Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tea shops and stools of repentance

Repentance seat, Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews
Candidates' Conference, St Andrews... last of 5.

Having arrived here at morning tea time on Friday to meet the new folks, I was able to wander aboot the toon on Saturday morning while they were in a safeguarding session.
This was a wee wander with a purpose: wanted to revisit Holy Trinity Kirk in St Andrews to take a few more pic's.  Quality a little better than last time, but suspect a higher level camera is needed really, and should have taken the tripod.  Anyway, was a nice Knoxian/ discipline jaunt and the beadle was soooo incredibly lovely and enthusiastic about the treasures housed around the kirk.  Not only did he obligingly allow me to take the bits and pieces off the repentance seat [left] for a clearer pic, he allowed me into the locked room where I knew smaller stools of repentance were tucked away [right] to take pic's as well.
Stool of repentance, Holy Trinity, St Andrews.
Some very nice, tho modern, carvings in there, and then he opened up a door in which a swag of beautifully polished communion silver was stored.
He was lovely and I was a happy amateur historian :)

I do like my supervisor's way of describing how quickly Reformation was accepted in St Andrews;
the sense that change was so rapid that the good folk of St Andrews woke up Catholic and went to bed Protestant.  And the notion of iconoclasm as Protestants having a 'smashing time'.  St Andrews is a wonderful place for just wandering around and going 'ooh' as you walk past various buildings with various bits of history [yup, the technical term!] but it's also rather excellent for the sheer amount of tea shops.  Two were sampled yesterday....

Meanwhile, back at the conference, I suspect I am probably a nerdy geek-girl but I quite enjoy these things.  I think it's the people-factor thing.  I've worked out there are two ways to approach conference:
1/ pick the thing to pieces and be very critical and set up a circle of negativity...and probably in the process hate every minute, or/
2/ just hunker down and find the good stuff - and there is good stuff and good craic as well.  It's very cool that folk are so willing to give of their time and experience and it is also excellent to see all the folk you're training with - and to meet the new folks.  There's a sense of support and solidarity about it all that I like.  But I am 'miss silver lining girl' as a former spiritual director once noted!
The only down-side, really, is that I am indescribably tired and my brain feels like mush, and there's so much work to do before handing this in on the morning of the 12th for the Board on the 17th - but the work is coming along much more happily now and a happier supervisor makes for a happier supervisee.


Angus Macdonald said...

A great place for a game of golf.


Unknown said...

I LOVE this Blog Nik! I'm visiting the church myself next Wednesday, thanks to the inspiration your article has provided me with.

Unknown said...

It would be great to meet up for a chat sometime if you like Nik. Check my profile out on Blogger - I have one here also. E mail me at

PS - don't worry; I'm married. This approach is based purely on mutual academic interest.

Nik said...

One of the more 'modern' bits I thought quite spectacular: they have an alabaster pulpit, in which they've installed a floor light. The glowing pulpit is rather ethereal! :)
Thanks for dropping by.

Unknown said...

Your article inspired me to visit yesterday (10th Oct). I saw 'the bench'. George was really nice to me, and afforded me some 'special access', as it seems he did with you also Nik. Those views are very special indeed. Worth the journey,shall we say.
Checked website today. Damn it! I missed the Old Tom Morris memorial stone. I'll get it next trip. It seems to be on outside wall.