Business has been fast and furious over the past few week, it started with a baptism, for a local family. in the Glen here. When family events occur our little churches bulge at the seams, as anyone who has had any contact with the couple involved arrive for the service. Copius bagpipers have stood in the church yard as the strains echo down the valley and knees not having seen the light of day for many a month , are paraded under kilts of many hues. Sporrans worn by younger men hang neatly ,but for the older and more portly they hang in a fashion that resembles a pregnant woman having her hand bag dangling around her waist. But it is all very colourful.
A funeral for a friend of ours, of which she would have been proud, was standing room only. I gave up my seat and squeezed in next to the organist, who just had room to move her elbows. Then four more people joined me, it was a hot day, so I was grateful for the gaps in the windows, which in winter have our teeth chattering, but on this day gave us enough breeze to cool things. When we came to the hymns we had to stand up enmass , keeping our arms close to our bodies, my left arm tucked behind me as not to hit the organist on the head. The Rev. had to sit in the pulpit , while folk filled chairs behind the Communion table,and the long disused choir stalls. I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it would be if they came every week! My husband gave an inspiring message, and two families have booked a wedding and a baptism, so there is hope .
Talking of weddings, we had one of those too, another packed church, another outing for the kilted and the piper ,for a lass who grew up in the Glen but moved away. Add to all the excitement, temperatures of 28 degrees in Argyll in May. It has been quite a spring. I had cleaned the church until it sparkled, well as sparkly as it could get, as it stands on a hill overlooking glorious scenery, but is terribly damp.It was built in 1857 of local stoneand it gets blasted by the elements in winter, which lasts along time here, and we get high winds. The leaded windows are very fragile, and I was scared as I balanced on pews with a broom that I might damage them, but having made many spiders homeless , the place was a lot lighter when I’d finished.
The Churchyard has graves dating from the 1400’s, as this is the third church to be built on the site, and we get many visitors interested in History, especially as there are “cup and ring marks ” on the rocks above the Primary School opposite.The whole area is covered with historical sites dating back to about 400 BC in some of the cairns.Our other churches of which there are 5 more, all have interesting histories, but we are looking to the future and working towards filling them with new families who in years to come will turn out in droves for weddings, funerals and baptisms of their own.
In the meantime has anyone lost a tassle from their sporran, I found it under a pew, it has a metal holderand it is possibly made of horsehair ……?