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 soon 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 ie God the Father, the eternal Parentwho creates and sustains, God the Son who is Saviour of the worldreconcilingheaven and earth, and God the Holy Spirit who guides, discerns, and comforts – it begins to make sense.
First we celebrate Pentecost which is the season of the Holy Spirit. People wish each other a “Happy Christmas” and a “Happy Easter”, but nobody wished us 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 birthday 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 recentlyat the Parish Kirk in Kirkcudbright at a jointecumenical 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 Rouach 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”. Royalty is much to the fore in these joyful Jubilee celebrations. HM the Queen is well known for her faith (and longsuffering love) and someone who prays daily (she particularly likes the old Prayer Book!). She once famously said “grief is the price we pay for love”.Bishop Michael Curry leader of the American Episcopal Church, preached at the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan on the eve of Pentecost 2018, declaring 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.
Almighty and eternal God, you uphold and govern all things both in heaven and on earth, and by your grace alone kings and queens do reign.
We thank you for all the blessings which you have bestowed upon us throughout the reign of our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth, whom you have set over us these threescore years and ten.
We thank you for the wisdom of her guidance and her love of peace, for the care and devotion with which she has served her people, for the example of her gracious life.
As we rejoice before you with thankful hearts, we pray that we may ever be united in love and service to one another, as people called to live according to your will, for the good of all the world, and the glory of your great name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The situation in Ukraine at the moment is almost unimaginably shocking, and you may feel (as I do) helpless in wondering how to respond. It’s true that there has apparently been a wonderfully generous response locally to urgent requests for materials and money to be sent to refugees, as well as for sponsors willing to consider welcoming refugees into their homes (you may well be thinking about this yourselves).
But there is something else you can do: you can pray. And a priceless resource for prayer is available to all of us right now: the Psalms.
Some information about retreats available over the next 6 months.
If you haven’t made a retreat before, you might like to try The Coach House, Kilmuir, near Inverness which is running a short taster retreat later this month (see below). The Coach House is a small, very comfortable retreat house with spectacular views out over the Moray Firth. If you’re very fortunate you might see dolphins swimming. It offers lots of walks either along the shore or in the woods behind the house. The catering, which is high-quality home-cooked food, can cope with most dietary needs.
Our Rector Rev Stephen Hazlett B.Th. Dip. Hist was duly installed by the Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway Rt. Rev. Kevin Person & the Provost Very Rev Kevin Holdsworth in St. Mary’s Cathedral Glasgow on Sunday 27th February at Sung Evensong.
The Diocese is offering a series of Zoom talks and Q&As aimed at raising awareness about environmental justice and climate crisis issues and inspiring engagement in line with the proposed Climate Action Plan from the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Tomorrow, Thursday 10th March 2022, marks the inaugural session of these talks to which you are cordially invited.
Dean Reuben Preston in conversation with the Rev Richard Kilgour – Introduction to the sessions, Richard’s experiences of climate action in his church community, followed by Q&A. This session will be recorded and made available in due course.
If you would like to attend tomorrow, please fill out the form here: bit.ly/GGClimate.
Greyfriars and St. Mary’s Joint Climate Sunday service was held in Greyfriars Episcopal church Kirkcudbright on Sunday 31st October. It was organised by the Rector, Canon Stephen Hazlett, and Rachel Inglis, the local churches eco rep. A well- attended ecumenical occasion, the congregation of St. Mary’s Gatehouse of Fleet also attended and participated, as did the local Church of Scotland Minister, Rev. James Gatherer. Those taking part reflected all ages the youngest being Murdo Shaw, aged 13, who read the COP26 prayer. Worshippers added their prayers and environmental commitments to the church prayer tree (pictured) and others planted crocus bulbs”. Photos by Hazel Hazlett.