This time it was the diocesan Clergy Retreat where I arrived before most people, stayed the first night and left again.
The venue was our College of the Holy Spirit and the Cathedral of the Isles on Great Cumbrae. You haven’t been there? Then you’ve missed something special – the closest you can get to seeing the culture and ethos of the Scottish Episcopal Church expressed in stone. It’s miniature Butterfield and a delight set in the middle of the Clyde just across from Largs
David Todd and his team have transformed it into a welcoming place set in an atmosphere of prayer and worship. I was sorry I couldn’t stay. And there was sunshine and the river and the boats.
Archbishop Rowan is visiting the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this week so we are off to the Lord High Commissioner’s Dinner at Holyrood this evening.
That turned out to be a remarkable evening – 80 people sitting either side of the long table in the Dining Room. And the flowers …
To represent the Scottish Episcopal Church in these moments is a great privilege. Sometimes you have to do a little bit to be noticed. At other times – as on this evening – we are honoured beyond what one might expect. Alison was beside the Lord High Commissioner – a wwwk after sitting on the right of the Lord Mayor of London at dinner in Merchant Taylor’s Hall
I was at one time boarded at Largs and I recall travelling to Millport on the paddle Steamer Talisman. Talisman had the distinction of being the only Diesel electric paddle steamer in the UK. Today’s mode of transport is, as +David’s photo shows, rather more utilitarian. We would leave Largs around 10am and then arrive in Millport shortly after and go for lunch before heading off to join the rolled up trouser brigade on the beach: a world of donkey rides and deckchairs (thankfully the era before the ubiquitous transistor radio). For me, the short voyage on Talisman was the highlight of the day: running between the engine room and the tea-room where parent’s adjourned for a libation of warm tea and crumpets…..Then it was back to school: St. Colditz: an Arnoldian world of meanie housemasters: Dickensian breakfasts of porridge and thick slabs of bread, and this before a day of Latin grammar in Dotheboys Hall. But, ah…that short voyage to the Cumbraes made light of it all….Talisman sadly went to the breaker in 1965…Here is the link for those who might like to see what a joy Talisman was: LINK:http://freespace.virgin.net/tom.lee/talismanimg.htm
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