Lest anyone be in any doubt, it is not so much that Presbytery is dire, rather that I am! Or rather my stamina let me down.

For the uninitiated, the presbyterian system is a means of ordering Church of Scotland business in a particular area. Ours is the Presbytery of Argyll, which is a vast geographical area covering many islands as well. Ministers and Elders gather together four times a year to process the nuts and bolts of business, though much of the groundwork is already done by committees under delegated powers. Even the foregoing explanation sounds dry and dusty, and like all business meetings, this o­ne can suffer from the tedium of minutiae. I simply got overtired with it all. It was lovely to see folk, but four and a half hours of paying attention, sitting in the o­ne place is wearing in itself. Then there was the travel there and back.

My thoughts are encapsulated by the person handing out the badges at the beginning; she found mine in amongst the retired ministers and said, “But you don't have to be here!”

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