Alison’s blog

Alison Clark’s blog

My rash promise

Last week, I said I would offer my answer to ‘what keeps you following Jesus?’  That was rash!   (I notice nobody else has taken up the challenge!) The first rather simplistic answer is ‘because I promised to follow’.  This might not seem very informed; after all just because I undertake to do something doesn’t in […]

‘The Gospel – take it or leave it’

Marion Mackay from St Peter’s Stornoway shared a link this morning which provides considerable food for thought.   Diocesan ‘Facebookers’ will have come across it but it’s worth relaying here. The historian A.N. Wilson writes in the Telegraph about the state of Christianity in the world today.   He asks how we can interpret phenomena such as […]

Mary Slessor

The blog returns after rather a lengthy seasonal break! Mary Slessor’s name is familiar to me, brought up as I was in the Church of Scotland.   We heard about her in Sunday School and I think she was one of the ‘heroines’ featured on the back page of the girls’ comic I read.  ‘Girl’ was […]

The wind and the waves

Well I’m sure I’m among many whose plans have ‘gang agley’ this week.  As I write this we are being battered by the wind and, in the outer isles, experiencing power cuts.  When you live on an island as I do, you have to be prepared to make contingency plans or just hunker down, philosophically […]

How to do Advent?

So many experiences come together at this season.  The  light decreases as we descend towards the year’s midwinter turning point.  The increasing frenzy of the retail season is hard to avoid as it seeks to draw us ever earlier into the whirl.   The church’s calendar invites us to prepare for the coming of God in […]

Busy weekend

It’s been a busy weekend on the diocesan front with a lay leadership event at All Saints Inveraray on Saturday, a pre-Christmas fair at Christ Church Lochgilphead and a ‘Reflection for Action’ session after the service at St John’s Cathedral in Oban.  No doubt other things were going on that I don’t happen to know […]

Heroes, sung and unsung

It’s interesting that the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Berlin wall coming down have almost coincided with Remembrance Day on this 100th anniversary year of World War One. About 18 months after the iron curtain crumbled, I visited Germany as the Scottish representative at a European Base Christian Communities gathering.  The meeting took place in […]


Many of us have taken part in harvest festival services during October.   It’s no accident that the SEC Faith in Action committee’s topic for this month is ‘The Environment’.   For those of us not directly involved in ‘bringing in the sheaves’, the environment offers a huge range of themes for prayer and action at harvest-tide. […]

Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila, the 16th century saint, is remembered today.  It seems that she combined Mary and Martha in her life and spirituality.  She taught and wrote on prayer and contemplation and also founded a reform movement.  She is recorded as cleaning and scrubbing each new convent house she opened reminding her sisters that ‘the […]

‘Give to Caesar…

.. that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to God’.  Thus Jesus’ typically cryptic way of handling a trap set for him by the authorities.  It has sometimes been used to justify the separation of religion from politics.   The press and politicians can be quick to tell bishops to get back […]