Presbyterian Irony: In love with the idea, rather than the substance, of history

In Perth in the year 1559, John Knox preached a sermon that is credited by some with kick starting the Reformation in Scotland. Knox aroused the parishioners to destroy the religious idols and graven images of the saints in their churches. In reaction to the uproar, Mary of Guise sent troops to lay siege to Perth, but in defence of the new protestants, Alexander Cunningham, 5th Earl of Glencairn, defeated Mary’s troops by leading a force of 2,500 soldiers against them. These were stirring times where people were prepared to pay the ultimate price for their convictions.

Four and a half centuries later (today, in fact), I visited Knox Presbyterian church here in Dunedin, named after the Scottish Reformer himself. If you’re lucky enough to visit what is really a lovely church, here’s what you’ll see. First, before you enter the front door, you’re greeted with this:

It’s a bust of the Rev Dr D M Stuart, the conservative first minister of Knox church.

Once you enter the church, here is the stained glass window that dominates the view:

Click on the image for a larger view. Along with the four evangelists, the stained glass image features St. Andrew (Patron Saint of Scotland) and St. Margaret (11th Century Queen of Scotland). The figure on the bottom right is D M Stuart, and the man on the bottom left? John Knox himself.

Make a sentence out of the following words: his in grave Knox is turning John.

Glenn Peoples

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