And I went west yesterday to preach at Fr Kirstin‘s institution at Bearsden (with Milngavie). Kirstin’s driving instructions left a lot to be desired as she doesn’t know her left from her right. So when she said that Junction 16 actually comes off at the right and not the left, she lied. So there I was at the last minute trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic mouthing ‘sorry’ as I went. Thank goodness for the traffic jam which I can been cursing not five minutes before for it meant that as we were crawling along at 5mph it was reasonably easy to lane jump. Then my Sat Nav thought I was still on the motorway because the road had taken me directly underneath it so kept repeating ‘Leave the motorway at the next junction… Leave the motorway…’ you get the picture. I just screamed at it until it got it right. But I made it to the church in time and with time enough to eat my lunch before all the Glasgow clergy and a few others descended upon the rather nice hall. In fact it is a rather nice wee church with lots of lilac glass in the windows and some rather stunning angels’ wings in the window above the altar.
I was preaching so I got to sit with the choir but I fear I rather let them down. My favourite St Anne’s mass setting with an Agnus Dei from another MacMillan setting I think which was a bit weird. As there is no bishop in Glasgow at the moment, the Dean Gregor Duncan stood in for him and did a jolly good job. I was really nervous about preaching and it had caused me a lot of grief last week as I tried to get something down on paper. I’m not sure why it was so difficult. Was it because a friend had asked me and that, of course, is an honour? Or because I would be preaching to so many peers as well as two little flocks? Anyway, it got done at the last hour and seemed to go down okay.
We then wandered down to the BB hall nearby and were treated to some rather nice sandwiches (crustless of course) and a cup of tea. Tea?! No wine? No fizz? Outrageous! Then some of us went back to have a nosey round the Rectory. This is the real reason clergy go to Institutions. It is really only in the hope that they get to have a gander at the rectory and see how it compares to your own. All I will say is: many more bathrooms, and lovely conservatory. And yes I coveted. (Not only the bathrooms but the gorgous Juliet Hemingray green stole that Kirstin was presented with.)
Kirstin gave me 2 lovely books as a pressie which was terribly kind. (One for recent birthday and one for preaching.) They were on my wish list and it always astonishes me when people actually take time to look at the wish list and buy me something I really want. They were called Imaging the Word and I’ll do a little review later.
And a shared journey home with Mother J and a good blether. So all in all, a lovely day.