We’ve exchanged the cradle of Anglican polity – the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church – for the cradle of democracy itself here in Athens.

Meanwhile I’m still reflecting on the remarkable speech from Professor Tom Devine at the General Synod Dinner. It was that rare combination of erudite and heartfelt.

So I’ve been reading his material on the Scottish Independence debate in reverse. How did they line up at the beginning of the 18th century as the union grew closer? The answers are very interesting. The Kirk was implacably opposed – because, having devoted itself to getting rid of episcopacy in Scotland, it didn’t want to be overwhelmed by establishment Church of England bishops. I quite understand. The Jacobites were opposed because hope was alive in the pre-Culloden days.

The more I think about all this, the more I feel that you have to read history, theology and context together if you are to do mission successfully. Of which more another day

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