Christmas Diary

By the Moderator’s Hat


My Self-Portrait

Hibernation seemed to be my permanent lot until one of the Moderators rescued me and now takes me out with him on visits occasionally.  A memorable one was to a grand library where the portraits on the wall looked as if they understood perfectly my eighteenth century fashion sense. Perhaps more doubtful was when a retired Professor there decided to try me on, but he was a former Moderator of General Assembly so I suppose it was alright.

Probably the highlight of my year was meeting someone called Irene who has been in the same church for 100 years, 80 of them as a full church member. Yet even more remarkable was the story of the minister, David Picton, who baptised her. Nearly half the way through the First World War, he had an army officer staying at the manse who showed him how a hand grenade worked. Even the officer did not know though, and the grenade went off, killing both the minister and the soldier.


Mr Happy

While I enjoy my outings, I am really rather old, and the Moderator’s mascot, Mr Happy, gets out more. Yellow and cheerful, Mr Happy is recognised by everyone in the URC from small children to great grandmas. Extra special was one church that actually invited Mr Happy to make a return visit on Christmas Day. Although he had to endure being wrapped up in paper for 24 hours, which was a bit claustrophobic, it meant he was revealed dramatically in front of over 150 people to underline God’s gift of Joy at Christmas.

Really it is rather wonderful for us to be able to travel around with the Moderator and meet the extraordinary family that is the United Reformed Church.

[PS If still unsure what is the point of this blog, try writing down the first letter of each sentence]

2 thoughts on “Christmas Diary

  1. Maureen Barry

    Dear John,

    Having begun to read your Christmas diary, I can tell you that I am so very moved by the fact that you mentioned our dear Irene, and in the context that you put her also. I shall tell her what you have done and she will be surprised but then very likely pooh pooh it. I can tell you though that deep down she will be very touched. Not one to show her feeling’s.

    Thank you for that John and for the service you gave.


    Maureen Barry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *