100 Years at Bridge of Weir

Last Saturday evening I found myself in Bridge of Weir. The choir from St Mary’s Cathedral (well, as many of the choir as could fit) went down to Bridge of Weir Episcopal Church to sing Evensong as part of their centenary celebrations. I went principally because someone was needed to sing the versicles for them to make their responses to. Rose responses, Noble in B Minor, Batten’s O Sing Joyfully, an upbeat sermon from the Dean and hearty hymn singing helped usher a second 100 years in for this congregation.

People often presume that I only like the splendor and the pomp of a big cathedral occasion but then people presume quite a lot of things about me that turn out not to be quite the way things really are. That Evensong was a brilliant way to spend a Saturday evensong, as much for the stories from people over the bunfight as for the worship. Congratulations to the whole congregation at St Mary’s Bridge of Weir and to Colum McGranaghan their priest as they reach this milestone and look forward into the future.


  1. Elizabeth says

    Okay, I can’t resist this opportunity to clear up yet another expat confusion (there are so many). What, pray tell, is a bunfight? I have heard of them, and possibly participated in them, but am uncertain as to what they really are!

  2. Bunfight
    – noun
    1. The feeding of groups of people with buns, sandwiches and esp sausage rolls.
    2. The liturgical throwing of buns in the liturgy of the Western Church. Takes place after the great Amen at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. See also liturgical bun recipes.
    3. Fuddle (informal)

  3. Elizabeth says

    See, I *knew* I’d participated in such things. Yet another confusion resolved!

  4. Kennedy says

    In the Presbyterian tradition the elements offered for the bunfight are known as the ‘purvey’, as in ‘The John Knox Free Church does a lovely purvey’.

  5. Kelvin says

    Thanks Kennedy.

    Now you mention it, I have heard that word before. It is one of those words (like, “intimations”) which one just wants to steal.

    “Purvey” and “intimations” are both words which might or might not be camp, and are all the more delicious for so being.

    Is there a dictionary of camp ecclesiastical English useage anywhere online? If not, there should be.

  6. I understand that a few years ago the film Four Weddings and a Funeral was known in some quarters as Five Co-Op Purveys!

  7. I have no desire to steal either purvey or intimations. Both horrid pretentious words. But I suppose my set of words would seem equally wrong to the British ear (pot-luck, coffee, reception…)

  8. Fiona says

    Ah I remember the purvey from Sunday School picnics when I was little! A white cardboard box containing a sausage roll, a sandwich, a cake and a biscuit! Happy memories – now vegetarian;-)

  9. Now I thought purvey was only after funerals and bunfight for the happier occasions.

    Intimations doesn’t do it for me. It just sounds too…. what?… intimate?

  10. Kelvin says

    Mother Ruth, can I suggest that you try different ways of pronouncing “intimations”. I’m sure you will see the benefit.

    Layclerk – “5 Co-op Purveys” – excellent.

    Kimberly – “pot-luck” sounds rather more exciting than a purvey. Am I right in suspecting that sausage rolls are not involved in a pot-luck? If that is the case, they are obviously different things.

    Bridge of Weir were serving rather excellent looking sausages along with their other fare. I’m sausage-free at the moment, but looked on with jealous eyes.

  11. sausage rolls are not, but pigs-in-blankets may be

  12. When I was a curate in Perth, the term “baked-meats” was sometimes used to describe a purvey.

    As in, “Where are the baked-meats after the funeral?”

  13. did they do mostly burials in Perth?

  14. No, quite a lot went to the Crem. For quite a long time, Perth Crem was the most northerly Crem in the UK, which meant that it was a pretty busy place and quite long journeys were part of a lot of the funerals.

  15. that makes the phrase more sinister.

  16. Nothing wrong with the expression “pot-luck”. Anything endorsed by Mr Charles Pooter in “The Diary of a Nobody” is certainly acceptable to the British ear.

    June 7.—A dreadful annoyance. Met Mr. Franching, who lives at Peckham, and who is a great swell in his way. I ventured to ask him to come home to meat-tea, and take pot-luck.

  17. ah, yes. the perfect quotation: allowing the British to recognize the phrase and to gently laugh at the vulgarity of it all at once. How very apt.

  18. Roddy says

    Sausage rolls? Hmmm….. In some spheres of the British military they’re known as “Labrador’s Ar*eholes” from the end on appearance of said comestible.

    Never in the Royal Army Medical Corps though. Oh no.

  19. Re Perth’s claim to crematorial northerliness – that must have been a very long time ago (perhaps a feature of many of Perth’s claims to fame) as Aberdeen cetainly had a crem in the 1930s
    Before Layclerk gets his twopenceworth in – not to my personal knowledge, but there was a famous scandal concerning the reclamation and re-use of coffins which still resonates amongst the elderly of Aberdeen to this day.

  20. Kelvin says

    Why did they come from Thurso to Perth to be cremated then? Was the Aberdeen one out of commission for a while, I wonder.

  21. Christina says

    From Thurso it is probably as quick a journey to Perth down the A9 as it is across to Aberdeen. The train is much more regular that way.

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