Duddingston KirkChurch of Scotland Burning Bush logo

Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh

Services in the Kirk
are suspended at present.

Letter from the Manse

June 2020

Dear Friends

During lockdown, in conjunction with Dr Neil’s Garden, we decided that the church gardens would be closed to the general public. But we have had more than our fair share of visitors to the manse gardens!

 Early on in lockdown I went to close the manse gate when I saw a young man coming in and trying to avoid me, heading toward the Garden Room. I called to him and asked where he was going. He said that because the gate was unlocked he thought that the gardens were open. I did point to the fresh sign saying we were closed. He said that he would get the others. Others? A moments latter seven musicians appeared from the garden and left rather sheepishly carrying large instruments from a cello to a double bass!

 We had someone anonymously putting up art work in the garden toilet. A tag said that it was ‘Bog Art’. It was supposed to be portraits of local people. The problem was that the Frankenstein likenesses were scaring our volunteers every time they used the toilet and they brought this to my attention. The artwork had been hastily put on the wall with large nails causing damage to the walls that were redecorated only earlier this year. This was truly bog art! It has been removed!

 Not all of our visitors have been human. Apart from our regulars; the squirrels and the foxes, we have had all year Albert the pheasant and his wife Victoria. We are convinced Albert has two wives, but don’t tell Victoria!

 Russell the Crow has been around pinching any food he could and has become a regular visitor with his wife and chick. So too with Robin (a robin) who joins with me any time I sit outside. Otters have been spotted on the shore of the loch (although not by me). We have a regular deer call Rein, who comes to us in the evening and is methodically munching her way through our apple trees. Isn’t nature wonderful? If anything, the period of lockdown has made me even more aware of God’s creation all around us.

 How I yearn to fling wide the gates and welcome you all back.


Rev. Dr Jim Jack