Sunday 20 November 2011: St Kessog
I was at Luss Parish Kirk today to read the lesson. Luss - about which I blipped on 13th June this year - is outside the Argyll & Bute constituency but only about an hour from my house.
It was a very enjoyable service in a very beautiful place. The Minister, the Rev Dane Sherrard, is a charismatic leader and much is happening as a result of many fascinating initiatives including the development of "green pilgrimage".
The church is the venue for over 150 weddings a year and its services are broadcast on the internet. Yet it is also a very ancient place of worship - in fact probably one of the most ancient Christian sites in Scotlalnd, having celebrated its 1500th anniversary last year.
St Kessog (pictured here - there is a fourteenth century image of him in the church) is reputed to have come to the place in 510 and to have spent the last decade of his life there, using it as his base to tour Scotland. Murdered in 520, his crozier is alleged to have been carried in front of the Scottish army at Bannockburn and Luss thereafter became a place of pilgrimage - something that the present Minister and Church have renewed by the imaginative development of the Kirk Glebe and by the establishment of a number of other facilities including an excellent interpretative centre, designed by Dane's wife.
My other host today was the Provost of Argyll & Bute, Cllr Billy Petrie who was also in one of my blips in August and who has , incredibly, served as a local authority councillor for 47 years and been the civic head of three areas - Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Argyll & Bute. Both of those achievements must be records.
He is also a member of the Kirk in Luss.