This is Whitekirk in Scotand’s East Lothian. Like most Scottish places, it has a troubled history. It was visited by at least two persons of note, who died in very different circumstances. In 1435, Enea Piccolomini walked to this church from Dunbar, barefoot in the snow, to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for saving him from a perilous sea journey. It gave him rheumatism for life. He was an Italian diplomat, known for his erotic poetry. In 1458, he was elected Pope Pius II, and became one of the most powerful men in the world, launching a crusade against the Turks, partly on the advice of the real Dracula.

On the hill behind the kirk in 1678, preached John Blackadder, outlawed Presbyterian covenanter. Living at times when the government loathed Presbyterianism, and was soon to launch the horrors of the so called ‘killing times’, he was hunted down, tried and banished to Bass Rock, held in a cold damp cell with three barred windows

Piccolomini died in a palace at Ancona in 1464, Blackadder died in a chilly gaol cell in 1686. Although both suffered from the Scotch cold, I think I know which one was given a warm welcome in heaven.