Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Scotland January 2015

On Friday 16th January, Annette and I flew to Edinburgh carrying with us a framed letter of apology for Her Majesty the Queen. During Cromwell’s Scottish campaign his soldiers caused severe fire damage to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence, so we wanted to pray inside the building.  As we approached, an official on the gate asked where we were from. When I said “Huntingdon, home town of Cromwell” it was evident by his reaction and the look on his face that this bitter root still continues today. I shared with him what we had been doing and about the letter of apology for Her Majesty.  He thought it was a splendid thing to do and greatly needed because, in his words, “Cromwell is still hated by many for what he did here”.
 The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Abbey ruins at the Palace of Holyroodhouse 
I had previously been in touch with the office of The Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh. As he is the Queen’s official representative during her absence, I had arranged to deliver Her Majesty's letter to his Chambers. I was promised that it would be presented to Her Majesty on her next visit.
The Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh 

I had been invited back to Scotland by the Rev Gordon Stevenson, the Church of Scotland Minister in Dunbar. It was in his church that Cromwell had stabled his horses, which was how he desecrated places of worship which he felt were idolatrous.  It had been agreed that this is where the letter of apology we presented last September will be kept.
Rev Gordon Stevenson
 Church of Scotland, Dunbar
On the Saturday evening I shared my story and the journey of Arise Ministries over the years.  It soon became evident that God had touched lives, and surprisingly it was mostly the men. At the United Service on Sunday morning, it was a privilege to share God’s heart to heal this wounded part of history with a large congregation from all the local churches. I reminded people there about the men from the Battle of Dunbar who were sold to the Caribbean to work on the plantations, and I challenged them about going to Barbados for themselves to meet the descendants of these men who still are suffering.  I told them "These are your kin, your family". This was well received and was met with spontaneous applause.

On Monday we prayer-walked Edinburgh Castle. We had been told previously that when the people heard Cromwell was coming, they hid the Crown Jewels (known as the “Honours”) to save them from being destroyed, and they were not discovered for 100 years. As we read the story of this ancient crown that was used at Charles I's Coronation, it touched us deeply to think that there was so much suffering during this time but this crown survived.

May God’s name be forever praised for the healing He has done!

Shirley Bowers

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