Easter is coming and it is time for eggs. Our street app's latest saga has nothing to do with developers destroying the corner shop or getting everyone to cough up to add some more trees to line the pavement edges. Nor is it yet another pile of things one family's kids have outgrown to be passed on to other families' kids, let alone what the pigeons who roost in the soon-to-be demolished shop leave on the pavement below, although it seems to have sent mice scuttling into the neighbouring houses.
It is duck eggs, or to be precise, one which hatched out and produced a small brown duckling. Whether a Daisy or a Donald I do not know, but let us call it Donald. He was the only one to hatch out of six eggs incubated at the school one of the street wives works at. The problem was what to do with the bird. She discovered that the people who had supplied the eggs to the school would take Donald back but then they would, well, dispose of him. So she took Donald home and he has been living in his very own big litter-filled box enjoying the good life.
But what to do with Donald at Easter as they are going away? Could anyone provide a back garden where he would be safe from the foxes that roam our street, not to mention the cats who prowl? Could they maybe launch Donald in the local park's duck pond? That a bird alien to the wild ones in the park might be rejected was considered a problem.
In the event, someone has come forward to look after him over Easter, a local nursery is considering taking him, and a farm in the country has said it might assuming he fits in with the ones already there.
I know all this is trivial given the awful things happening in the world, but I suppose you could say Donald is a refugee of sorts and his story is further proof that there is never a quiet moment in suburbia.
Last week in SR, David Torrance
noted someone observing that the UK had 'an established church' (true) which could not be over-ruled by parliament (false). In England, the monarch is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is chosen by the Prime Minister of the day from a list provided by the Crown Nominations Commission.
However, in Scotland, the position is completely different, and often envied in other countries, where relationships of church and state are tortuous. The position was clarified by Andrew Melville: 'There are twa kings and twa kingdoms in Scotland, there is Christ Jesus and His kingdom… whose subject King James VI is, and of whose kingdom not a king, nor a head, nor a lord but a member'. That 'the Church and State owe mutual duties to each other' but that the Church of Scotland 'is free from interference by civil authority' is affirmed in parliament's Church of Scotland Act 1921, and confirmed by the monarch in coronation oath (as specified in the Act of Union 1706/7).
As we come up to Easter, it is interesting to note that the Declaratory Articles mentioned in the 1921 Act imply that the additional dimension given to life by the Cross and Resurrection is logically linked with 'owning obedience to Jesus as Head over all things to the Church'. While the Church of Scotland has its members and adherents, by its belief in God as Creator, the Church believes that all people globally should be treated with respect, and often is critical of the State when it considers that people are being exploited or their needs ignored.
On a more personal level, there is a long tradition of a warm relationship between the Queen and the Church of Scotland, as indicated by her interest in Crathie Church when at Balmoral. However, when the Queen (or, in her absence, the Lord High Commissioner as her personal representative) attends the General Assembly, it is in a purely ceremonial role, with the Crown having no administrative or operational position. That symbolises the relationship between church and parliament in Scotland.
If you would like to contribute to the Cafe, please email your comments to email@example.com