Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lochgilphead Free Church

On the lochside street, there is the imposing stone Free Church. Inside, it is very lovely, with a warm light from its large windows and pale peach-coloured walls.

I attended services here for the 3 Sundays I stayed in Lochgilphead. My Campbell and MacIntyre ancestors were members and early supporters of this Church, as you can see by reading the Duncan McGilp letters on Knapdale People Website.

The Free Church is similar to the Orthodox Jewish Synagogue in that it maintains that its members must not work on the Sabbath. The 20th Century has been one of secularism, and the large numbers of people who built the Free Church after 1843 have dwindled. However, as the Rev. Morrison, pastor in Lochgilphead, noted in one of his sermons, the Christian church has lasted some 2,000 years, and continues to do so through thick and thin.

One of the debates current in the Free Church is whether to include pianos or organs as accompaniments for the songs. I was astonished and impressed by the people who led the singing during the service. Another factoid: the Free Church is not 'teetotaler', but - of course - does not encourage drunkeness either.

I am glad I attended this church, and probably, if I lived in Scotland, would be a member of the Free Church. Most of Canada's Presbyterians have become United Church, and (in my opinion) lost a large part of its backbone in the process..

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