Eagle Lectern 1928
Extract from article in Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald, May,1929:
Handsome Gift Dedicated in Parish Church, Saltcoats
Special interest was created in the morning service in Ardrossan Parish Church, Saltcoats, last Sunday. This was occasioned by the fact that a handsome gift, in the form of a lectern, was to be dedicated in memory of the late Miss Martha B. Robb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.Robb, Baskerville, Ardrossan. The service was attended by the Saltcoats Company of the Girl Guides (of which the late Miss Robb was an officer), also by the Saltcoats Boys’ Brigade Company and a Girls Guildry Company. The lectern is a handsome and appropriate one of the “Eagle” type.
Rev. D.D.Rees, parish minister, conducted the service, and during the singing of the hymn, “Father of Heaven whose love profound,” he descended from the pulpit and took up his position beside the lectern. The girls bearing the Guide colours and the Union Jack proceeded up the aisle (also during the singing of this hymn), and took up position on each side of the Lectern.
Rev. Mr. Rees then intimated that he accepted custody of the lectern on behalf of the Kirk Session of the Church. Thereafter he offered up prayer, dedicated the lectern to the glory of God and the service of the Church. In the course of the prayer Rev. Rees expressed thanks to God for “the remembrance of her into whose life there came so many Christian graces, and for the good work she was able to do in this Church and in this community.” After the prayer Mr. Rees read the first lesson from the new Lectern – Isaiah xxxv. The sermon was based on the words in Mark xiv, 8 – “She hath done what she could.”
…………. The congregation had been invited that day to take part in the dedication of the beautiful lectern in memory of Miss Martha Baskerville Robb, and the words of the text could fittingly be applied to her. Miss Robb was an officer in the local company of the Girl Guides, and they all knew the valuable work which she did in their midst. Her interests were not however confined to the Girl Guide movement, as she held the position of president of the Women’s section of the local branch of the British Legion, and in that capacity she did noble and generous work on behalf of the ex-Servicemen and their dependants. She also acted as a nurse during the war in the local Red Cross Hospital. All that work indicated the fine public spirit with which she was animated, and caused her memory to be deservedly cherished. Notwithstanding all these interests, however, perhaps the noblest phase of her character was manifested in the home. She was a lady whose charity began at home. Her radiant personality was first exercised in her own home and then came out and influenced the community at large. What she had done could be spoken of as a memorial of her.
The entire service was of a most appropriate and impressive nature.
The Eagle Lectern is common in churches. The Eagle has been used as a symbol in Christianity since ancient times. The eagle was associated with one of the four beasts cited in scripture that were with God [Ezekiel i. 1-14, x. 1-22, Rev. iv. 7]. Christians associated the beasts with the four evangelists, and specifically the Eagle with John the Evangelists, whose Gospel begins with the Word of God and theologically is considered “lofty and soaring”. Only the Gospel was read from the Eagle lectern as a sign of special significance, and it is placed on the “Gospel side” of the sanctuary or chancel. Tradition has it that the Eagle was chosen to represent the Church taking the Gospel forth boldly into the world. The eagle is a symbol of the resurrection or ascension of Christ, as it soars upward. The eagle is a symbol of baptized Christians as they rise with Christ. As the Dove was a symbol of the Holy Ghost, the Eagle was a symbol of Christ. The Eagle was used by early Christians as a sign of baptism, from the scripture, Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 102:5)