Once a year the Edinburgh stipendiary (paid) clergy get together for a few days in the Atholl Palace hotel in Pitlochry. We have a speaker and listen, absorb, reflect, talk, eat, pray and drink together. Each year is very different from the year before because of the topic and because of the people. I always get something valuable from it.
This year our speaker was Ann Morisey on Mission in Troubled Times and she was very good. We also continued our previous discussions about a College of Clergy providing informal and formal support structures. The latter has been a contentious issue with some clergy feeling that they don’t need or want any help whatsoever and others, like me, feeling that any opportunities to learn and meet with others for support and friendship is a good thing. I think we managed to hear one another in our final discussions today and I look forward to seeing how things develop.
Yesterday we had some free time and Fr F took me to the House of Bruar which was a new experience for me. Oh my word. Pink gun socks. Why? There were some beautiful things and my new wish is for a tweed covered chair for my study. Beautiful things indeed.
Pitlochry and the surrounding area is always stunning at this time of year with the changing colours. The heavy rain at the weekend had taken a lot of the leaves down so some trees were prematurely bare. I’m afraid I just couldn’t get a photo of the view from our conference room window to show you how splendid it looked but here is some heather from the gardens instead.
Today I’m home and very tired. But good tired. As ever, being with people was fun and some new friends made too.