MEMBERS of the Bishop of Edinburgh's
flock mostly have two legs, not four, but this was the Rt Revd John
Armes contemplating church life in the Borders region of the
Episcopal Church of Scotland during the autumn diocesan synod.
For the first time in anybody's memory, it had been
proposed that the synod should be held outside the city of
Edinburgh. Members from the 11 Scottish Episcopal congregations in
the Borders region had previously had to journey anything up to 50
miles to get to the city; so it was suggested that, for once,
travel should be in the opposite direction.
Dr Richard Crockett, one of the lay representatives,
said that finding a suitable meeting place had not been easy: "The
problem was that none of the local 'Piskie' churches had enough
space to cope with an attendance of around 100 people."
So the Church of Scotland came to the rescue in
Galashiels, at the Kirk Session of Old Parish and St Paul's. "In an
historic first", Dr Crockett said, "the synod eucharist and formal
business was held in their fine Victorian red sandstone building, a
prominent landmark overlooking the town nestling in the valley of
the Gala Water."