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.
This is the time of year when churches all over the world hold Harvest Thanksgiving services.
We will celebrate in Greyfriars on Sunday 1st October at 11am, and St. Mary’s on 8th October at 9.30am. Bishop Gordon Mursell will preach at both services, and children will be contributing and participating. There will be special music, and an ecumenical harvest lunch in Kirkcudbright Parish Hall. In Gatehouse of Fleet a lunch has been booked in the Mill on the Fleet, following an auction in St. Mary’s. The Rector will be distributing gifts of flowers and produce to elderly, house-bound, and hospitalised church members.
The origins of the Harvest Thanksgiving in the British Isles dates back as far as the Lammas Days in medieval times, but it had grown into disuse by the nineteenth century. Ironically we copied our American cousins with their Harvest Home and the first revived service was held in Cornwall in 1843. Nowadays there are some very imaginative harvest services around. When I was in Sunderland a section of the Minster Church was decorated with coal, pick, and shovel --- giving God thanks for the local mining heritage. Another window - we will probably do the same in both our churches - celebrated the harvest of the sea. The traditional harvest hymn We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, may seem a little out of touch in a digital age, but it does not stop there: All good gifts around us, are sent from heaven above; then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for ALL His love.
Living in a land of plenty, we have much to be thankful for. In both our churches, the local children have been asked to create their artistic interpretation of what the true meaning of harvest is --- I can’t wait for the results!
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.