We continued to share the good news today in Greenloaning and Braco, two villages just off the A9, near Dunblane.
We're always picking up interesting little bits of information about the villages we visit... did you know that the founder of the English football league (the oldest football league in the world!) was born and bred in Braco? No, we didn't either until today!
William McGregor was born in Braco in 1846 and served an apprenticeship as a draper in Perth, before moving to Birmingham in 1870 to set up business there. He became heavily involved in a recently formed football club called Aston Villa, eventually becoming the club's President. He was responsible for proposing and arranging the formation of the English Football League in 1888, involving 12 teams from across the country. He died in 1911 and a statue of him was erected outside Aston Villa's ground in 2009.
The other interesting thing about William McGregor is that he was a committed Christian, widely respected for his honesty and integrity. He had a 40 year association with local church where he lived. The pastor of the church, W.G. Percival said that the best thing about McGregor "was not so much the genial, kindly, honest sportsman, but the Christian behind it all". He described him as "a man of absolutely unblemished personal character". While William McGregor had a great enthusiasm for football, and became known as the father of the Football League, his passion for the beautiful game never came before his faith in Jesus Christ and his love for God.
We spent the evening distributing Good News Postcards to around 250 homes in the village of Muthill, a few miles south of Crieff. The village has a long Christian history, as the ruins of the old Church and Tower date back to the 12th century. It was another warm, sunny evening, so we stopped off at McLean's ice cream parlour to cool down before heading home (highly recommended!)
Spring has finally arrived and so we spent a beautiful day in Kenmore, a small, picturesque tourist village on the shores of Loch Tay, distributing Good News postcards.
The village was built in the 16th century to house workers at nearby Taymouth Castle, and is now a conservation area. Visitors can enjoy stunning scenery, tranquil walks and boat rides and water sports on the loch.
Within the village cemetery is a very interesting memorial to the son of the Maharajah Duleep Singh. Duleep Singh was the last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire, who having converted to Christianity in India in 1849 decided to leave his homeland for Great Britain, where he became a close friend of Queen Victoria.
He lived for a while in Castle Menzies, near Aberfeldy, and so the Prince of the Punjab became known as the Black Prince of Perthshire. His first son was born in Perthshire on 4th August 1865, but sadly died later that same day. The memorial in Kenmore church yard contains 3 verses from the Bible...