Thought for the week – 20.1.22

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Problems logging in and require
technical support? Click here
Subscribe Now

Four Black Lives Matter activists were acquitted of charges of criminal damage by a jury in Bristol Crown Court for toppling a statue of Edward Colston. These young activists had a great deal of backing from the people of Bristol. The jury seemingly defied the advice of the judge and set the four free.

Colston died in 1721. He was an MP and an Atlantic Slave Trader. He was a wealthy benefactor to the city. Some of the establishments named after him have changed their names, as people become sensitive to the past. London, Bristol and Liverpool were at the heart of the slave trade. Let’s not forget that Scotland was involved too. Streets in Glasgow commemorate the link to Jamaica.

At one time in my work for the church I was at Wedderburn House in Musselburgh, which like the adjacent Inveresk Lodge was bought by James Wedderburn with money earned from 27 years in Jamaica as a plantation and slave-owner.

Court rulings have featured in the progress against oppression. In 1778 the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled in favour of a slave James Knight who petitioned for his freedom.

The Bible moves towards an enlightened view, allowing for slaves to be released. Job says it would be wrong to despise a slave or servant. Paul the apostle says that in Christ a slave has equal status to a free person.

We can see things in a way that those in the past could not; that should temper our judgement of them. It is good though, that we learn about what happened.

Rev Dr Malcolm Kinnear Church of Scotland  Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber.