Greyfriars and St. Mary’s is a linked charge of the Scottish Episcopal Church in the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. The church in Kirkcudbright dates back to Medieval times, and in Gatehouse of Fleet to 1840. We hope you will find in these pages welcome, inspiration and information.
We don’t go around the streets of Gatehouse of Fleet and Kirkcudbright wishing each other a Happy Pentecost in the way that we wish each other a Happy Christmas and Happy Easter. Christian churches in the UK are much more shy about God as the Holy Spirit than our fellow Christians elsewhere. In churches in Greece and Cyprus, the worshipping congregation joins the crowds in the streets joyfully greeting one another. Church and community are one. Even in the Netherlands, and the Dutch are similarly conservative, Pentecost, or Pinterfest, lasts two days, and there are often family get-togethers. Nowdays socially distanced of course … The first Pentecost came at a highly significant time in the life of the early church. The first followers of Jesus had all gathered together. The first fears of the fearful knock on the door, and arrest by the Roman authorities or temple police; had subsided. But now they were in a sorry state; weak depressed, lonely, confused. Jesus had miraculously come back from the dead, but had now with the Ascension returned to heaven. The scene is set for us in the Acts of the Apostles When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house. Not only had God manifested Himself in the power, discernment, and comfort of the Holy Spirit, this was also the birth-day of the church. Following on from this, the bed-rock of the Church’s faith is the belief in the doctrine of the Trinity. God the Father Who loves us, God the Son who died for us, and God the Holy Spirit who enlightens and empowers us. Put another way, the three great festivals of the Church; Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Three good bases for life itself.
Weekly Pastoral Letter 15 : Trinity + 4, Sunday 5 July 2020
COLLECT: O God, the protector of all who trust in You, without Whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us Your mercy; that with You as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Who is alive and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
READINGS: Zechariah 9:9-12, Psalm 145:8-15, Romans 7: 15-25a, St. Matthew 11: 16-30
WE PRAY for our nation’s medical, social, and economic recovery; especially for those areas where the pandemic has returned, including Dumfries & Galloway. We pray for people suffering injustice, especially in Hong Kong. We pray for our new bishop Kevin, and that he and other church leaders may give inspirational local and national support.
THOUGHT for the WEEK: “Take my yoke upon you - my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Sounds grand, but does it work? I have a cartoon of two donkeys pulling in opposite directions to feed on some hay. They get nowhere until they put their heads together and yoked in unison are able to feed happily. They did not even do a feasibility study! It’s such a fundamental message for living that Hazel cross-stitched and framed it ... The key is the yoke. Our Lord never said life was made any easier by a kind-of instant-access faith that gives glib answers to complex questions. The yoke suggests that there are difficulties in life, maybe even hardships, but we are not alone. In the midst of living in the reality of an international pandemic, even our own church members have endured social, economic, and family hardships, including those who have contracted the dreaded Covid19; but as long as our churches exist, and we are in the slow process of re-opening them, no one reading this should feel alone. Stephen
QUOTE for the WEEK:“Night brings out stars as sorrow shows us truths” Gamaliel Bailey
NEWS: We are in the process of re-opening our churches. However it has not been a simple matter of unlocking the front door, providing hand gel, and keeping two metres apart, as we may have initially hoped for. Our vestries are working hard on the detailed and stringent requirements from the national church, and requiring the bishop’s permission. + Kevin was enthroned in Glasgow on 1st July (details on our website). He will not be answering applications for some time yet. We continue to say prayers outside and more detailed Morning Prayer inside the churches. - Please help me update our prayer requests - SDH
Although the Scottish government has announced that churches may re-open for private prayer, the Scottish College of Bishops have issued a lengthy document detailing how we must oblige certain requirements before we may proceed. Our vestries much first agree to re-opening, then the diocesan bishop’s approval be sought. The documentation is too detailed to print here but may be followed on
I will continue to say the office of Morning Prayer on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays inside our churches, with prayers said outside St. Mary’s and Greyfriars at Sunday service times for those who feel able to attend, and will advise you as soon as our beloved churches may be re-opened, albeit in a limited way.
The Scottish Episcopal Church is broadcasting weekly Eucharistic services from their media channels.
The services are held in private with no congregation, in line with SEC guidelines following government advice to suspend church services as part of the national effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.
This is to confirm that Bishop Kevin becomes our new Bishop tomorrow, Wednesday 1st July. Please check out our website and social media platforms (detailed below) for further news, including details of the Diocesan litany video with voices from across the regions, which (at the time of writing this) should be available to view from the late evening of today, Tuesday 30th June (or early morning, Wednesday 1st July…).
Reflections/ My Manifesto for the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway
I believe in God.
I believe in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
I believe in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway.
And that is why I have responded to what I believe to be God’s call discerned with and through the College of Bishops, to come to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway.
Faithfulness is my strategic plan as I move to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. Faithfulness is an old fashioned word but at the electoral synod meeting, attended by the whole College of Bishops, during the group work it was the word faithfulness, that summarised my experience of that group and the whole electoral process in Glasgow and Galloway.
Although our church services are in abeyance, the Rector will (sadly it has to be alone) pray the office of Morning Prayer in both our churches at the exact time when public worship would normally have occurred ie Sundays at 9.30am & 11am, Wednesdays St. Mary’s 9.30am and Thursdays Greyfriars 10am. During this private time of prayer I will pray for every church member and adherent and their families. Please email or phone me CONFIDENTIALLY any prayer requests. Fee free to join me in spirit.
I also intend to email or land-mail weekly a short meditation (not a sermon!), with news, prayers, and readings of the day (temporarily replacing the weekly pewsheet); posting this also on the website.
During my time alone in church I may take the liberty of appropriate clerical action against any spiders’ webs ...
This is my final communication as your Interim Bishop, and it is simply to say thank you to you all for making us feel so welcoe. I have travelled across large parts of the diocese and even when the reason for meeting might have been to sort issues, you welcomed and supported me through it all.
I have visited wonderful places and joyful congregations, I have driven new roads and discovered unknown railways and stations. I think I now know the difference between Glasgow and all the other bits, and I no longer have to keep looking at a map!
I know you will welcome +Kevin and Elspeth and take them to your hearts and I am confident that the diocese will go from strength to strength.
So, thank you all again, Jane and myself look forward to seeing you all at the Cathedral when we can gather and formally welcome +Kevin into his Diocese.