Susan Dalgety: Even for non-believers, Easter is not all about eggs

North Berwick's St Andrew Blackadder Parish Church has opened its doors seven days a week to anyone who wants to visit (Picture: Derek Braid)
North Berwick's St Andrew Blackadder Parish Church has opened its doors seven days a week to anyone who wants to visit (Picture: Derek Braid)
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Have you recovered from your Easter Egg hangover yet? The UK eats a staggering 80 million each year, and I bet my hidden stash of my sea salt caramel truffle eggs that a significant proportion of those are scoffed here in Scotland. We like our sweeties.

But as Easter begins to rival Christmas for frivolous shopping opportunities – an Easter tree anyone? – so it seems fewer of us than ever know the meaning of Easter.

Recent surveys show that only around half of us associate Easter with Jesus, with nearly as many suggesting the Easter Bunny is the whole point of this important Christian festival and, of course, chocolate eggs top the poll.

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Scotland is increasingly a secular nation, with less than 400,000 regular churchgoers, and nearly half of them are over 65.

Unless you live in North Berwick that is, where the St Andrew Blackadder Parish Church is open to the community seven days a week. We were passing its doors a few days ago, when we spotted sign saying, “Please come in”, so we did. Not because we have faith, but because we love exploring churches, of any and all religions.

A lovely gentleman showed us round the church, pointing out the crèche, kitchen, several meeting rooms, and the main worship space itself where the Victorian pews and gallery have been removed to make a much more flexible space.

It took the church elders nearly a decade to agree to the radical plan of opening up their church, literally and figuratively, but it was a brilliant move. By simply opening their doors to all, our churches may not gain more believers, but they will make contact with many more people than at present. And perhaps more of us will learn that Easter is not just about Crème Eggs.

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