A long time ago, and in a land far away, I remember The Rev Rosemary Nixon saying something significant to me which I still think true today. (Just once, mind).

She said, in the course of a conversation about my progress through the Scottish Episcopal Church’s exemplary education system, “The trouble is, Kelvin, everyone in Scotland thinks they are an exception”.

Now, by Scotland, I think she meant the SEC. And it is true. It doesn’t matter whether it is financial regulation, charity law, health and safety at work, food safety, child protection or what colour shoes you are expected to wear in the sanctuary. Whatever the norm, law or expectation someone is trying to enforce, the first thing that comes to the Episcopalian mind is, “Oh, I’m sure that does not apply to me”.

It is to do with our history. I blame Bonnie Prince Charlie.


  1. My brother in Christ; believe me, this is not a Scottish thing. I doubt if it is even an Anglican thing. It may be a “chosen people” thing.

  2. A rare moment of Nixon-wisdom indeed. I think this thing about exceptions has also made the SEC the great, wee, comfortable and diverse yet bizarrely quite united church it is today Kelvin!

  3. Elizabeth says

    Wait? You mean . . . we’re not?

  4. Bonnie Prince Charlie gets a lot of stick. I hear he was a good guy who would fit in well in the West End today!

  5. kelvin says

    BPC’s mistress was a member of the congregation that became St Mary’s Cathedral.

  6. So there! He wasn’t a bad guy after all! His choice of Mistresses was obviously to be commended!

  7. But he was a Tory, let us never forget.

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