Part of our diversity as a church is that we welcome significant numbers of clergy from outwith Scotland. Indeed, if we didn’t have them, we would be in difficulty sustaining our ministry. So now and again we have a ‘New Clergy Day’ in Edinburgh which is a sort of induction and welcome to the SEC.
I may have been deluding myself – but I did not find the move from the Church of Ireland particularly difficult. As a ‘formerly-established’ [until 1869] church, the Church of Ireland has a sort of residual solidity which the ‘definitely not established’ SEC doesn’t have and wouldn’t want. As a small church, the SEC has a disarming ability to be whatever the last person you spoke to thought it was. And there is no doubt that some clergy coming from the C of E find our combination of light government, open internal dialogue and apparent minority status quite a culture shock.
In my now six years here, I’ve gone throught a continous process of exploring, testing, defining, rejecting … And I invited – through my croaking larynx – people to join that with me. I see it as a series of doors which have inviting labels – but you need to open each door in turn and learn that, behind it, things are not all that they seem and certainly not as simple and clear-cut as others would want you to believe.
Some of my ‘doors of the moment’ are catholic, small, liberal, identity,secular, Scottish, anglican, edgy …