Its now Wednesday evening and I find myself in Banchory, reflecting on my visit . Yesterday was an interesting day. We were visiting the churches in the town of Stonehaven. It was good to meet up with Rev Fyfe Blair. Fyfe is the minister of Fetteresso Parish. Martha and myself had visited his congregation in July last year to celebrate with them the 200th Anniversary of the present church building. This time he was going to introduce us to the amazing carers who work out of the Crossreach Home known as the Bungalow in Stonehaven. It was wonderful to meet Eddie and Scott and Ashleigh the residents whose home it is. Kathleen the unit manger explains to me that she has to be mindful that she is coming into their home each day. This means she has torealise the importance of making sure the home reflects the personalities of the residents.
We received a wondeful welcome from the residents and staff. I was even more impressed by the fantastic song composed by Derek Keith, the Unit manager's husband. The song entitled Moderator Rap was a great hit with everyone. Have a listen to Kathleen as she explains about the work that goes on in the Bungalow.
At lunchtime I met up with Rev Maggie the minister of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Rev Roslyn Duncan the other Church of Scotland minister in the town. Roslyn spent some time explaining the issues facing the community due to the flooding. "Stonehaven has gone through a very difficult crisis over the past few months" she explains. Last November a freak gale engulfed the town with waves rising to unprecedented heights. It meant that many people found themselves having to clear up a mess because of flooding. Others had to find alternative accommodation while their homes dried out.
A few days before Christmas 2012 there was a spell of continuous rain throughout many parts of Scotland. In Stonehaven the fields above the town were absolutely saturated. The water had nowhere to go so it started to run down in the main street. The River Carron bust its banks and the result was that once again many of the people who had been affected the month before by the freak gale found themselves in the same position.
This time the difficulty was even more depressing. A great number of people either had no insurance or had excess clauses in their Insurance polices some of them up to £5000. This of course meant that a great deal of potential claims have never reached the insurance Companies. However it was heartening to see a community pulling together and to meet the band of volunteers who work out of the foreshore building acquiring goods that can be passed on to the flood victims.
In the evening I gave a talk to around 40 people about the challenges of being a church that is open for everyone in the community. A church for all ages. A Church without Walls!
When the car drew up outside our hotel last night in Sauchieburn I was every so grateful to our wonderful host Ronnie Gall. He had worked hard to ensure that our first leg of the visit to Kincardine and Deeside had been successful. The proof of the success was I went out like a light. when my head hit the pillow.
I might say I was glad to waken this morning thinking to myself, another day, another group of visits and yes another hotel. All this i will leave for another blog