Today Alison and I attended the Scottish Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at Glasgow Cathedral. Sharp eyes will see Bishop Gregor in the background of the photo. It was good to be there and to be able to contribute.
There is much to think about in these moments. I always think about how far we have travelled ecumenically. We still live far too much in our denominational compartments – but at least at moments like this it is seen an normal, natural and only to be expected that church leaders should be visibly together. It’s natural to reflect on the changing nature of Scotland and the place of the monarchy within that. Very subtle .. much more subtle than in Ireland. Wider reflections are for another day because of the huge personal respect and admiration which there is for the Queen. I watched her today and marvelled at what it takes to exercise that sense of duty and service every day. Well you might say that vocation as a concept should not be entirely strange to me. But vocation for me, while it has an unconditional and sacrifical content, is fulfilled by doing a great many different things, being in many different roles, saying what I think, encouraging, persuading ….. The Queen simply is what she represents. It’s a particularly silent and self-giving service. Thank God for it.