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From the Interim Bishop: The Most Revd Mark Strange


Scottish Episcopal Church



From the Interim Bishop: The Most Revd Mark Strange


6th January 2020

To the people of the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway:

Can I firstly thank you all for the prayers and kind words offered to Jane and our family during the past four weeks. We were able to hold my Father in Law’s funeral on the Feast of the Epiphany in his home town of Padiham.

I wish to inform the Diocese that there will be a meeting of the Episcopal Synod on Saturday 18th January at twelve noon. The meeting will be in the Cathedral and will be constituted by the Celebration of the Eucharist. All are welcome to attend as observers, the main business will be the Election of the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway by the College of Bishops.

Please continue to pray for the Diocese and the College of Bishops at this time. I would also wish to record my thanks to the many people who have offered suggestions, support and in some cases themselves into this process; you have been a joy to minister with.


The Most Revd Mark Strange


Rector’s Report for Greyfriars Kirkcudbright AGM Advent Sunday 2019


CONTEXT : I am now over three years in post as Rector of Greyfriars Kirkcudbright & St. Mary’s Gatehouse. I am also Interim Priest for All Saints Challoch ( Newton Stewart), St. John’s Stranraer, and St. Ninian’s Portpatrick. In this extra responsibility I am greatly assisted by our own retired clergy Bishop Gordon Mursell, and Revs. Denis Samways and John Martin , and in Stranraer by Canon Nigel Newton. The Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway continue to part- fund our Incumbency, so it would only seem fair to pastorally care for our neighbours . As a member of Diocesan Council I work hard to ensure promotion of local church concerns ( much as I love Clyde-side, we do not want to become Glasgow- centric!) . In November I was honoured to be appointed Chair of the Galloway Regional Council where all of our Episcopal churches between Gretna and Stranraer meet in fellowship largely to encourage each other, often in small rural settings . Sadly we still not have a new Bishop ( following the retirement of our much- loved Bishop Gregor Duncan who visited us twice in recent years). Barbara Hawkesford , our dedicated Lay Rep and I have attended various meetings in Glasgow, Paisley , and Kilmarnock to represent Greyfriars in this process . Her report will also be presented to the AGM . Most Rev. Mark Strange , also Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness, continues as our Interim Bishop .

CHURCH & PEOPLE : I have for over 35 years in sacred ministry preached that it is the people not the building that matters . However I have come to the conclusion that the two are inseparable. On 27th. October we celebrated the Centenary Consecration of Greyfriars . Given that there has actually been a worshipping community here since the mid 15th. century we are moved by this beautiful edifice having been a sacred space down through the centuries, including the trauma of civil war, local rebellion , and the horror of two world wars . I am as keen as the next cleric to encourage a modern relevance to our ancient liturgy and biblical truths ; I am not so sure of the national clamouring to “improve” on either for the sake of change in itself . This having been said we once again had a Jazz Eucharist , a Sea Sunday , and a Pentecost Sunday when we hosted an ecumenical service and claimed capacity numbers. We are returning to the system of a joint service with St. Mary’s where there is a 5th. Sunday in the month , and these are proving popular with both congregations. As always Easter, Harvest, and Christmas attendances are good, but general numbers continue to maintain and on average are up on previous years . Smaller services are meaningful when the quiet of our church lends itself to reflective worship and contemplative prayer, and the ever popular traditional Sung Evensong. The prayer tree in church testifies to how much Greyfriars can mean to even the casual visiting stranger . Our contribution to the Arts & Crafts Festival continues to be innovative and we are increasingly popular as a venue for concerts .

CHURCH & SERVICE : We have a hard- working vestry which manages the church and finances. There are no passengers ! Whilst each person “ gets on with it” in exemplary manner , the particular posts of Hon Secretary , Gwen Shaw ( who is also our Child and Vulnerable Adult officer) , Hon Treasurer Anthony Bird , and Lay rep Barbara Hawkesford already mentioned ( ably assisted by Doreen Blackadder who is also Greyfriars ecumenical rep.) , and of course Property Convenor Nigel Davies who died suddenly and is still so much missed , but now “replaced” by the quietly effective Bob Reddaway , and John Boyd who manages Greyfriars House for us . Vivien Dania continues to organise our main fundraiser Winter Wonderland with energy and enthusiasm. A small army of hard – working volunteers including recently appointed eucharistic assistants, readers, intercessors, sides- persons, flower-providers and arrangers, cleaners etc makes our worship more accessible and meaningful for everyone, not leastly the Rector!                                                                                However it has to be sadly noted the passing of dedicated church members who left behind a godly heritage . We cannot fail to mention by name those who have died since our last AGM; Diana Christie, John Wilkinson, Nigel Davies, Mavis Laver , Anna Abbott, and Jose Bird. There are others, with their mourning families , perhaps not so well – known, for whom Greyfriars was a special place. RIP Margaret Rodgers, Margaret Corcoran, Rory Gillespie, William Young , Paddy Hooper.                                                                                        We are most grateful too for the organ talents of Bishop Gordon, David Preston , Eileen Cawthorne , and Pauline Roe, who enhance our worship .                                                                                                             Thank you everyone ---.

CHURCH & YOUNG PEOPLE : Steph Moore and Rosie Main are the present dedicated teachers who facilitate our Sunday School . Drostie Tame had to leave due to family commitments; we also appreciate all she did. It’s hard work keeping alive children’s interest and commitment. We are especially grateful to parents and grandparents who encourage them. As rector I continue to be passionate about the school assemblies we provide in Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse , and Twynholm primary schools, and in Kirkcudbright Academy . A singularly successful link has been with the Stewartry Sea Cadets where I am honoured padre. Not only are they the very smartly turned-out mainstay of our growing July Sea Sunday service ( which also this year had reps from the Royal Navy , Merchant Navy , Coast- guard, RNLI, and Fishermen’s Mission); they were central to the Remembrance Day parade in Kirkcudbright and even televised . On 26th. November I was deeply honoured by the Unit to receive a Commission from HM the Queen to be specifically a Royal Navy Sea Cadets chaplain ( yes she personally signed it !).

CHURCH & COMMUNICATION: We must never underestimate the value of our weekly pewsheet , so ably compiled by Gwen Shaw . For example , the people prayed for are so meaningful to so many, often miles away from us . It is frequently too the first-stop for information about services and church events . For some years both our LINK magazine and website was under the skilful direction of Rachel Inglis, who has also facilitated special reflective services in Advent and Lent . She has had to hand this over . However we have been most fortunate to secure the skills of James Burkitt, a former librarian and reviewer , as the new LINK editor .Thanks too to Vivien Dania and Sheila Catchpole who helps produce and distribute publication, and to SCVS who do so much of our printing . Meanwhile Randy Rushing, with Ken Smyth in Gatehouse , enthusiastically manages our Website. Keep the articles to both publications flowing please !

THE GREYFRIARS of the FUTURE : By 2050 approximately we will have been worshipping in the oldest part of our church for some six centuries. Although I am quite certain I will not be your Rector by that stage , I am fairly sure the church WILL be there by the Grace of God .

Stephen Hazlett

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Posted: 31st May 2018

As you may be aware, the law regarding data protection is changing and the new EU legislation came into effect on 25th May 2018. The GDPR replaces the UK Data Protection Act and is a really positive step towards individuals having more control over how their data is used and how they are contacted.

The rector, vestry secretary and treasurer would like you to know that any of your personal information that may be held for church purposes is kept safely and will not be shared with any third party. This policy statement can now be found on the 'Vestry Matters' page.