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Seven is a sacred biblical number. The seven days of creation. The seven fat years and the seven lean years of
Pharaoh’s dream in Egypt, the seven churches in the province of Asia in the book of Revelation, and, now, of
course, my seven years as assistant minister at Cramond!

The seven year itch on the other hand is a secular phrase which began its life as a psychological term and became
widely known after the film of the same name was launched back in the 1950’s starring Marylyn Monroe. So could my decision to leave Cramond Kirk be a mixture of both the sacred and the secular?

Be that as it may, the Bible is surely right in its assertion that ‘To everything there is a season and a time for every
purpose under heaven.’ And I feel that the time was right for me to move on from Cramond after seven happy years.

I will always be grateful to Russell for his generous invitation to me all these years ago to take over from Ian Brady and become part of the ministry team at Cramond. From the very outset I experienced Cramond as being a very welcoming and friendly congregation. And I have very much enjoyed the fellowship and support of belonging to the Cramond faith community. Again, to quote from the wisdom of the Bible, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another.’

Very early on in my stay with you, a friendly elder asked me where I was living and I replied ‘Greater Cramond.’
And when she gave me a puzzled look I explained that my place of residence was better known as West Pilton but for
present purposes I was describing it as ‘Greater Cramond.’

And so it was a pleasant surprise for me to gradually be made aware over the years of the not inconsiderable input
that Cramond congregation and Kirk Session was having into the well being of some of the other less well-off Church
of Scotland congregations situated in ‘Greater Cramond’ - namely Drylaw Parish Church and the Old Kirk &
Muirhouse Parish Church to be precise. Cramond folk with expertise in the realms of finance and property have been
assisting these congregations over the years, and I was delighted to see a really healthy number of Cramond folk
at the Old Kirk & Muirhouse Christmas Fair last December. And the Old Kirk & Muirhouse had their own stall at the
Cramond Christmas Fair once again last year. And they usually seem to have a team at the Cramond Kirk Christian
Aid Quiz Night in May. To my mind this is all very commendable!

My church membership ‘lines’ have been with my local parish church - the Old Kirk & Muirhouse since I retired
over ten years ago. And I enjoyed my first Sunday back there at the start of the new year. The congregation appear
to be in good heart under the direction of their new minister the Rev Stephen Ashley-Emery. (Muirhouse and West Pilton seem to have a liking for ministers with double-barrelled names - the previous incumbent at the Old Kirk in West Pilton was the Rev Tony McLean-Foreman). However, although I am a member of the Old Kirk & Muirhouse, I am looking forward to continuing my connection with Cramond albeit in a more informal and less official way. So thank you for all your love and friendship over the years.

Happy memories!

Colin Douglas


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