To the Salvation Army

To Govan Corps of the Salvation Army last night for the installation of their new Chief Secretary, Lieut-Col Bill Cochrane. Apart from a single family funeral, it is I think, the first time that I’ve been back to Salvation Army since I left it at the age of 16 or so. Last night’s visit was because I was acting as a Big-Wig’s Substitute.

It was a very happy occasion and one cannot help but be impressed at the sight of a full hall of people singing with great conviction and enthusiasm on a wet Friday night in Govan. Govan Band played with great vigour though at a speed and a volume which surprised me. 

It is very strange to go back to it all. I can see very clearly what I have come from and what helped to form me. The idea that others can lead you in worship by their musical excellence was as much at the centre of last night’s worship as it will be at tomorrow’s Evensong. The signs and symbols are different ones but the principles are basically the same.

I was struck too by how much the forms of worship of both where I came from and that which I have found satisfying in adult life are influenced so deeply by Victorian sensibilities.

For the first time in very many weeks, I arrived home last night and poured myself a welcome tot of whisky and enjoyed the peace and quiet of knowing who I am and where I am from.

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