This year’s celebration of Glasgow the Welcoming City, organised by Glasgow Churches Together on behalf of the City Council, had a slightly different approach because of the attention appropriately given to the 1450th anniversary of St Columba going to Iona, and the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone.The Piper welcomed people to the Chambers outside, and the ensemble of Whistle, Violin and Clarsach played at the top of the magnificent marble staircase so that the music swirled throughout the building. In the Banqueting Hall itself the Rutherglen Salvation Army delighted people with their usual high quality introduction, and the St Mungo Singers sang ‘My Shepherd will Supply”(a polyphonic setting of an ancient Scots tune) before the St Mungo Ensemble prepared for the opening of the service with some haunting airs. Before the processional entry of Bailie McLaughlin and the Church representatives, the choir led people in ‘Send me, Jesus’ – Thuma Mina – a theme suitable for both David and St Columba. The band led us in Columba’s great hymn, the Altus Prosator, ‘O God, thou art the Father’ and Bailie McLaughlin, clearly very proud of Glasgow and its tradition of hospitality gave a warm welcome to all gathered there, and he looked forward to our next great opportunity to show that hospitality in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Rev Alan Anderson, Chair of Glasgow Churches Together, led us in the opening prayer: “God our loving Creator, your servants Columba and Mungo met at Glasgow
and as a sign of reverence both of your goodness seen in each other’s lives, and of the pastoral office in which they served your people, they exchanged their pastoral staffs.
Your servant David Livingstone, like Mungo and Columba,
left his own country to share the Gospel and work for the good of people in Africa. May we, citizens of Glasgow, be like St Mungo, St Columba and David Livingstone
in faithfulness to the Gospel, and in generous commitment to Jesus and his Kingdom of justice, love and peace. May St Mungo’s city always be a community in which everyone matters, everyone has an honoured place, and the dignity of each is assured by faith in you as Father of all. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The readings were punctuated by verses from St Columba’s hymn, set to the Iona Boat Song, and the Gospel was introduced by ‘Alleluia, Go make disciples of all the nations. I am with you to the end of time.’
The Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery, Rev Howard Hudson, remarked on how welcoming Glasgow had been both to St Columba and to David Livingstone. The former had been met, according to Jocelyn’s 12th century ‘Life of Kentigern”, by 3 choirs when he visited Glasgow, and David Livingstone not only studied at Glasgow but was later awarded his honorary degree by the University.
The quite comprehensive Intercessions (printed at the end of this report) were introduced by the lovely setting of the prayer which Columba is traditionally credited with saying, when he reached Iona: ‘My dearest Lord, be thou a bright flame before me, be thou a guiding star above me……’ .
Afterwards, the St Mungo Singers and the St Mungo Ensemble led us in ‘Jesu, Tawa Pano’ (Jesus, we are here) and the choir of MECTIS (Minority Ethnic Christians Together in Scotland) sang ‘How great thou art’ in 4 languages. Their infectious enthusiasm in Yoruba, Hindi, Swahili and Urdu, and their style captivated the entire gathering who sang the chorus with them in English. As usual ‘Let Glasgow Flourish’ was given a heartfelt rendition, and the Magnificat, (set to Amazing Grace tune), was a fitting conclusion accompanied by the Rutherglen Salvation Army Band.
The Rev Alan Anderson congratulated the City and Glasgow Churches Together on their enterprise and the hospitality was enlivened by the playing of the young South Side Fiddlers.
1. Dr Laurence Whitley, Minister of Glasgow Cathedral Gathered together in this ‘dear green place’ founded by Saint Mungo on the banks of the river Clyde, we rejoice to be known as Mungo’s Bairns. With him we pray that Glasgow will truly flourish by the praising of God’s name and the preaching of God’s word. In this building, the City Chambers , we pray that our civic leaders will always seek the common good and act with compassion, fairness , and justice for all the people of Glasgow. Lord hear us: Lord, graciously hear us 2. Bishop Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway Saint Mungo knew what it was like to be forced into exile. He left his home in his beloved Glasgow and wandered until he found a safe refuge in Wales. There he founded the church at Saint Asaph, and is still warmly remembered in that country. We pray that we will remember to give a kindly welcome and extend a hand of friendship to all in our city who have been exiled from their native shores May our city be enriched by their presence among us. Lord hear us : Lord, graciously hear us 3 Salvation Army Major Bruce Smith This year we commemorate Saint Columba’s landing on the isle of Iona, a place of refuge and a shelter for him. We rejoice in his faith and zeal in proclaiming the gospel of love and forgiveness to the people of Scotland. May the churches, and all people of faith in our city, commit themselves once more to making Scotland a place where everyone is welcomed, everyone is valued , and everyone can find a peaceful dwelling place to call home. Lord hear us: Lord, graciously hear us 4. Rev Ann Deacons
We also remember the bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone, the mill boy from Blantyre. His dogged determination and faith overcame many obstacles before he studied medicine at Glasgow University, and became the world famous missionary and explorer of Africa. A man of faith, freedom and adventure, he established education in Africa and worked tirelessly to promote the abolition of slavery. May he continue to encourage all of us, especially the young people in our city , to go forward with vision, faith and courage to proclaim justice in our world. Lord hear us: Lord, graciously hear us 5. Mrs Greta Doig, Glasgow Presbytery We remember Mungo’s mother Enoch, Columba’s mother Eithne , and Mary Livingstone , the wife of David Livingstone. These great women belong to the history and heritage of our country , and are wonderful examples to us today of the influence women can have. May the women of our city continue to be blessed as they find new ways to contribute to the building up of society.
Lord hear us: Lord, graciously hear us 6 Marie Cooke (More than Gold) Preparation is well under way to welcome folk from many countries of the world to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year. As the athletes train , their supporters make travel plans, the baton travels round countries of the Commonwealth, and the city transforms itself, may we remember to play our part in making Glasgow a friendly city. May the Games be a message of hope to the world , showing that peoples and nations can gather together in peace and friendship. We pray for God’s continued blessing on our city. Lord hear us : Lord, graciously hear us