[Episcopal News Service] Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney Robert Gillies visited Grace Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 10 for its “Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan” service.
Gillies presented South Carolina Provisional Bishop Charles vonRosenberg with a crozier carved by John Jaffries from oak from Balmoral Castle. Jaffries, before his retirement, was gillie (fishing and hunting guide) to Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral.
The Scottish bishop spoke in his sermon of the deep bonds of history and affection between the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church.
Gillies called the “Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan” an “experience to end all experiences” in an official report about his trip. He noted that 500 people attended the 9 a.m. service and another 650 worshiped at 11 a.m.
The pipe band from the nearby Citadel military college of South Carolina led the procession into Grace for the annual service. More photos from the day are here.
“I have come away from a truly awesome experience in Charleston with appreciation for having met some truly remarkable people doing some remarkable things,” Gillies said in his report. “I have also come away having encountered at first hand the awfulness of a modern day schism in the church. Nothing in what I saw and heard of in the decision taken by the Diocese of South Carolina to split from the Episcopal Church … convinced me that the will of God was being heard or listened to.”
Grace Church was recently the site of a reorganizing meeting of Episcopalians in South Carolina, needed after some, but not all Episcopalians followed Bishop Mark Lawrence out of the Episcopal Church.
Gillies was also present Feb. 2 at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York for the installation of Bishop Andrew Dietsche as the 16th bishop of the Diocese of New York.