Scottish Independence And The Lindisfarne Gospels

Next year's referendum on Independence for Scotland  brings campaigners' arguments into prominence. Holy Island lies within Berwick District Council. Berwick-Upon-Tweed has been in and out of Scotland and England fourteen times. The international Community of Aidan (a Scot) and Hilda (English) embraces people of diverse political opinions - so what can I say? I occasionally write the Berwick Advertiser's Thought for the Week column.  Here it is:


Should Berwick poll opinions on Scottish independence? If it came, Berwick would become the county town of a foreign shire. On Holy Island we welcome pilgrims of all political persuasions, but there are some Christian values that all parties need to respect.
For example, the referendum campaign should be based on truth, not misrepresentation. One fact is that the 1300th anniversary celebrations of The Lindisfarne Gospels will encompass Durham, Holy Island and Edinburgh, for it is a potent symbol of the first truly British church. The Gospels were dedicated to Saint Cuthbert, who planted the first churches in Edinburgh and perhaps St. Andrews as well as in places south of the present border. The art-work of this multi-cultural treasure draws on Pictish and Scots Irish, as well as on Celtic British, Saxon, and overseas sources. This reflects the fact that the Christian Gospel reconciled four tribes, each with different languages, and gave them common sources of hope. For a thousand years there was no such thing as Scotland or England, just people groups who shared one geographical island named Britain.
These New Testament words are at the heart of the Christian Gospel: ‘you who were once aliens have been made one through Christ’ (Ephesians 2). Christians from both sides of the border will commemorate the Battle of Flodden anniversary in September by honouring all the dead, expressing sorrow, and praying together as one under the Banner of St. Cuthbert. Others are exploring how, following the British-Irish Peace agreement, the ongoing reconciliation process can be extended to all parts of the UK.


Posted at 02:11am on 17th May 2013
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