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Betting on the Church's Standing

18 July 2001

SCOTLAND –– As reported by the BBC: ``A minister has had a flutter in a betting shop in an effort to improve the Church of Scotland's links with the community.

``Rev Erik Cramb, Moderator of Dundee Presbytery, visited a Ladbroke's branch in the city as part of the General Assembly's mission to create a church `without walls'.

``The minister, who is also the Kirk's industrial chaplain, joked with fellow punters - many of whom were a little taken aback by his visit.

```…One man tried to convince me he wasn't betting. He had put money on Colin Montgomerie to win The Open Golf Championship and he said his chances were so low it was more of a donation that a bet.'

``Ladbrokes gave Rev Cramb £100 to bet with and he placed it all on a horse named Oomph to win at a race meet in Newcastle on Wednesday afternoon.

``Oomph, of course, went on to win its race, coming in at 5/6 returning £183.

``He added: `It was quite exciting and I must admit that it is not the first time I have done this - I sometimes place a couple of pounds when the Grand National is on.

"`But it was the first time I have done such a thing in an official capacity and I plan to do it again - I also plan to donate any winnings to the Church Action and Poverty organisation.'…"

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