We continue our regular “Interview with” series at Bellshill Central Parish Church. This time we speak with Peggy Walker. Next issue we hope to speak with our older ladies and gents to give an insight into our church and community in past and recent times.
1) How long have you been coming to Bellshill Central?
I came to Bellshill Central (then Macdonald Memorial) for the first time on a Sunday at the beginning of April in 1969, having just got married and moved to Mossend.
2) What drew you to come to Bellshill Central?
I have to admit the answer to that is – sheer laziness. It was common, at that time, to continue attending the Church where you had grown up but I knew I was never going to be able to get to my ‘home’ Church in time; two buses or a four-mile walk; just not happening! I am not a morning person. It made more sense to take a two-minute walk just around the corner.
3) What is your favourite Hymn or Song?
I have so many favourite hymns! When we were asked some months ago to nominate a hymn, I chose ‘Lord, You Have Come To The Seashore,’ which we sang again in Church just a few weeks ago. I also like so many others including ‘On Eagle’s Wings,’ and ‘I Watch The Sunrise.’ None of these is in Mission Praise but I have lots of other favourites which are in that hymn book.
4) What do you do in your spare time? What’s that?
My dad used to tell me that time went faster as you got older. I laughed; what nonsense! But of course, it is true. I enjoy walking, preferably around shops, or in the countryside. Sitting doing nothing is excellent too and it is good fun to spend some time at Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre, helping in a small way with the excellent services on offer there. Doing lunch with various friends and cousins takes up a bit of time and, of course, I operate Granny Cabs as and when required; on a zero hours contract.
5) If you could change anything in the world what would it be?
There would be quite a list but, basically, I’d like to see a much fairer society. The huge differentials between the top and the bottom earners would come to an end. Since the Living Wage in Scotland is £8.45 an hour, maybe the Chief Executives of all the big organisations should be paid just that. Companies, particularly large multi-nationals, who do not pay their fair share of tax would not be allowed to trade. Maybe tax should be levied on turnover rather than profit to make it easier to monitor and more difficult to avoid.
6) What event has most affected your faith and how has your faith changed throughout your life.
That’s difficult to answer. My mother/father/aunts/uncles/cousins all attended their various Churches. I was brought up in Sunday School/Bible Class/Church. It was the natural thing to do. I’ve always attended Church. I don’t think there was ever a ‘light bulb’ moment in my life. I was always taught that you should ‘Do unto others as you would like to be done by.’ I think that is the Christian Faith in a nutshell. When I moved to Mossend, the folk at Macdonald Memorial put effort into making me feel welcome. Albert Thompson, the Minister at the time, came around to the house within a few days to say ‘Hello.’ My Elder then was Wee Davey, whom most of the people reading this will remember. He was brilliant. When our first daughter arrived on the scene, the Young Wives & Mothers Group came knocking the door and encouraged me to get involved. There was no creche at that time, so mostly I went along to Evening Services at the Church. The people who attended took turns at delivering the flowers after worship so Jessie Peat got me involved in that. When my daughters were old enough for the Beginners Class at Sunday School, Miss Gallagher had me holding up pictures for the kids while she told the stories; soon I was helping to tell the stories. Alexa had the kids singing all the choruses. When it was my turn to be President of the Young Wives, Betty Toal and Doreen Tweedie were there to offer support. So lots of people have had a positive influence on me.
7) What is the best thing about the Church?
As explained above – People make the Church. Of course, there are also our wonderful windows which display the Bible in all its glory from Genesis right through to Revelations.
8) If you could be someone else (or a super hero) just for one day who would it be and why.
No thanks. Other people might seem to have a charmed life but things are not always as rosy as they appear.