Sunday 26 February 2006

This evening’s church was Sandyford Henderson, a Church of Scotland about 25 minutes’ walk from me. I’d heard good things about it – good teaching, friendly, and lively. As this was exactly what I’d heard about Findlay Memorial and The Tron, both of which disappointed, I didn’t hold out much hope of being surprised.

But I was! Gold star number one for the welcome – no less than three people said “hello” or “welcome” as I came in, and as I sat down in a seat a cheery guy came over, sat next to me and said, “hi, I’m Chris.” It transpired his name was Chris. We chatted both before and after the service, and he introduced me to others sitting around us who were equally friendly. That was all so refreshing – and as I’ve said before, being friendly to new people costs nothing. Consequently I gave twice as much in the offering as I normally would!

The second gold star is for the seats. Although this was a traditional church building, the interior was bright and fresh, and I learned that it had been gutted a few years ago in a major renovation, and nice comfortable seats were put in instead of the traditional rock-hard pews. They were padded, had arm rests, bible holders for the people behind, and the best thing was they had horizontal bars at the bottom, about six inches above the ground. These would, I assume, be shelves for prayer cushions in a Roman Catholic or Anglican place where they go in for the whole kneeling-to-pray malarky, but here they made for perfectly-positioned foot rests. Inspirational!

However, you don’t judge a church purely by its seats, as a girl I got talking to mock-sternly pointed out to me when I raved about them to her. The sermon – just under thirty minutes – was substantial in terms of content and message, and the delivery by the visiting preacher was easy-going, chatty and conversational. The worship was not exactly dancing in the aisles but the praise band was excellent, the hymns well-sung, and the accoustics of the beautiful interior made it all sound outstanding. It was a bit surreal singing a modern hymn to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory though…

So Sandy H gets the thumbs-up. A lively place, lots going on according to the intimation sheet, and a keen eye for visitors. It joins Destiny in the second round.

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