Hope you are having a great weekend, Friends. If you are someone who celebrates the Risen Savior, Happy Easter!
Is the calendar really turning a page today? It feels like we just celebrated the new year and here it is already four months in. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I adore the month of April. The breeze blows softer, the grass turns greener, the sun shines warmer. With every new leaf that springs forth on the trees and every tender shoot that arises from the ground, I am reminded that all things are being made new once again. Kind of an appropriate allegory for today, I think.
With today being Easter Sunday, I thought it would be relevant to journey with you to the ruins of a place in Gullane, Scotland that no doubt saw many an Easter Sunday celebration.
That place is St. Andrews. Pretty neat, isn’t it?
Located about forty minutes to the northeast of Edinburgh, St. Andrews is an incredible ruin of a kirk (church) that was first built sometime around 1170 by the de Vaux Family (also affiliated with Dirleton Castle). Built with Norman features, this remarkable twelfth century building served as the local parish church for over four-hundred years. In 1612, due to constant sand blowing in from nearby fields, the kirk was abandoned and parishioners relocated to nearby Dirleton.
The second most important family of landowners in the parish following the de Vauxs were the Congaltons, who modified the existing church structure by adding a chapel.
Following its disuse as a parish church in 1612, St. Andrews continued to serve as a burial place for local families.
The Yule family maintains a section of the Kirk as a memorial aisle to this day.
It is a peculiar and awesome thing to be able to experience the presence of such a place firsthand. While you likely won’t find St. Andrews listed as a top tourist attraction in your guidebooks, it is in no way any less awe-inspiring than the ones that are. In fact, I think it’s often in these off-the-beaten-path places – the quiet, unassuming ones that don’t have a giant tourist spotlight shining upon them – that you tend to find the most meaningful and soul-stirring connections to the past.
St. Andrews in Gullane, Scotland.
Cheers and Happy Easter, my Friends.