It’s sad to see Scotland at the bottom of the league table behind Iceland, Norway and Ireland. Scotland still gives me the impression of a society which works – small and cohesive communities; beautiful scenery, etc. One of the markers of quality of life for me is the number of people who choose to stay in Scotland for their holidays. In Northern Ireland it was always, ‘Last one out please turn off the lights’ But there is no doubt that there is shocking deprivation – my recent flight to the Costa Brava from Prestwick was a bit of an eye-opener and our Mark’s career as a physiotherapist at Monklands will bring him face to face with it. But there seems to be an increasing readiness to ask hard questions about why Scotland’s economy seems a bit moribund and to look beyond the sloganising about ‘our oil.’
Interesting visit to our church in Alloa yesterday – it’s kind of catholic, charismatic and evangelical all at the same time. They had three confirmation candidates. They have no stipendiary clergy and in their strong commitment to the Community House, they probably have as much or more community engagement as any of our congregations. They’re lovely people and they just did the practical thing of putting a fully-fitted kitchen in one corner of the church. Why not?