Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

I am back from a week­end down on the south coast of Eng­land, a lot of it spent in Brighton.

Our chil­dren, who have lived their whole lives in Cam­bus­lang, said Brighton felt “weird”.

I didn’t no­tice, but they were sen­si­tive to dif­fer­ent hair­styles, shoes and jack­ets. There was a busker singing Bowie songs in a go­rilla mask.

That’s not their thing. They felt dif­fer­ent, out of place.

When get­ting ready to fly home, we found our­selves at the Glas­gow de­par­ture gate in Gatwick Air­port. Sud­denly we found our­selves back with the Scots, a 737-sized en­clave of Cale­do­nia within Eng­land’s sec­ond busiest air­port. The clothes, the hair­styles, the shoes, all looked fa­mil­iar again. Our chil­dren felt that they be­longed again.

What is it, I won­dered, that de­fines us Scots, the thing that felt fa­mil­iar in that Gatwick de­par­ture lounge? We like to think of our­selves as friendly, kind to strangers; peo­ple who be­lieve that a man’s a man for aw’ that.

We work hard, we walk 500 miles and then 500 more. We re­mem­ber a his­tory of stand­ing up to tyrants and send­ing them home­wards tae think again.

And what of faith? It used to be huge - over three quar­ters were Church mem­bers, now it’s noth­ing like that.

Since 2007, over half of Scots have reg­u­larly told sur­veys they have no re­li­gion.

On the out­side it looks like be­lief in God has gone into per­ma­nent de­cline. But it’s more com­pli­cated than this: many peo­ple be­lieve in some­thing even if they don’t reg­u­larly go to Church.

So I’m ask­ing you a favour, if you don’t go to Church, could you still tell us your story? Where did you meet God, or de­cide that God wasn’t there? Have you had a a spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence?

The Church in Scot­land should al­ways be chang­ing. The Church to­day needs to know how to change, and it can do this bet­ter, if it lis­tens to your story.

You can email your sto­ries to nglover@ chur­chof­s­cot­land.org.uk Rev Neil Glover Flem­ing­ton Hall­side Church

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