Sermon

  • Revd Scott S McKenna
    23-04-2017
    Revd Scott S McKenna

Next Services

30 Apr 09:30 -All Age Worship

30 Apr 10:45 -Morning Worship

30 Apr 19:00 -Evening Service

Glasgow Pilgrimage
 
On Saturday, September 26, a group of pilgrims from Mayfield Salisbury enjoyed a very special day in Glasgow. It meant an early start for many as the coach left at 9.00am, but we were all aboard in good time, armed with an excellent pack of leaflets prepared by Lorna Souter, including a small booklet of prayers and reflections for use throughout the day. Lorna also led us in prayer before we left using some beautiful words of St Patrick, very apt as we were heading for Glasgow Cathedral: the church of St Mungo.

 
On arrival at the Cathedral we were met by Revd Dr Laurence Whitley, the minster, who gave us a most informative tour of both the Upper and Lower Church, during which he detailed the spiritual history of the Cathedral from its beginnings as the burial place of St Kentigern (St Mungo) in the 7th Century, through the earliest documented buildings in the 12th century to those of the present day. The Cathedral has thus been a place of pilgrimage for many hundreds of years and still receives visitors from around the world. Many who come, however, often from the adjacent Royal Infirmary, come in need of a peaceful space. The box for prayer requests in the chapel of prayer is well used.

 
Our morning ended with a service of Holy Communion led by Scott in the East chapel of the Upper Church, a wonderful experience. Amidst so much history, the prayers of all those who had gone before were almost tangible.   

 
In the afternoon we had such a great choice of activities it was difficult to decide what to do first! Some remained in the Cathedral for a time and explored it further, but others walked across to the nearby Museum of Religious Life and Art. Completed in the 1990s, this stands on the site of the original Bishop’s Castle. Here there are fascinating exhibits of artefacts and explanations covering all the major world religions, as well as a café where we could have lunch.

 
Across the road from the museum is Provand’s Lordship. It dates from 1471 and is the last survivor of around 40 ecclesiastical buildings which in the past surrounded the Cathedral. It is thus the oldest house in Glasgow still standing and is now a museum detailing its history. At its rear is a beautiful cloistered physic garden: the St Nicholas garden. This was a particularly peaceful spot where those of us who had chosen to have a picnic lunch could sit.

 
Another choice was a walk through the Glasgow Necropolis, the vast Victorian burial ground covering the hill which overlooks the cathedral. It opened in 1832 and houses a magnificent array of Victorian monuments to the ‘great and the good’ of a city proud of its industrial heritage and place in the then British Empire. The suggested trail route led passed many of the most decorative and interesting memorials.

 
Our day of pilgrimage ended with a short talk by Scott on the life and ministry of Revd George Matheson, the well known Victorian minister, who is buried with other members of his family in the Necropolis. George Matheson was blind from his late teens but became a renowned preacher and author of many books. He is best known today for his hymn ‘O Love that wilt not let me go’, which we sang together at the close. Many of us then walked up the hill to the Matheson family grave where Scott laid some flowers.

 
Our journey home was trouble free and we arrived back shortly after 6.00pm, tired but full of joy at having experienced so much in each other’s company. Friendships had deepened or new ones had begun, new places had been visited or familiar ones had provided new insights, sentiments echoed by the words from our pilgrimage pamphlet: ‘Pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to a sacred site. The travelling and the destination are inseparable ... It is in the action of travelling, of encountering the new and the unfamiliar, of allowing ourselves time and space away from the routine of everyday life that we receive insights and spiritual growth.’ (Oxford Diocese Pilgrimage Leaflet)

Further photographs of the Pilgrimager to Glasgow can be found in the Gallery
 
 

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Quote

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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