From Stornoway to Inverness: A long trip to Mass

The website of the UK Ordinariate has posted the following:

fr_stanley_bennie, StorowayFather Stanley Bennie, the Ordinariate priest in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, the most northerly island of the Outer Hebrides, is amused when southerners complain of the distance – sometimes as much as ten miles – that they have to travel to get to Mass.

Every first Sunday of the month, he makes a three-hour trip on the ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool in the north western Highlands and then catches the bus for the hour-long journey to Inverness so that he can be at Mass with the Ordinariate group there. Last week he made the journey early – on Friday 5 December – to allow for any delays caused by bad weather. He was due to stay to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Monday 8 December with his friends in the Inverness group and travel home the following day.

At the time of writing (the evening of Thursday 11 December) Fr Bennie is still not home. The “weather bomb” which has caused havoc over north-west Britain stranded the ferry and he is still waiting to sail.

The Ordinariate in Scotland has a small but faithful presence in various parts of the country with sub-groups in Edinburgh and Strirling as well as Inverness and Stornoway. There are also plans to start a group in Glasgow. Once that happens, the leader of the Ordinariate in Scotland, Fr Len Black, who celebrates the Masses in all the locations (except Stornoway) will be making a round trip of 700 miles each month.

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