Reaching out through the bars


Back to the roots today with a visit to Stonehaven – scene of one of the two iconic paintings from the history of the Scottish Episcopal Church. This one dates from 1748 and shows Rev John Troup baptising a baby through the bars of Stonehaven Gaol. You can read the full account on the website of our congregation in Stirling Following the failure of the Jacobite Rising, the Episcopal Church lived under penal laws which prohibited worship with more than four people present.

My visit was for the Preliminary Meeting of the Electoral Synod for the election of a new Bishop of Brechin. I did my geek’s guide to Canon 4 which governs the electoral process. And we explored our shared vision of the future. Given the very prescriptive nature of Canon 4, we know that the process will end on April 2nd.

I suppose what is interesting to consider is the extent to which that picture still shapes us today. Many of course have little knowledge of our deep roots in Scottish history – or of our history of persecution – or of the doggedness in our nature which comes from that.

Anyway the satnav took the faithful Passat to Stonehaven and back on a very wet day. You’ll be glad to know that the rear footwell is now driza-bone since they cleared the drains under the battery. That cunning little hole which they drilled in the floor may also have had something to do with it.

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