Teaching the grammar of love
Around 150 years ago, a novel was published highlighting the harsh reality of life faced by impoverished masses. The novel was ‘Oliver’ and the author, Charles Dickens.
When addressing the congregation at the CrossReach and Social Care Sunday 2019, The Very Rev. Andrew McLellan relayed that the publishing of this novel was pivotal in raising awareness of social needs to people, who, up until that point, were at best unaware of the hardships faced by members of their local communities. As the understanding of these realities grew, initiatives and causes to address these were birthed.
“And what did the Church of Scotland do?”, The Very Rev. McLellan asked. “It formed a committee - and I thank God it did.”
That Committee was The Church of Scotland Committee on Christian Life and Work, which over the years strategically ‘blossomed’ into what is now known as CrossReach.
Highlighting a selection of the service types the organisation currently offers (Prison Visitors Centres, Learning Disabilities, Dementia etc) The Very Rev. McLellan enthused that over the 150 years of its existence, CrossReach has led the way in teaching the grammar of love:
- Giving to those who need support
- Listening to those who need support
- Growing with those who need support
The reflections, encouragement and challenge from Very Rev. McLellan reinforced the other inspirational contributions of the event, which was held in the historic and beautiful Dunfermline Abbey:
Personal messages from people who use CrossReach services and from employees; an eloquent whistle stop history of The Abbey’s significant place in the development of Social Care provision in Scotland from Rev. MaryAnn Rennie; magnificent organ recitals and choral leadership from Master of Music Matthew Beetschen; beautiful contemporary music from Ashton Lane; video messages and prayers from the Rt Rev. Colin Sinclair and a moving reflection from CEO Viv Dickenson crafted the service into a true celebration of the CrossReach journey of Social Care in Scotland from 1869 – 2019.
The service is one that will be remembered for many years to come and we sincerely thank everyone who made the event possible.
A video of the service is available here: CrossReach and Social Care Sunday 2019