Speakers at the online ORCAS 2020 conferenceSpeakers at the online ORCAS 2020 conference. Top row, left to right: Andrew Harmsworth (Shetland), Pastor John Clancy (Orkney), Alistair Barton (Broxburn, central Scotland). Second row: Astrid Nærbø (Norway), Jon Steinar (Norway), Jennifer Gordon (Caithness). Third row: Moira Scott (Orkney)

Shetlanders threw their nets wider

Zoom meetings may have palled for some after ten weeks of isolation (you can’t greet a screen with a holy kiss), but they did save travel time and expense

When God closes a church door, he opens a browser window, it seems.

Jennifer Gordon
Jennifer Gordon, Caithness
Astrid Naerbo
Astrid Naerbo, Norway

Lockdown meant that the far north of the British Isles and Norway received extra prayer when the fifth ORCAS (Orkney, Caithness and Shetland) conference played virtual host to  Norwegians Astrid Nærbø and Jon Steinar, who leads a prayer network.


Alistair Barton
Alistair Barton, director of Pray for Scotland

Thanks to Zoom, Alistair Barton of Pray for Scotland could also be in the prayer room.

Spurred on by the early Church, which was based on geographic areas rather than denomination, ORCAS’s mission is “to see a beautiful, empowered Bride of Christ transforming the north and beyond”.

Pastor John Clancy
Pastor John Clancy, Orkney

Pastor John Clancy of Life Church, Orkney, spoke on, ‘When the gathered are scattered’, looking at what the three phases of response, recovery and reconstruction could look like for the Church during and after Covid-19 (this had garnered over 1,000 views at the time of writing).

Andrew Harmsworth from Shetland, a member of the ORCAS steering group, says, “Surely the Church does not want to go back to where we were before the current crisis?”

Moira Scott
Moira Scott, Orkney

He quotes seventh century evangelist St Cuthbert: “In these days of darkness what we need is a fire from the north”. The group is also inspired by evangelist Jean Darnall’s 1967 prophetic vision of God’s fire sweeping from the north, through the UK and across into continental Europe.

The recorded event is at:

“If my people…”  – by Andrew Harmsworth – see letters page

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