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.
In church terms we now enter the long season of Trinity-tide. We know that it stands for understanding God in Three Persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Theologically it is a hard one to understand, because there is no neat bible verse to explain it. Frederick the Great of Prussia once humbly declared his crown was “only a three- cornered hat that let the rain in”. But it did not stop him being considered by many to be one of the great modern monarchs. We may not understand the inner mechanisms of the internal combustion engine, but it does not stop us driving a car. Actually when we think about God as three persons, i.e. God the Father, the eternal Parent who creates and sustains, God the Son who is Saviour of the world reconciling heaven and earth, and God the Holy Spirit who guides, discerns, and comforts – it begins to make sense.
We have just passed Pentecost which is the season of the Holy Spirit. People wish each other a “Happy Christmas” and a “Happy Easter”, but nobody wished me a “ Happy Pentecost” in the streets of Kirkcudbright or Gatehouse. Which is a pity, because it is just as important. Indeed it is also the birth day of the Christian Church. When the day of Pentecost was come, they were all together in one place (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2). I preached at the Parish Kirk in Kirkcudbright at a joint ecumenical service for Pentecost and a cake was produced to wish the church a “happy birthday” which was a powerful icon, as a child was asked to blow out the candles and they kept re-lighting. A rich symbolism of the gospel refusing to be extinguished.
Unfortunately the Holy Spirit is seen as a rather shadowy character about Whom little is known. A bit like the Third Man played by the shadowy Orson Welles in the film of the same name. Except he played the evil gangster who appeared from the dark underground of post-war Vienna half-way through the movie to reveal himself as the villain of the piece. Often the Holy Spirit appears in the shadows and alleyways of our lives, but as essential Goodness; quietly guiding, discerning, and comforting. Significantly He (or She; the Hebrew word ruach has feminine gender) is symbolised as the wind; unseen but felt, cleansing and empowering with truth.
Trinity is a putting together of God’s three attributes in the three persona; Creator/Parent, Saviour and Guide. The sum total of which is simply “God is love”. The Most Rev’d Bishop Michael Curry, leader of the American Episcopal Church, preached at the Royal Wedding on the eve of Pentecost: there is power in love to lift up and liberate. When love is the way we will lay down our swords and shields by the riverside and study war no more.
Stephen D. Hazlett
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 163 countries. It is the third largest Christian church in Scotland, and is in full communion with the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, and the Church in Wales. Our Christian belief is centred on the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments of baptism and the Holy Communion. We live out these core beliefs through worship, prayer, and Christian living.
Both churches have an active role in our communities, sharing God’s love in ecumenical partnership with other churches. We give of our means and talents to the greater purpose of God’s work and the needs of our fellow humans locally, nationally, and internationally. We are listening churches, not just to those who attend our worship, but to all who find need of us, whether through baptism, marriage, illness or other pastoral needs, and bereavement. The Rector can be contacted at anytime.
Our congregations are enthusiastic, caring, and warm and hope you will be able to share with us as we celebrate our Christian life together.
May the Lord be with you, and may His peace be yours today and always.