Spent today in Edinburgh at an Inter-faith Conference in the City Chambers. Glad I went – the inter-faith contacts don’t just happen so it was a useful place to be. I was struck as always by the fact that one’s first assumption is that different faith groups will have different views on the same agenda. But of course one also has to take account of that fact that some things matter hugely to some and hardly at all to others. It was a warm, friendly event but we have a long way to go.
Ended the day in Perth’s beautiful Concert Hall at a concert by the Tokyo String Quartet – still, I think, the most perfect medium – intimate, balanced, mutually responsive – all the things church life would like to be but isn’t. I reflected on the fact that JS Bach liked to play the viola in a quartet ‘so that he could be in the middle of the harmony’. I suppose what he meant by that was that, rather than being the obvious leader, it was better to provide the mellow stuff in the middle, to provide the notes which announce the key changes and paint in the colours which bring richness and character. Now there’s a model for church life and bishoping ..