John Gibson: It must be a secret at the kirk

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The old place han’t been the same since the legendary – yes legendary – Ronnie Selby Wright was in charge. I can still picture him, spaniel at his heels, shuffling to the Canongate Kirk manse door.

“Selby” was the stuff that C of S ministers traditionally were made of. You wouldn’t see many of his ilk at the latest Assembly. Coming back to the Canongate, which post-Selby, I feel, has had only one worthy successor in its pulpit in Charlie Robertson, the current heid bummer (how irreverent can one get?) is Neil Gardner.

What brings him to mind – he’s no hot gospeller, no Elmer Gantry – is this letter to the locals. ‘‘Dear Neighbour,’’ it starts, “Every year we at Canongate Kirk have a fundraising event in aid of a current worthy cause in which we seek to provide local businesses with opportunity also to become involved.”

Their admirable chosen charity is Help for Heroes. The coffee morning includes tombola, baking, books and “nearly new” stalls. Presumably the well-heeled congregation will be chipping in significantly. A wee bit odd that the letter is signed by the session clerk, not by the kirk’s best man who is hardly a kent face among his parishioners.

The letter, alas, is a tad short on info. It doesn’t divulge where or when the event will be held. If you do hear the Rev Gardner hollering “roll up, roll up, folks” at the tombola, do let me know. May the Lord be with him.

Regular guy

By rights this is a story that should run and run. Prunes are making a comeback. My regular readers will appreciate the news. Thanks to plugging from Waitrose and Hest Blumenthal, sales have risen 8.8 per cent this past year.

What about the custard? Waitrose won’t say but prunes without custard can be likened to a horse without a carriage at the altar.