Tag Archives: student

Ash Wednesday




Yes, it sort of happened to me.  I was a Liberal Arts student at St Andrews University from 1966 to 1970, studying Mediaeval History – leading to an Honours Degree (MA – Master of Arts).

I had a tremendous crush on a lovely fellow student, Dorothy, who came from Stockport.  She was a devout Roman Catholic (not that devout when it came to …… hey, this was the “Swinging Sixties”, and we were young, single, and free!)

Anyhow, we had arranged on one Ash Wednesday to meet for lunch – probably, at the Student Union for a gourmet meal of pie beans and chips….. yes, I know that Catholics shouldn’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday, but the University’s Scotch Pies had a filling that had as much meat in it as my dental fillings have. 😄

So, I met her near the RC chapel, and, of course, immediately blurted out, “You’ve got a dirty smudge on your forehead!”  And that’s de truth, Yer Honour.

With it being a Wednsday, there were no classes nor tutorials in the afternoon; so, after lunch, we had a bit of R & R – and the “smudge” quickly rubbed off! but that’s another story………😊


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The Aaronic Blessing


A female contemporary of mine was studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

At weekends, she would, when possible, deputise for Church organists at Sunday Worship.

On one particular occasion, she was told by the Minister that there was to be a baptism that day.

He said to her, “After the Sacrament, I will simply announce “The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee” (the Aaronic Blessing) – “just start playing, when you hear me say this”

Unfortuntely, the student stand-in lost concentration and went into a bit of a ‘dwam’ (a good old Scots word)

She didn’t hear the cue, “The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee” – so, silence from the organ.

The Minister repeated, loudly this time, “THE LORD BLESS THEE AND KEEP THEE”.

Still silence from the organ.

A third time even louder…. and she left her “dream state”.

She grabbed the very large and very heavy tome of ‘Church Organists’ Volume of Music for Services’

Unfortunately, she hadn’t pre-prepared the page number and, in total panic, had to thumb through the index.

As she was doing so, she dropped the book and it landed on the organ pedals.

There then followed a cacophony of prolonged and excruciating discordant sounds.

So endeth this student’s days as a Church Organist

(p.s. she did, after graduating, become a very successful international opera singer!) 


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July 14, 2013 · 11:36


The Meenister’s Log

At University, one of my fellow-students was from Sierra Leone.  Leslie was the loveliest man imaginable with a gentle humour and a kindly demeanour.

Once when two or three of us were walking back to our Halls from lectures, he kept us amused with stories from home.

One of them was about a conference where the air-conditioning broke down.

The speaker battled on manfully, but was perspiring heavily and sweat was blurring his eyes.

He went into his trouser pocket to get a handkerchief to mop his face, but instead pulled out…… and Leslie started giggling and could barely get the words out: “he pulled out a pair of lady’s knickers!”


He could barely ride his bike for laughing. “Lady’s knickas!!

Which brings me to this story:

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

“In honor of this holy season” Saint Peter said, “You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.”

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. “It represents a candle”, he said.

“You may pass through the pearly gates” Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They’re bells.”

Saint Peter said “You may pass through the pearly gates”.

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?”

The man replied, “These are Carols.”

And So The Christmas Season

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December 17, 2012 · 06:36

Shortest Sermon 2

Charles Spurgeon once asked a ministerial student to preach an impromptu sermon, the result of which deserved entry in the Guinness World Records for the shortest sermon ever preached. The student preacher proclaimed the entire sermon in three sentences. Appropriately, the topic was Zacchaeus:

“First, Zacchaeus was a man of small stature; so am I. Second, Zacchaeus was very much up a tree; so am I. Third, Zacchaeus made haste and came down; so will I.”

With that, the student sat down to shouts of “More, more!” from his fellows. “No,” said Spurgeon. “He could not improve upon that if he tried.”1

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October 21, 2012 · 05:33

The Worst Ever Student – again

The Meenister’s Log

It was “Good Shepherd Sunday” and his praise list included “The Lord’s My Shepherd”, “The King of love my shepherd is” and “the 23rd Psalm sung to the tune “Stairway to Heaven” (it works, but not for this particular congregation, whose youngest  member was about eighty).

The children’s  address was based around the movie “The Silence of the Lambs”

He also ran a bit short, so we had the “Lord’s Prayer” twice!

  • On a pastoral visit to see a newly widowed member, it was established that she couldn’t drive.  Said he, “That’s a nice motor you’ve got – what sort of price are you looking for?”
  • “I used to be a plumber, before I got into this game – if you want me to check out your plumbing (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) just give me a bell”

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