This week's Community Column is written by local minister, the Rev Ian Miller.

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I WAS well aware that one of my predecessors had a penchant for white horses and flute bands and that July 12 was a big day in his diary. I am so glad that I have always had a great relationship with my Catholic colleagues.

I love the story of the Catholic Church that was hosting a big event and invited other denominations. Three well known pillars of the Church of Scotland did turn up, a wee bit late.

The priest noticed this and decided to honour them by bringing them right up the front. He realised he would need three extra seats for them and said to one of the laymen: “Three chairs for the Protestant ladies.”

The elderly gentleman was a bit hard of hearing, so he asked the priest to repeat his request. The old man had a puzzled look on his face as he rose to his feet.

Turning to the rest of the congregation, he said with a loud voice: “I’ve been asked to give three cheers for the Protestant ladies.”

I would love to have been there.

Faith is a personal thing, and I have no time for those who would hurl vitriol at those who do not share their views. For me this poem is the acid test of humanity.

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?

Does anyone remember that you spoke to her today?

Can you say tonight, in parting, with the day that’s slipping fast,

That you helped a single person of the many that you passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said?

Does the man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,

“You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?”

Mark Twain once said: “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Actually, kindness is the best language of all.