I was brought up in the Scottish Episcopal Church (or the “English Church” as I have heard it called), and have always considered myself an Episcopalian. A very wise friend once told me that the further away from Scotland I went, the more of a Pisky I would feel. Certainly, after two years, there are still things I don’t totally understand about the Church of England, and the many similarities sometimes only serve to highlight the differences. I hugely value the influence of the Episcopal church on the way I grew up and the way I live my life. I have met some of my best friends, and formed some of my best memories through the church.
However, there is another side to my life, the more Presbyterian half of my family. I’ve never been sure how much this has influenced my personality and my outlook on life. I was born in the city where John Knox preached from the pulpit of St Giles Kirk, and my school was burned down during the Reformation and rebuilt by Queen Anne of Denmark in 1560. My country has a reputation for strict religious observance in some parts of the country, as described in a recent comment piece in the Guardian by Andrew Brown:
Forty years ago, in Calvinist Scotland, the swings and roundabouts in playgrounds were chained up on the Sabbath day and Diarmaid MacCulloch, the historian of the reformation, told me in Geneva that his Scots grandfather, though episcopalian, was considered greatly daring for allowing his family to go for walks on Sunday.
This subject has been in my mind recently, since this year marks the 500th birthday of Calvin. Therefore I was interested to see this link on the Church Mouse Blog today, which leads to a quiz, (the C-factor…) testing how Calvinist you are, under a number of different headings. Although I’m not sure how accurate 25 questions can be, I did find it very interesting.
Test your C-Factor: 53%You are somewhat of a Calvinist. Some of your points of view make you look like a Calvinist. However, you live your life in a lighter way than Calvinists do, which allows you to enjoy it more.
|Work||100%||You sure have a Calvinistic working ethos. You never work hard enough; work for you is your bounden duty. You are the type of employee any company desires, but the balance between your work and private life may get disturbed.|
|Strictness||20%||You know how to enjoy life. You don’t always spend your time in a useful way. Mind the balance!|
|Sobriety||17%||You were not born to be a Calvinist. Catholicism suits you better – slightly hedonistic, loose and emotional.|
|Relationships||0%||In your relationships you are not very reserved. One might say: uncalvinistic. You let yourself go too easily to be a Calvinist.|
|Beliefs||80%||You are not necessarily sombre, although Calvin’s religious convictions are in your genes.|
So you can see the areas of my life that have been influenced by the Presbyterian side and where the Pisky bits come in. A good Calvinist work ethic and religious convictions, but then a healthy attitude to sobriety and relationships!
I don’t think I’d change any of that, I’m pretty happy with the way I am.