Last weekend, three tower blocks were demolished in Greenock. They were brought down in a controlled explosion in the early hours of the morning. Just over 40 years ago, my grandparents were among the first residents of those shiny new houses. They were the latest in local authority housing provision, having central heating, drying areas and shiny new lifts that worked really well in the beginning. And, moving from homes well overdue for demolition, my grandparents and their neighbours were well pleased. It doesn't seem a very long shelf life but already their home and three other 12 storey tower blocks have been raised to the ground ( that always strikes me as a weird phrase). The same weekend, a tower block in Tulliallan was demolished. It, however, wasn't brought down in the early hours but in daylight - and morning worship had to be cancelled! Perhaps it was the same explosives team and they had to travel?
Anyway,the reason I share these local interest stories is that, tonight, we had reason to be in Tulliallan to attend evening worship led by the Heart and Soul Swing Band (who were excellent). The church in Tulliallan sits (or sat) in the shadow of the recently demolished tower block. Describing how to get there, I found myself saying: "It's just where the tower block used to be."
That's a common thing - to navigate by landmarks that are no longer present. "Turn left at the corner where... used to be..."
Strikes me as a familiar predicament in which we find ourselves in the church - navigating by landmarks that are no longer present.
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