10 June

There is widespread coverage in the news media of the debate around statues and memorials to people associated with the slave trade, slavery and colonialism. It is a difficult one for Clydeside because its 19th Century prosperity was rooted in all three (tobacco, sugar, cotton, ship building, supplying goods for the Empire). At the same time it must be said that the working and living conditions of many of the ordinary folk here were pretty awful, and they had few of what we would now regard as ‘human rights’. We may also all have in our own family stories ancestors affected by Highland Clearances, the Potato Famine etc. Yesterday we marked St Columba’s Day. We have very little accurate historical data about him, but over the years many legends and myths have grown up. It is true of our other heroes, like Wallace, Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. People often try to create the character they would like, rather than the ‘warts-and-all’ individual who lived in a very different time and culture, where different values were at times to the fore. As part of the Christian Church we acknowledge that none of us is perfect – though despite that God still loves us – that truth and honesty are important, and that we are called to work for a world of peace and justice

Lord, help us to recognise that we are not perfect, nor is anyone else, to recognise mistakes made by us, by others in our name, by people in the past. Without being judgemental or self-righteous, help us to work to put right wrongs, and to strive to build peace and justice in our community, country and world

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