So we ended up in Edinburgh on the Lord's Day. I have heard many times of Charlotte Chapel (no doubt because this is where Graham Scroggie, Alan Redpath and Derek Prime ministered in the past). The current senior minister is a man called Paul Rees, originally from Cardiff. He and his wife are good friends of my sister-in-law and her husband so he heard that we were in town and very kindly invited me to join him for breakfast (I went for salted porridge as we were in Scotland, very nice. I'd had an Irn Bru the night before as I like to get the feel of a place). Paul grew up Brethren, came to London and attended St Helen's was a dentist then studied at Moore, Sydney and led a church in Spokane before coming to Edinburgh. His wife Shiona is Scots. He showed me the massive old St George's West which they have purchased and plan to move into (the present chapel is on something of a side street and the main auditorium is up a flight of stairs).
I'm not often in a large church. One is always impressed by how efficient they are getting people in and giving them coffee after, etc. It's like having a conference every week I guess. There was an eight piece band in the organ loft who were good musicians and not over conspicuous though some of the song choices were a little weak I felt. The apprentice Ross led very well. The assistant Matt Round preached a very thorough sermon on Matthew 11:25-30, a bit too much to the will rather than the heart I felt. Everyone was very friendly and warm and welcoming. There must have been 600 and more of diverse ages and backgrounds. It was good to be there.
We had to travel back to London before the evening service so I downloaded a sermon for us on the train. People always speak well of the preaching of my former assistant Mark Raines so I got hold of his sermon on Proverbs 26, which he did indeed preach very well.