I’m glad you asked that question ….

I spent the first half of today with an inter-faith group of leaders meeting at Broughton High School in Edinburgh – all with the help of Inter-Faith Scotland.

Meetings like this are always full of warmth and good will – but we are never quite sure what we are talking about or how to talk about it. And none the worse for that. But it really got interesting when a group of pupils came in ‘to ask us some questions’

I do have an underlying rule of life – which is that it is wise never to get trapped into competing in a Bible Quiz with the Girls’ Brigade. But this was really interesting. And if we had had more time before the bell rang, it would have been better still.

Starter for 10
‘What is the meaning of life?’

So we did our best. We talked about happiness … about values and the true riches. And when we got stuck, we turned the questions back on the pupils as a way of gaining time to think. I thought they were great – and the best thing about them was their obvious and infectious enthusiasm for the idea that it was good to sit around a table and struggle with life and faith questions.

Maybe if any of them drop in here, we might continue the conversation. It would be a bit like playing chess on the internet – you get a bit of time to think between moves!


  1. Hello David,
    I’m Amy, I was sitting to your left. Just wanted to say I found yesterday really interesting and I too wish it lasted longer! I really liked the responses, particularly when you said in response to this question we should think of life as a gift rather than a possession. It took me a few minutes afterwards to try and grasp what that meant, but it’s definitely something I’ll take on board and think about. I’m not religious, so I find it fascinating to hear what people who do rely heavily on faith and religion think about certain things – especially questions like the meaning of life!
    Thanks again for coming!

    1. Hi Amy

      Thanks for coming back. It was really interesting because we were talking about the most important things in life – but it wasn’t a conversation about religion and churches and all that. I suppose that’s what we mean by spirituality – the deep questions of life, its meaning and purpose.

      Life as a gift? Well I suppose I am bothered by people who see everything in terms of how it affects them – but who aren’t sensitised about how things like issues of justice affect others who are more vulnerable.

      I suppose it also shapes things like how we use our lives and our talents – to make ourselves rich or to serve others. And I used to be a hospital chaplain. Things happen and people naturally feel, ‘Why me?’ Difficult if it is terminal illness.

      I thought you were all great – much more fun than the people I usually spend my day with!

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