Author Archives: meenister

About meenister

An ordained Church of Scotland Minister since 1974. Started off in Doune which is near Stirling, before moving to Trinidad for four years; on my return to Scotland, I was a rural minister in Perthshire and then was asked to become Minister at St.Michael's Inveresk where I spent eleven happy years. A short ministry in Guernsey followed and since 1999, I was a full time healthcare Chaplain in the town of Dumfries in SW Scotland, retiring from that post in December 2012. I started this blog on 6 May 2012, soon after my wife, Helen, was diagnosed with secondary cancer - it was a sort of diversion and still is, following her death on 16 June. I hope it shows that there is a lighter side to religion, that it's not gloom and doom and that we can sometimes laugh at ourselves in a self-effacing way. Some posts are, however, I hope provoking and food for thought.

It’s a hit!

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May 13, 2017 · 17:26

The Meaning of Life


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May 13, 2017 · 11:17



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May 10, 2017 · 16:40

Wedding ring

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May 3, 2017 · 09:46


He sadly sat beside the road;
His engine’s gasket blown –
His car was old and cold and towed;
The man was left alone.

‘I need to find a place to stay
Until it’s fixed,’ he spoke –
But when he rose to walk away,
Arrived a band of folk.

‘You’re truly warmly welcome here
To while away the night –
We’re monks,’ they said, ‘and living near,
As well as brothers might.’

With thanks, the man inclined his head,
And through the dusky gloom –
He followed where the Abbot led,
Who showed him to a room.

But when he tried to sleep, he found
A noise that started small –
The most surprising, splendid sound
Emerging through the wall.

It made him think of sirens song –
The secret chimes of Mars –
The shrouded space where dreams belong –
The voice beyond the stars.

It made him think of love and peace –
The hidden world behind –
The perfect place where problems cease
To vex the waking mind.

The morning broke.
The man awoke;
‘What was it, monks?’ he cried.
‘Alas, we cannot say,’ they spoke –
‘You’re not a monk,’ they sighed.

‘I have to know!’ the man explained,
And so, without remorse –
He joined the house, and prayed and trained,
To find the noise’s source.

He took the Test of Absent Bliss;
The Woes of Anguish Drowned –
He braved the Gulf of Faith’s Abyss –
And all to find the sound.

And when he’d pained and strained and bled,
And most his life had passed –
‘You’re ready now,’ the others said,
‘To see the source at last.’

They took him where the air was fair,
And where, inside a trunk…

I’d love to tell you what was there.

Alas, you’re not a monk.


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Pizza, Your Holiness?

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I spy…..


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April 24, 2017 · 12:22

First time

A particular divinity student was once asked to preach the sermon in the church where he was attached for his first theology year at University.

This was the first time he’d ever spoken in public. The Congregation was large, he was so nervous that perspiration was running down his back, his hands were shaking – he climbed the steps to the pulpit.

There he found that there was a metal nut just below the ledge below the reading-desk.

He found that twiddling it as he preached helped calm his nerves. All seemed to go well.

Over a cuppa, after the service,  he said to a member of the congregation “Well, at least I seemed to hold your attention!”

To which the member replied “I think it had something to do with the odd way the metal cross on the front of the pulpit was going round and round like a propeller…”

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