Goodbyee (comments made by members after the church service)

In my first Charge, I had former Moderator of the GA, Dr Archie Craig, as a member. One Sunday, he seemed particularly interested in my sermon, looking at me intently. Thought I: “It must have been a cracker, what I preached this morning” When he left after the service, as we shook hands at the door, he peered at my face, and said – “Ah, I thought so… you ARE growing a moustache.”


My late wife was VERY English and loved the “bells and smells” of the C of E. We married when I was a Probationer Assistant. After attending her first service at the kirk where I was learning my trade, the congregation’s busy-body came up to her, and – in a condescending voice – asked, “And what did you think of our Church of Scotland style of worship?” Helen replied, “It’s a bit dull, isn’t it!”


“Yon service was far tae long – ah cannae stop; the broth will be biled tae nothing”


We once finished a particular service with a hymn in Common Metre (can’t remember which); I changed the tune to St James; the singing was awful & the comments at the door ranged from “that was terrible” to “where did you find that dreadful hymn” etc. Almost all negative (in fact, none positive).

Out of sheer bloody mindedness, I chose – as our opening hymn, the next Sunday: Thou art the Way…. They sang it with unrestrained gusto (oh, the tune is, of course, St James)


During my stint as a full time Healthcare Chaplain, part of my remit was to give talks to the likes of (Woman’s) Guilds; the talk was all ad libbed, including a few humorous anecdotes and serious stuff about spiritual care in an NHS environment.

After one evening talk (somewhere in the depths of Dumfries and Galloway), escorted to the door by Madam President, she said, “I wish I had your gift”

Embarrassed shrug of the shoulders….

“Aye, the gift of the gab!”



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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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