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Speer Road Church

(United Reformed Church)

Thames Ditton

The Last Word

October 2018

North Coast 500

Judith and I went on a tour of Scotland in August. We travelled up the East Coast to John Oí Groats then across the top of Scotland and came down the West Coast, seeing some spectacular scenery on the way. Unfortunately it was raining heavily the day we were in Fort William so a walk up Ben Nevis wasnít possible. We had left booking up accommodation until we were up there and found that many places were fully booked, though we were fortunate to find some dramatic locations to stay in particularly on the banks of LochInver, just east of Ullapool. The reason that this part of Scotland has become so popular is because they have given it a name, North Coast 500 they call it. It is 516 miles long and people from all over the world are coming to travel North Coast 500 and experience the delights of the North of Scotland, which isnít so good for those who moved up that way for a quiet life!

It is amazing the difference giving a title to a few roads can make, we tend to be drawn to things that have a name. Judith and I consider one of our greatest achievements as having walked the Coast to Coast. This is the name given to some footpaths that take you from one side of the country to the other, and again people come from all over the world to walk the Coast to Coast and get the certificate.

Maybe there is something here for us to learn as a church, people like things that are named, one of the recent initiatives that we have experienced and has had a marked impact on Church life up and down the country is Messy Church, people are drawn to the name. We need to think about how we can communicate what we are doing to those who pass by our church, those who are looking for a place to worship and join with others in experiencing the faith. We changed the name of the Church to Speer Road in the hope it might be recognised more easily, maybe we need to use this more so that people will be drawn to Speer Road just like they are being drawn to the NC 500.

God bless,

Peter



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