The People’s Parish explores the creative culture and heritage of every part of Scotland. But how does that relate to everyday lives? How do people live their lives now, and how do we feel about that?

These are big questions, so it might help to look at some themes, some 'lines of enquiry' to get us thinking. We might call these LifeLines – the things we can trace through the multiple criss-crossing patterns that affect how we live, day by day, month by month, year by year.  LifeLines might include:


FOOD What do we eat? Where does it come from? How do we prepare and share?

FAMILY Who counts as family? Is that different from friends? How do we keep in touch? Who do we live with? How do young people and older people influence each other?

HOME Where do we live? Is home stable or changing? Who are our neighbours?

NATURE When and where does nature touch us? How green is our neighbourhood? Are we experiencing pollution or effects of global warming?

WORK Where and when do we work? How much is paid or unpaid? Does work give pleasure or pain and hassle, or both?

CRADLE TO GRAVE Where in our neighbourhood are people born, die, laid to rest, remembered?

HEALTH Are we healthy or ill, or both together? What makes us feel well or ill? Where and how do people cope with being ill?

MEETING PLACES Where do people meet each other? Is that different people in different places? Is face-to-face different from phone or text, and how?

VALUES Could we sum up our values in one sentence? Do we have any kind of spiritual belief? When do these values play a part in our choices and actions?

These are nine rich themes - lines of enquiry – and we could name others. We might consider EDUCATION, LANGUAGES AND CULTURE, MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT, POLITICS, BUYING AND SELLING, or other things that impinge on life in our neighbourhood – past, present and future.

These topics can become dry and abstract if they do not connect with our own experiences. One creative way to explore LifeLines is by sharing experience in a Story Circle.


Below are some starter ideas for prompts – you will have your own and better ideas! You can download these in our creative community resource pack

FOOD Imagine your favourite meal: what are you eating, with whom, where? You might do this twice - once a real occasion remembered, and once your dream occasion!

FAMILY Who counts as family? Are they the people who have/had the biggest infIuence on you? Is family more or less important than it used to be?

HOME Describe the doorway into your home, and what does it feel like coming out or in? Imagine your favourite place at home- in a past or present house.

NATURE When do you see, touch or smell plants, animals and birds? Where is your favourite green place?

WORK Describe your best work experience in recent times. Describe your worst work experience in recent times. Who appreciates your work?

CRADLE TO GRAVE What has been your closest experience of birth? What has been your closest experience of death? How do you think about the dead and remember them? How do you think about people who will come after us and remember them?

HEALTH Have you been effected by an experience of illness- your own or someone else’s?  Describe something that contributes a lot to your own health and wellbeing.  What helps most when you are ill?

COMMUNITY Where do people meet each other in your neighbourhood? And what kind of conversations happen there? What contributes to people in your area being isolated or lonely?

VALUES Name one action or kind of behaviour you have experienced that you believe is truly good. Name one action or kind of behaviour you have experienced that you believe is absolutely wrong.  Can you name a person or an event that helped you understand the difference between right and wrong in your own life?