I found myself this evening at the launch of the Poppy Scotland Appeal. I’m happy to support it. I’ve good reason to be grateful to service men and women. I dread to contemplate the years of distress and disorder which those returning from Iraq will face.
But I am the MOST un-military person – certainly when anybody else is giving orders – the soldiers of Christ pride themselves on being permanently out of step so I fit in well. But I love the way military people talk and the way they designate rank as above – the BBC does it too. And words get mangulated – ‘deploy’ becomes an intransitive verb – theatre becomes a place of warfare rather than of enjoyment.
And then I was asked for comment on the rising numbers of people living together rather than getting married – an opportunity to get ‘bishop’ and ‘fornication’ into the same headline. No doubt there are many reasons for this change. But any parent of young adult children can see that one significant factor is the later age of marriage. Most of the weddings we go to – as last Saturday – are of young people getting married around or after the age of 30 after living together in love and faithfulness for a number of years. As I look back, one of the few things which really concerned me in parish ministry was people getting married around or before 20. I’m glad such weddings are much rarer now.