Minister urges tiny acts of kindness to others

A Highland minister is encouraging people to engage in tiny acts of kindness in the run up to Christmas.

Very Rev Dr Susan Brown has launched an online "Reverse Advent Calendar" to try and make the "world a better place" in ways that do not come at great personal cost.

Very Rev Dr Susan Brown
“We're spreading the message of what Christmas is really about.” Very Rev Dr Susan Brown

Every day from December 1 until Christmas Day, the minister of Dornoch Cathedral is encouraging people to carry out simple tasks like feeding the birds, sending a thank-you card and donating items to a charity shop.

Dr Brown said: "Advent is about waiting and preparing for Christmas but not in the sense of running about daft, getting presents and food bought.

"It's about pausing to look for where God already is and choosing to work with him to make the world a happier place."

Spreading good news

Other suggestions include baking a neighbour a cake as a surprise, leaving a chocolate for a child to find, buying all cooking ingredients from local producers and picking up litter.

People are being encouraged to light a candle and place it in a window as "a sign of the light the world much needs", walk a neighbour's dog, donate to a charity box and place a flower at a strangers' graveside.

Dr Brown, the immediate past Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: "These tiny acts are things anyone can do without great cost.

"And if they bring a smile or a sense of mattering even to just one person, we're spreading good news.

"We're spreading the message of what Christmas is really about."