It was Eastertide and, in this particular year (1999), I was the Minister at St Andrews in the Grange Church of Scotland in Guernsey, Channel Islands.
The beautiful Island of Guernsey attracts a very large number of visitors, and many from the UK. Those who are Presbyterian, URC, and, of course, members of the Kirk are attracted to this beautiful Church of Scotland building on the edge of St Peter Port.
So, there I was preaching about the Risen Christ not being recognised by Mary Magdelene, by the two companions walking to Emmaus, and the disciples not connecting initially with who He was. There were various points made about this, including our sometimes not recognising the goodness and Godliness in people with whom we come in contact… that kind of thing.
In the congregation on that particular Sunday was a very distinguished looking gentleman, accompanied by his wife. Obviously, visitors to the Island and our wee Kirk.
After the Service, as they came out, we shook hands. He asked how long I’d been in Guernsey, and where I’d been Minister before. To the latter question, I replied, “Musselburgh”
“Ah,” said he, “I know it well; in fact I used to be a Trustee of Carberry Tower”
Carberry Tower was a conference centre for, amongst other groups, the Church of Scotland.
It just so happened that it is in my old Parish, and I was a Trustee too – and my distinguish visitor was the Chairman. We had been to many meetings together!
Oh, and he was a well kent figure – Lord MacKay of Clashfern, appointed by Prime Minister Thatcher as Lord Chancellor.
I didn’t say anything, except to wish them a pleasant holiday, and a safe trip home to the UK.
Oops! Unrecognised, indeed!!!!!!