Back to Lithgae last night to Reply to the Toast to the Lassies at the annual Burns Supper. In fact, it was a top table of clergy with the Rev’d Ian Paterson (retired CofS minister from St Michael’s Parish) doing the Immortal Memory; Fr Basil Clark (RC priest at Broxburn and Winchburgh and ex-Brother Basil of Rock Trust fame) doing the Toast to the Lassies (or to ‘strong women’); myself doing the Reply; and Fr Pip (piskie priest in L’gow at St Peter’s) doing the Toast to the Toon.
It was lovely to go back and see old faces. I’ve done this once before and they are a very appreciative audience. Well, to tell the truth, they were a very drunk audience which amounts to the same thing.
I was also delighted to meet up with Fr Basil again. We go way back to St Michael & All Saints days when I first met him dressed in his Franciscan habit (yes, he was one of us back then) with a large cigar in one hand and a larger gin and tonic in the other. I thought he was going to a Fancy Dress competition. I subsequently learned that smoking and drinking gin were de rigeur in the Piskie church in those days. Then for many years I was his PA at the Rock Trust working with young homeless people, mainly because I was the only one who could read his handwriting and manage his diary.
Last night it was heard that if the church was full of clergy like this then more people would go back to church. That remains to be seen. We’ll not build that extension quite yet!
And I learned that whisky and wine don’t go very well together. Ssshhh.