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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE
ISSUE 18 Sunday 19th July 2020.
Kilrenny Church website
East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:
0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178.
Worship and personal reflection:
''Our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
Matthew 13: 24-30, and 36-43
This week’s lectionary reading from Matthew is another parable, and the scenario is similar to last week’s in that it involves a sower sowing seed.
24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
28"'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
29"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.
30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"
36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
37He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.
38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,
39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
42They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Praise CH4 189
“Be still for the presence of the Lord.”
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here
Come bow before Him now
With reverence and fear
In Him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy One is here
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour He is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant King of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister His grace
No work too hard for Him
In faith receive from Him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
After explaining the parable of the seed and different types of ground, Matthew’s Jesus again employs an agricultural setting for the parable concerning weeds sown and growing among the wheat crop.
The audience seems to comprise both disciples, the audience for 13:18-23, and crowds (13:34, 36).
The parable’s scenario is initially similar to that of the previous parable in that it involves a sower sowing seed (13:3-9). The introduction stresses that this sower sows “good seed in his field,” and as with the previous parable, the seed experiences difficulties. This time, the difficulties involve not the types of ground on which it falls, but the actions of an enemy person. “While everyone was asleep,” this enemy sows different seed, namely weeds or literally the common and poisonous “darnel,” among the wheat (13:25). And when the slaves propose removing the darnel from the field, the owner tells them to leave the wheat and the weeds growing together until harvest time (13:29-30). (Farmers of today run up and down the field in a tractor spraying crops with selective weed killer to remove the unwanted ‘weeds’, an option which wasn’t there in Jesus’ time!)
At verses 30-31, Matthew’s Jesus ends the parable and immediately begins another. In fact, he tells two more parables before offering an interpretation of the wheat and the weeds after being prompted to do so by the disciples (13:36).
Jesus’ interpretation treats most of the parable as an allegory. (i.e. a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.) As in the parable of the sower he identifies the sower as himself, the Son of Man. The activity of sowing depicts his ministry of proclaiming and demonstrating (in healings and exorcisms for example) the presence of God’s empire or saving presence (1:21-23; 4:17).
Jesus has also been identified previously as a householder or “master of the house” (10:25, the same word), as “Master” or Lord (8:2, 6, 8; 12:8), and as having slaves, an image for his disciples (10:24-25). In this parable, verse 41 indicates that ‘Son of Man’, denotes Jesus role as the eschatological judge. (Eschatology is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end times.”) This interpretation of the ‘Son of Man’ reflects the figure of Daniel 7:13-14 whom God appoints as an agent of God’s purposes and rule after ending the empires of the world. The evoking of this tradition here puts his “sowing” activity and its impact into the perspective of the final judgment and end of the world’s empires. This dimension was missing from the earlier parable in 13:3-9.
The field where Jesus sows is identified as “the world,” the realm of everyday political, economic, social, and religious life dominated by Roman imperial power. Jesus’ activity invades this sphere of empire to sow “good seed” concerning another empire (“the word about the empire” 13:19). In its midst, he forms a distinct community. This community comprises “the children of the empire” who live lives shaped by God’s empire and committed to doing the will of God (12:50). In the judgment the Son of Man divides “the righteous” from “all causes of sin and evildoers” (particularly the Jerusalem-based leaders who resist Jesus). He burns the weeds, and the righteous enjoy an existence marked by light and life, God’s saving presence (4:15-16). The parable ends with the familiar appeal to discern the significance of Jesus’ words and live appropriately in the present toward this future.
While the parable’s symbolism is readily accessible, the parable’s presentation of two radically different types of plants presents a view of human beings that hardly reflects the complexity of human life. While some readily divide the world neatly into “Christians” (the righteous) and “non-Christians” (evildoers), both the Gospel and our experience tell us that such categories are difficult to discern at best. Most of us, including church-goers, comprise both types of plant, and are not “purely” one or the other. Labelling people as ‘children of the devil’ hardly facilitates our recognising all people as bearing the image of God! The parable warns us that now is not the time to be presuming to know final outcomes.
To quote the servants, “Where then did these weeds come from?” Who has not at some point asked that question? You may not have used these same words and you may not have spoken it aloud, but I’m sure everyone has, at some point, asked the same question. The people who gathered on that beach to hear Jesus tell them stories weren’t much different. They had experienced oppression from Rome. Even among their own people, they had watched the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.
Life wasn’t fair. How could God allow his people to continue to suffer, while evil seemed to flourish around them? When would Messiah deliver them from this miserable existence, and bring judgment to Israel’s oppressors? Yet, there is something greater than justice here. There is divine forgiveness, the willingness to let weeds and wheat grow together for a season because they are somehow inseparable, the recognition that revenge resolves nothing, but only increases evil. Whether we are always capable of living in the light of that truth, it is clear from this parable, clearer still from the cross, that forgiveness and forbearance are God’s way of working with a broken world. This approach may leave us profoundly uneasy, even at odds with God, but without this forbearance, this forgiveness, not one of us stands a chance.
There were people in Our Lord’s time who wanted him to separate the bad from the good as well. Among them were people who claimed the moral high ground, the Pharisees for example, whose name means “the separated ones.” Even John the Baptist expected Jesus to separate the cream from the skim, to have only holy people around him. John foretold that Our Lord would separate the chaff from the wheat. He said (Mt 3:12) “He will gather his wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.” That’s precisely what Our Lord didn’t do. He had all sorts of people around him, a rainbow coalition of people, the learned, the ignorant, the good-living, the bad living, tax-collectors, the lot. What in God’s name is he doing, they said, why doesn’t he get down to business? Why doesn’t he weed them out?
As any gardener knows, weeding can be the greatest threat of all to the life of the young seedling. At first, the problem is one of identifying which is which. The weeds must be left until the seedling can be clearly recognised. Even then, removing the weeds may pose an even greater threat. It might sever the seedling’s root system. Often the weed brings the seedling away with it.
In the case of human beings, it is an even more risky business. “Weeding-out” has no history of success which doesn’t seem to curb people’s passion for it. Seventy years after Hitler’s final solution, the horrendous weeding out of six million Jews in concentration camps, the Bosnian Serbs attempted the brutal policy of “ethnic cleansing.” Race, religion, colour, sex, politics are still considered ready-reckoners for identifying society’s ‘weeds’.
Increasing power over nature provides new and sinister instruments for weeding out. The unborn child, the seed of life is threatened with abortion. At the other end of life, euthanasia is proposed as the final solution for the new Jews, the old, the maimed, the incurables and the burdensome. Right through life, the weeding-out continues remorselessly.
Weeding out is not confined to faceless bureaucracy. We’re all tempted to try our hand at it. We are sharp at spotting the undesirables, the troublemakers, the misfits. One shudders to think of the people who might have been weeded out if God had not chosen to intervene. Probably most of the saints in the calendar. Peter, after his triple denial in the crucifixion crisis should have been weeded out for failing the leadership test. (Strange isn’t it, that Christ never weeded out Judas?) The church did not always show her master’s tolerance. Galileo could testify to that. The spirit of the Inquisition lives on. Excommunications may be out of fashion, but old habits die hard.
The parable of the weeds is starkly simple and yet widely ignored. To the question “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” the answer of Jesus is a categorical “No.” And the reason is self-evident. Weeding out is God’s prerogative; life would be so much better for everybody, if only we would leave it to him.
Our preoccupation with the weeds must not prevent us from recognising the wondrous conclusion of the parable: how indeed the harvest happens, an abundance of wheat is gathered in, enough to make landowner and farm hands rejoice together. The weeds in the field have no power to stop the realisation of this bounty. The seed was good, and it bore, through adversity, a fruitful harvest. And so, the parable ends on a note of brilliant triumph about that harvest: “the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (v. 43).
These parables show us that God’s sovereign rule over the world is not straight forward. God gave humanity freedom of choice. Would we want our every thought and action; our choices, to be judged in the scales of his absolute holiness? These parables are all about waiting, and waiting is what we find difficult. The farmer waits for harvest-time, the birds wait for small fruits to ripen on trees and bushes; the baker must wait for the yeast to grow in the dough before baking. This is what the kingdom of God is like. Jesus followers did not want to wait. If the kingdom was present where Jesus was and coming to birth in what he was doing, then they wanted the whole thing straight away. In the parable the servants want to go straight away into the cornfield and root out the weeds. The farmer stops them because he could see that they were likely to pull up wheat as well.
In this parable the field is the world, this baffling blend of beauty and brokenness which one day will be sifted which is an encouragement. It won’t be a matter of introducing a good kingdom that was not there before, but of collecting out of God’s world ‘all causes of sin and evildoers’
So, at the heart of the parable of wheat and weeds is patience; not just of servants who have to wait and watch, but also the patience of God himself. God did not and does not enjoy the sight of a cornfield with weeds all over the place. The God of compassion would not want to declare harvest when both wheat and weeds are destroyed together. We who live between Calvary and Easter know that God did indeed act suddenly and dramatically at that moment, putting the world to rights and what we are now awaiting is the outworking of those events. We wait with patience, not like ones in a darkened room but like ones who carry the light within them.
Evil is real, but it is not ultimate. It never has the last word. Greater by far are those who shine in their Father’s kingdom, those who mirror the bright light of divine compassion. Such was one person who, amid the horrors of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, found faith and hope enough to write a prayer. This prayer points us past the enemy’s evil action to the wonder of the harvest. It attests that landowner’s forbearance is not foolishness, but wisdom. Let us now dare to pray this prayer.
“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will,
but also those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted;
remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering
our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart which has grown out of all of this,
and when they come to judgment,
let all the fruits which we have born be their forgiveness. Amen.
As a postscript, a couple of weeks ago, Rev Michael Allardice asked a question and invited responses;
“Could we devote a small section of the Newsletter for people to put forward their thoughts/wishes/hopes for a different world from the one we’ve so recently left behind us? These wouldn’t need to be long or earth-shattering, but ideas that you’d like to put forward for a better, kinder world, one in which we’ve learned at least some of the lessons that Lockdown and Covid-19 has taught us.”
In answer to that I’ll give you an opinion attributed to Robert Horton, the editor of The Lancet;
Horton believes this pandemic is a watershed moment in history, an event that is much larger than simply a crisis in health. “Covid-19 has held a mirror up to our society,” he says, “and forced us to look at who really is vulnerable, who really does make society work, who has to literally put their lives on the line while the rest of us are secluded in our houses. We’ve discovered something about ourselves that we may have been conveniently able to hide before but we can’t hide any more. And so, the question is what do we do with that knowledge now?”
While he doesn’t have an answer to that question, he does believe that the ‘moral provocation’ of Covid-19 is not one that we can afford to ignore. Can we all ignore that ‘moral provocation’, or can ‘rewards’ be recalibrated to a person’s value to society? Being an old cynic, I doubt it?
PRAISE CH4 154 “Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder”
(which affirms the theme of salvation from the Matthew passage)
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
(Thanks to George for leading worship this week)
Let us Pray (Allan)
A prayer for healing and peace.
You promised to listen as we prayed,
Hear this prayer as we ask for the strength of heart and mind to see beyond ourselves and to address the needs of others.
We ask you to hold in your embrace the terminally ill, those in intensive care and other hospital wards, and those outside the hospital system.
We ask for your blessings on all the doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers working tirelessly to give peace and compassion to those in their charge.
We pray for the homeless and vulnerable in our society. Put an arm around them, keep them safe in a dangerous world and guide our leaders to bring about change to our welfare system, bring economic justice and eliminate the need for people to live this way.
We pray for the mental health and well being of all in our community but particularly the young. Some find it hard to cope with the complex and strange world they now inhabit. Give them access to proper health care and health workers who can guide them through the maze of this modern world.
Hear our prayers for the very young, particularly for the orphaned, the neglected, the abused and those who live in fear of violence, disease and warfare. There are so many conflicts in the world and always it’s the children who suffer, merciful Father bring peace and protection to all those who barely survive in these broken places.
Finally, we pray for your creation, our world, our home. We have seen how quickly the very air we breathe has improved during lock down, but we have so much more to do to right the wrongs we have inflicted on her. This generation has a huge responsibility to repair the damage we have done, Heavenly Father be our strength and guide in this and all things. Amen
And our Lord's prayer,
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev Ian W. F. Hamilton
“MASTERPIECE ON THE BACK OF A MENU!”
Vienna is known as the world capital of music! So many of the most famous composers were either born or worked there, Mozart, Strauss, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert and many others.
No visit to Vienna is complete without entering the magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Completed in 1160, it is the most important house of prayer in Austria and was the religious seat of the Holy Roman Emperors for hundreds of years.
Young Mozart played the organ in St. Stephen’s Cathedral and it was there that he married his beloved Constanze. The Cathedral records indicate that two of his six children were baptised there.
However just outside the Cathedral in St. Stephen’s Square we discover Vienna’s Classical Music Walk of Fame, similar to the one in Hollywood. The route stretches from the Square to the famous Theater an der Wein and it has “stars” embedded in the pavement to commemorate prominent personalities in the world of classical music.
The star I wish to focus on is Franz Schubert, because I also visited his birthplace in the world music capital.
The house, where Schubert was born on 31st January 1797, is now a museum. The original apartment was hardly built to house such a large family as it only consisted of one room plus a little smokehouse-cum-kitchen with an open fire. Nowadays the major part of the museum top floor is devoted to Schubert’s memory, including information about his musical development, his friends and the high and low points in his life. The most fascinating exhibit there is Schubert’s spectacles!
This Viennese composer is among the “greats” hence his “Star” on the pavement outside the famous Cathedral. However Schubert, like many of the musical greats never lived to know his greatness. His beginnings in that crowded apartment were so humble and his early life so poor that at times he didn’t even have enough money to buy the paper on which he would write his masterpieces of tomorrow.
One day Schubert and some friends were in a Viennese tavern, talking and drinking, the last place on earth in which to compose music! But in the middle of the clanking of the mugs and babble of the voices Schubert sat glancing over some poems a friend had given him.
“I have a lovely melody in my head,” he exclaimed, “if only I had some paper with lines on it I could set it down.” A friend grabbed a menu from a neighbouring table, quickly ruled five lines on the back of it and handed it to young Schubert. The babble and the clanking went on, but there in the midst of it all was born the most passionate, imperishable melody, “Schubert’s Serenade” – one that will live forever, from the pen of an all-time “great”.
History is full of people who rose from the humblest of beginnings to true greatness…….and indeed, in the GOD of HISTORY is this concept PERSONIFIED to perfection! (Ian)
Postcard from Kingskettle
(Rev Michael Allardice)
It was the Philosopher Socrates who is quoted as stating “that the unexamined life is not worth living”. While his words sound harsh, and many would disagree with his methods of examination, the point Socrates was making was a good one: we ought to take time to understand our motivations, drivers and biases. No doubt Socrates was heavily influenced by one of the maxims written on the walls at the Oracle of Delphi: “Know thyself”. Taking time to know thyself or to examine our lives is not easy. Benjamin Franklin (always good for a quote) argues that: "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self."
Franklin was right. One of the hardest things any of us can do is to know ourselves truly. When Jesus healed the paralysed man He sensed the anger in the hearts of the Teachers of the Law who were present (Luke 5: 22). For so many of us, seeing the faults or problems in someone else can be easy, but seeing the failings in our own lives is so much harder. Most of the time we are so caught up in the day-to-day concerns of work, family, Church, or other things that we have very little time to step back and think of the larger issues in life or where life is taking us to. However, for many people, these past few months have provided the space and time to reflect on things and ask themselves some of the deeper questions they have probably been avoiding or not had the energy to address.
I know from conversations with friends and colleagues that a number of them have been re-appraising their direction in life. This seems to be a trend, listening to Radio discussions this re-appraisal seems to be a wide-spread phenomenon. Having been through a similar process when I was in my thirties, taking the leap from the safety of the known into the unknown – in my case leaving a full-time job and going to University – is never easy, but often extremely worthwhile in the long run. Some people see a return to education as a route to new horizons, others explore their creative nature and decide to turn that into a new career.
Seeking opportunity is important, so often we leave school with little idea of what really motivates us and then find ourselves doing things we don’t enjoy or have little aptitude for. It’s interesting that even those who’ve benefitted from an excellent education and been high achievers in their field can often still feel that their heart is tugging them in another direction. Watch any of the plethora of TV programmes such as Master Chef, Bake-off or the Great British Sewing Bee, and you’ll see people who are highly skilled in their professional lives but are still looking for that thing that really makes them feel complete. In my day-job I often have conversations with students who are very intelligent but studying the wrong course – sometimes family pressure or school preference means they find themselves doing subjects they are perfectly able to do but have little interest in – my advice to them frequently is to listen to their heart and follow that dream, otherwise they may spend many unhappy years doing something they don’t like but feel they have to!
One other aspect of this new-found reflection is the increasing interest in faith that has seen many churches gain audiences for their online services that are much larger than the numbers of people in the pews prior to lockdown. Again, this suggests that many people are taking time to ask themselves some of the bigger questions of life: what is it all about; what gives our lives meaning; how can we live a good life? Rarely do we have time in the hurley burley of our everyday lives to ask such fundamental questions or explore the possible answers, so it is good to see that so many people are taking the time to explore faith, of whatever kind, and ask these vital questions.
I hope that during these past few months each of you has had the opportunity to reflect on where you are and what you are doing? For many of you, that will probably result in no change, which is fine: a reflection that confirms that you are in a good place is just as important as one that disrupts your equilibrium. However, for a few of you, this will have been a time of challenge and possibly change. The challenge Jesus sets us is not that we are discomforted, but how we respond to these issues: are we going to run from the challenges or are we going to stand firm in faith?
In His relationships with His disciples Jesus never encouraged blind faith but, in His teaching, He encouraged questions and doubts. Sometimes we get hung up on thinking that we must not question our faith, in fact the opposite is true: questions are to be encouraged, doubts are understandable, but we need to reflect on where they come from and prayerfully consider how we respond to our questions.
Hopefully, we have all had some time to reflect on who we are and what we are doing. This time of lockdown is coming to an end soon, but we should cherish the opportunity it has given us to take stock and ask ourselves the question: how worthwhile is the life we are living and what, if anything, do we need to change?
Additional worship & Personal Prayers
Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 08:10 Songs of Praise on BBC1 Sunday 1.15 pm.
Church of Scotland - Kirk Services online
www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship Rev Dr Amos Chewachong:
Favourite hymn no. 5
The fact that this is yet another hymn in CH3 but not CH4 probably shows to which generation I belong! I was surprised that I had overlooked this hymn as it was top of the list when I was a young man. It is by an Indian Christian, Narayan Vaman Tilak, recognised as one of India's top poets of the late 19th century and early 20th Century. Possibly, because of his influence Christianity had quite a high profile in the middle of the last century, especially, when the Protestant Churches in South India united to form the Church of South India in 1947, soon after India got its independence from Great Britain. This led to quite a buzz in Britain in the late 40's and early 50's leading to a push for uniting the Protestant churches here but the wide union envisaged never happened. Anyway, here is an English version of the hymn as translated by Nicol Macnicol which are the words in CH3.
One who is all unfit to count
As scholar in Thy school,
Thou of Thy love hast named a friend--
O kindness wonderful!
So weak am I, O gracious Lord,
So all unworthy Thee,
That even the dust upon Thy feet
Outweighs me utterly.
Thou dwellest in unshadowed light,
All sin and shame above--
That Thou shouldst bear our sin and shame,
How can I tell such love?
Ah, did not He the heavenly throne
A little thing esteem,
And not unworthy for my sake
A mortal body deem?
When in His flesh they drove the nails
Did He not all endure?
What name is there to fit a life
So patient and so pure?
So, Love itself in human form,
For love of me He came;
I cannot look upon His face
For shame, for bitter shame
If there is aught of worth in me ,
It comes from Thee alone;
Then keep me safe, for so, O Lord,
Thou keepest but Thine own.
The Kirk Session submitted the documentary evidence and sought the permission of St Andrews Presbytery to re-open Kilrenny Church for Worship. St Andrews Presbytery in response advised that
"No church building will be allowed to open until after the Presbytery meeting which will take place on the 12th of August. This meeting will approve the processes required in this presbytery and appropriate review of the required papers from congregations will take place from that date'.
The Kirk Session trusts that a timely response will be forthcoming allowing worship to recommence on Sunday 16th August. I will keep you informed of progress. (Corinne)
A history lesson
(courtesy of Malcolm)
KILRENNY’S THREE BRAVE VOLUNTEER WARTIME PILOTS
While visiting my family grave (Gourlay and MacDonald) in Anstruther cemetery over the past years I could not help notice on the way out the headstone commemorating the Pryde family.
The Rev J Marshall Pryde was minister at Kilrenny from 1925 till 1947 when Rev Hamish McNab took over the reins. Rev and Mrs Pryde had three sons who offered their services to the country at the outbreak of World War Two. They all enlisted into the RAF and are all buried in the cemetery at Anstruther. On reading their memorial it tells when they died and how old they were but not how they died.
In the past week we have been honouring the brave airmen who took on the Luftwaffe in The Battle of Britain and I just wondered if the three brothers were involved in it. I wondered how I could find out so I contacted a couple of acquaintances who helped out with copies of reports that appeared in the local papers of the time and references to the book “The Democracy of War “Anstruther and Cellardyke in the First World War.
This is their service record and how they met their untimely end.
The oldest brother Squadron Leader George Archibald Marshall Pryde
Born 1910, died age 30 in 1940
Known to his colleagues as GAMP or SCOTTY He was a Pilot Officer from September 2nd 1939 made Flying Officer 3rd September 1935 and Flight Lieutenant in 1937. He was made Squadron Leader 1st August 1939. He was killed on 19th June 1940 when his Blenheim bomber went down over the Mediterranean Sea whilst leading a squadron of planes to defend Malta after Italy declared war. On June 18th his plane had crashed on takeoff but he survived uninjured and the next day he commandeered another Blenheim bomber to try to complete his mission, and he had survived an earlier crash in March 1940 when his Blenheim bomber failed to make height after takeoff in Norfolk). He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The next brother Flying Officer William Symington Pryde
Born 1917, died age 22 in 1939
He was an Acting Pilot Officer from 23rd April 1936, and was promoted to Pilot Officer 27th January 1937 attached to 2nd Armament Training Camp in Aldershot. On 27th October 1938 he became a Flying Officer, but was killed as a result of an aircraft accident in the east of England while on active service on 24th September 1939.
The youngest brother Squadron Leader David Douglas Pryde
Born 1918, died age 24 in 1942
He was made a Pilot Officer on 21st December 1937 and a Flying Officer on 21st July 1939. Within a year he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. His citation describes in detail his courage and resolve: “On 20th May 1940, this officer was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communications centre at Hannapes, France. Despite difficult conditions he succeeded in identifying the target from a very low altitude. Although his aircraft was hit heavily, Flying Officer Pryde climbed to 3,000 feet and executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft subsequently caught fire, but he continued flying and when height could no longer be maintained, the entire crew landed by parachute. Flying Officer Pryde has completed sixteen operational flights during 6 months of war flying and has displayed considerable courage and determination.” One of his crew was taken prisoner but 4 others including David Pryde managed to escape and get back to England. He was made Squadron Leader and took up training duties but went back to operational flying and was killed on 9th June 1942 flying with 77 Squadron in Whitley bomber BD195 when his aircraft was shot down off Brest.
For all three brothers to be Flying Officers must have been a pleasure and honour for the Pryde family but to lose all three in the war must have been terrible. It makes you think of the World War Two film “Saving Private Ryan”.
Why could the British not have done that and brought the last brother home.
But war is not like that.
(Thank you Malcolm, we all have seen the plaque in Kilrenny Church in memory of these three young men. It is fitting we have this information recorded).
Allan & Sybil's Quiz answers
Here are the answers to our canine breeds quiz, hope it wasn’t too rough, rough. (Sorry)
1) Golden Retriever 2) Dalmation 3) Cocker spaniel 4) Dachshund 5) Rottweiler 6) Great Dane 7) Toy Poodle 8) Alsatian 9) West Highland Terrier 10) Jack Russell Terrier 11) Greyhound 12) Pekingese 13) Labrador 14) Border Collie 15) Bloodhound 16) Old English Sheepdog 17) Pointer 18) Saint Bernard 19) Schnauzer 20) Scottish Terrier
Allan & Sybil's Quiz
At this time of year our gardens are looking their best. Here are twenty mixed up plants for you to weed out.
- ANGRY HEAD (9)
- ANY HITCH (8)
- DEHORN ODD RON (12)
- ANGER FROM CHILD (6,8)
- I URGE MAN (8)
- FLU WORSEN (9)
- EEL SO CHUNKY (11)
- OWL PICS (7)
- I MR POSER (8)
- TUNA PIE (7)
- STRUM EACH HYMN (13)
- SMILE CAT (8)
- AIR FEES (7)
- A TAN CORIN (9)
- I DIG LOLA (8)
- ME HID LUPIN (10)
- MANUAL CAP (9)
- WALT SWIM ELIE (5,7)
- GET FROM ETON (6,2,3)
- DEPORT HER OK (3,3,5)
News of those wearing a Dog collar!
Doddie's diary and the trials of Ann They say that stroking a dog can lower your blood pressure and that having a pet dog or cat can cause the production of stress reducing hormones, all supposed to make you healthy. Well really?! Muckle need!
You will have gathered over the weeks that Doddie is an adventurer, an adrenaline junkie, a thrill seeker. The antics that Doddie gets up to must raise my blood pressure and they can certainly elevate my stress levels. A few examples of this week’s activities include the following:-we were walking on a well-known golf course that is at present closed for golf, when he discovers the ‘Burn’ which is channelled into deep stone clad troughs. Surely not, thinks I, it is too narrow and deep, but no, true to form despite my shouts of ‘NO’ his Lemming qualities kick in, and in he plops, water right over his head. It is too steep for him to get out alone so I have to get on hands and knees and haul him out by the scruff of the neck. It must have given him a scare, but he was all for having another go – back on the lead! Another walk took us along the beach from Ardross to Elie. Having anxiously steered him away from rocks that he was going to leap from to say ‘hello’ to another dog, imagine my consternation when his head goes up, interesting smell, and through a hole in the farmers fence he squirms, to a field full of cow pats which he then proceeds to toss in the air. Now no dog should be allowed in fields where livestock may be so you can imagine my frantic calls (stress levels up again), but the only thing that works, is for me to run in the opposite direction and call cheerily ‘bye’ (when all I want to do is strangle him)- back on the lead! Just yesterday we were on yet another walk when I turned to see him tight rope walking along the top of a ‘dyke’ which he then falls off, on to the other side, which is too steep for him to get back over. So once again I have to reach over and haul him back by the scruff of his neck – back on the lead!
I now think I could be quite successful in applying for a risk assessment job and I can certainly be very helpful to farmers, telling them where their fences have holes in them.
I am now frantically stroking the dog to get my ‘Doddie induced’ elevated blood pressure back to normal. The stress levels may take a little longer to subside. It is a good job that he makes me laugh as well!
Sheena and Hamish
It's been quite a while since my last update. I’ve been extremely busy working on 2 art commissions while my sons spent days hammering, sawing and generally slogging their guts out to finish my wonderful new sun-room. As I’m sure you can all imagine, keeping Hamish amused, quiet and out of mischief while all this was going on was quite a challenge. He is quite a demanding wee fellow and knows exactly how to gain my attention whether it’s grabbing the bottom of my trousers, running off with one of my shoes, grabbing a lump of wall plaster or similar dodgy item or zooming round and round the house at a rate of knots with a ‘catch me if you can’ expression on his face. Every day he decides on a different toy to attack and play with. His ultimate favourites however, are ‘his’ empty plastic milk bottles with handles and his squeaky, plastic chicken but all that could change next week. He loves his food and I’m sure he would eat until he exploded if I let him. Last week 5 minutes before his dinner time, he went under the unit in the kitchen and pulled out a tray of 4 dog food cans (weighing more than him) and dragged through to the lounge and laid them at my feet! He’s really enjoying his daily walks up the hill and gets very excited when he sees me take out his lead; despite his tiny stature his wee legs go like pistons. He loves his little cord bed - he loves to sleep in it, jump on it, attack it and drag it about like a best pal.
Wishing everyone well.
Sheena and Hamish xx
The Naughty Choirboy
This little story is, in a way, reminiscent of the well-read book '1984', which was written in 1948 and detailed many forebodings (and some joy) that would occur on, or before, the date of its title.
Likewise, here we have a post-virus tale which covers the present and forecasts what may be about to fall.
Wee Billy, his big sister, Mary, and their Mum were heading for Church for the first time in three months of lockdown. Billy had made it clear that he didn't want to go, and had been persuaded.
"I just want to stay in the garden at home" he said, "then you two can read me all the super stories from the Chronicle that the lovely lady hands out to everyone each Sunday. Now you're telling me that if the Church is open, there won't be a Chronicle."
"Well" replied Mum, "some experts say that the virus will return, and that may close the Churches again, so in the meantime just behave."
Billy was delighted to hear that the chronicle MIGHT start again, but he did continue to be fidgety and disruptive.
"For goodness sake" said his Mother, "behave like your sister, you must stop this noise".
"Who's going to make me?" asked Billy.
His Mum pointed to two visitors from Presbytery who were watching the proceedings at the first Church to be ready for opening.
"See these two men Billy, they're Hushers!"
Memories of Dunoon
The student had visited Dunoon, many times, as far back as she could remember. But now she was in a classroom in a large school in the south side of Scotland's largest city. The teacher, a tall Gaelic speaking Highlander, had asked her to prepare a Scripture lesson, on the "Passover". He was teaching that part of Hebrew history to the class, so it would be an appropriate chapter for the student to deal with.
The student rounded off the lesson by saying, "And all over the world, even to-day, where Jewish families live, they keep the Passover." Immediately a hand was put up "Miss, please miss!" Before the student could ask what was the problem, a frantic pupil, herself from one of the city's most prominent furrier companies, yelled "There are no Jews in Dunoon!" The student remarked, "Is that so? That's a pity."
" No miss!" she said, "My uncle was in Dunoon, and he was the only Jew, but he left." This was the student's opportunity to draw a quick map of the Firth of Clyde on the blackboard, mark in Dunoon, and share three minutes conversation with the pupils.
The student's friend in the college residence came from Dunoon. She travelled home each week-end, and many times the student was invited home with her. She lived in a beautiful tenement (pre "flat" days), on a street corner near Dunoon pier. The sitting room was vast, with five tall windows, so placed that you had an almost 360 degree view - the sea, the town, and the hills behind. The hall was the 'dining-room'. It was a very quiet neighbourhood, and it would seem that most residents were retired doctors, sea captains, bankers etc.
The back garden was one large lawn with a shed for each house. The student's friend's mother was kindness itself, always dignified, a touch like "Mrs Bouquet" of TV fame. She was proud of Dunoon, where her family had lived for generations, and she and her husband were the proverbial "salt of the earth."
But disaster struck. A ground floor house was bought by a couple from Glasgow. That was usually a perfectly welcome addition to the town, but this pair were different. The husband had been in charge of part of Glasgow's tram management. And to remind himself of happy days in the city, he brought with him a tin of every colour of paint used on Glasgow's trams. For some reason he had two garden sheds, and he set out to paint each in the livery of his two favourite tram routes. The effect on the beautifully kept back lawn was unspeakable! Not content with decorating the sheds, he bought a long garden seat and coloured it likewise...........then he started on the bin!
These "incomers" were the only dwellers in the close who did not attend Church on Sunday mornings..........What would they do next?
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.