for relief or fulfilment.
• We are all seeking ways to fill the void within us.
This was the theme of the service on 29 July, led by our minister, Rev Peter Fairbrother.
At the service that he led at the end of July, our minister, Rev Peter Fairbrother, chose as his theme ‘what we can learn from the world of plants’. It was a beautifully gentle service and even the hymns had references to flowers.
Everyone had been invited to bring a plant, or plants, to dress the window sills in the church and the display is still magnificent three months later; a feast for the eyes and for the soul.
A prayer for the broken-hearted
by Rev Peter Fairbrother
This is for the mistreated
the second best
the third rate
and this is for the hope-less
It takes courage to show up.
It takes courage to name the labels
we pin to ourselves and to others
and it takes courage to let them go.
Copyright Peter Fairbrother, used by permission and taken from
his address, The opposite of addiction, given in St Mark’s on
Sunday 1 July. This address will be printed in a future issue
of Waymark. The photograph was taken by Peter Fairbrother.
Some upcoming events for your diaries, including:
Mindfulness @ Lunchtime
Interbeing Buddhist Meditation
Bereavement Support Group
Chalice Singers’ Rehearsals
Poetry for Pleasure
Sunday themes in October
Our Good Cause for October: St Catharine’s Homeless Project
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme 2018
St Mark’s Unitarian Church celebrates 36 years as a Fringe Venue
artSpace@StMarks (Venue 125)
7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2DP
Tickets for all performances can be obtained via the Fringe Box Office or bought in person at our venue during the Fringe Festival. Entry is guaranteed with an advance ticket. In some cases you can pay what you want (PWYW) at the venue immediately before the performance.
Br Phap Vu, a senior monastic in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sangha, was guest at Mindfulness@Lunchtime and he also gave a talk ‘Mindfulness in Every Day Life’ at St Mark’s.