This morning we were with St Columba’s, Aberdour. At least, we were once I had got to the right church. This is another of the communities along the southern coast of Fife from the Forth Bridge. It’s a lovely church and it’s on the way back from hard times. There were just over 35 of us with Val the Rector and myself. I do get a bit anxious about the average age of some of our congregations – but I had to put that ‘on hold’ when I met St Columba’s secret weapon called Dot ‘n Sally who have been members of this congregation since 1938 and 1962 respectively. Nothing they haven’t done to help keep this congregation alive over the years. What was the smallest this congregation had reached in their memory? Two. And without the faith of people like them, it would probably have disappeared altogether.
I brought a sermon.
Mention of Princess Diana reminded me of that extraordinary Sunday morning ten years ago when – as I am sure many clergy did – I told people what had happened during the night.
And, as this was my first Sunday back from holiday, I remembered my fondest ‘welcome home’ story. I slipped into the Parish Office before I went into church just to check that there was nothing lurking on my desk that I needed to know about. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. On my desk was the will of a lady who had moved from the parish some time before – leaving the parish a not-insignificant amount of money and expressing the hope that she might be buried in the churchyard. I went into the Vestry and asked my colleagues as casually as I could the two questions, ‘Has she died?’ and ‘Was she buried in the churchyard?’ To which the answers were Yes and No respectively.