St Mary's Church, Aberfoyle

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Alastair Durie 's Talk 12th March 2014


The Sabbath - The do's and Don'ts


Alastair Durie is a well known Academic, Historian and Researcher in Genealogy, currently a senior lecturer at Stirling University and at the Open University.  He gives talks, renowned for their wit and penetration, throughout Scotland and overseas.


He is a Lay Reader with the Church of Scotland.


So who better than to talk about the Scottish Sabbath !?


Ranging from the origins of Presbyterianism to the present day, Alastair's talk gave endless amusement to an audience drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and localities.


Having exerted control through imposing the Do Not's, Alastair maintained that the Kirk was originally taking control of the lives of the population in order to establish and maintain its influence.  Having got control, one could argue that the Kirk has been having to relinquish this control over several centuries, to the present day when few of the old restrictions seem to apply.


Even in our own lifetime, we can remember having no sport or shopping on the Sabbath.  Even having to be a ‘bona fide' traveller to get a drink !  A matter of 3 miles or so it was thought.  And signing a register at the Hotel(not a Pub) to prove it on each occasion.


He finished his talk by suggesting that perhaps we have relaxed a little too much.   Perhaps Sundays should be a time for peace and reflection when at the very least it would be acceptable NOT to answer emails and NOT to use the mobile telephone.


We thank Alastair for a most entertaining and amusing talk.

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Alastair Durie on the Scottish Sabbath
St Mary's Harvest Festival - the chancel
St Mary's Harvest Festival - the chancel

St Mary's Church   Main Street  Aberfoyle   FK8 3UG  UK  01877 382887
A charity registered in Scotland: SC023266
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