Thursday 29 November 2012

Radio Scotland Thought for the Day on Flooding in Comrie

(Thought for the Day, 28 November 2012 - BBC Radio Scotland. From Alastair McIntosh, a Quaker, author and Fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology)

Listen to audio version here:



Good Morning

The past ten days have seen thousands of people across England and Wales forced from their homes by flooding, but I myself was behind on the Scottish news, because I’d been out of the country.

Only last weekend did I catch up. I was visiting friends in the tiny Dumfriesshire village of Durrisdeer. It was a Sunday morning, and we went together to the service at the parish Church of Scotland. The preacher was Michael Northcott, an Episcopalian down from Edinburgh University, and his sermon was on the flooding at Comrie in Perthshire.

As one of the Comrie community councillors told the press: “Our Black Monday … will go down as … one of the bleakest seasons in the history of our community…. We have hundreds of residents deeply traumatised, fearful of the future and robbed of their homes.”*

Perth Council is now working on flood defences to prevent a recurrence. But the crux of the minister’s message at Durrisdeer was the strength with which the Comrie folks were looking out for one another, because whole families are taking in other whole families until their homes dry out.

“Jesus didn’t directly teach us to care for the Earth,” was the culmination of the sermon that Sunday. “Jesus taught us to love one another, and that’s the only way we’ll learn how to face the future by caring for the Earth.” 

I was left thinking back three years ago to when the Comrie Development Trust ran a conference on climate change. They were looking at how to reduce the village’s carbon emissions, but also, to strengthen their community resilience – the ability to bounce back from any knocks, by pulling together.

That’s the kind of preparation that’s now paying off in Comrie. That’s what makes this village at its time of greatest trial an inspiration to the whole of Scotland. And that too was the lesson from a tiny congregation in Dumfriesshire: the sheer imperative … of learning how to love one another.

* Perthshire Advertiser, 23 November 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment