Welcome to Greyfriars, Kirkcudbright and St Mary's, Gatehouse of Fleet

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.

A Shared Feast

I find that sharing a meal with friends is one of the great pleasures in life. Whether it’s an informal picnic on the beach or Sunday Lunch with all the trimmings, the company and the conversation lifts the everyday into an occasion. The activity of eating together, gathering and sharing food, creates a place of safety in which we can dare to be ourselves and to reconnect with others. It creates the space to tell and listen to stories, to celebrate life and commiserate with disappointments, to understand each other better and to build community.

Meals feature prominently in the stories we tell in Church on the Sundays after Easter. As we come together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ we make time to consider the various accounts of his appearances to his followers. One of the consistent elements of these stories is how often they shared food together. When the disciples first encounter the risen Christ they fear he is a ghost. Jesus takes and eats a piece of broiled fish to prove that he is physically present with them. At the end of a long day on the road, Jesus identifies himself to two frightened disciples in the familiar act of breaking bread and giving thanks. When he wants to reassure Peter that he is forgiven for his betrayal Jesus arranges a picnic on the beach. In the context of a shared meal Jesus creates an opportunity for a painfully honest but ultimately healing conversation. Lovingly Peter is brought out of despair and confirmed in his role as a future leader of the church. So we shouldn’t find it surprising that when Jesus wants to recommission his disciples he find them at the end of a futile night’s fishing and cooks them a breakfast of fish on the beach. Fed and rested he helps them to face their fears and turn aside from their familiar occupations to rediscover their calling to proclaim the good news of God’s love for all people.

The Christian Church would quickly grow out of these encounters. A small group of frightened men and women were transformed by the meals they shared with Jesus after his resurrection into a community that lived to worship God and witness to the living presence of his Son in their midst. The sharing of food had become the context for moving the disciples on, reassuring them of God’s forgiveness from past mistakes and failures and recommissioning them to continue Christ’s work. These weeks after Easter are our opportunity to hear again these stories of shared meals and lives transformed and to consider if they have anything to offer us today.

In the Episcopal Church we believe in the possibilities created by shared meals. We prioritise gathering around the Lord’s table, making it central to our weekly worship because we believe that is here that we encounter the risen Christ. And here that we learn the discipline of living in community; forgiving and being forgiven, facing fears and practicing taking risks for the sake of the good news of God’s love. Falling and rising we share this weekly meal in response to the invitation of Jesus himself to ‘come, eat and drink, in remembrance of me’. We share together in bread and wine that we may be strengthened for the journey of life and receive the grace to travel on together in hope and love. A community that celebrates the resurrection Christ not just at Easter but everyday!

If you would like to join you would be very welcome any Sunday:

9.30am at St Mary’ s in Gatehouse of Fleet 

11.00am at Greyfriars in Kirkcudbright. 

A warm welcome awaits you.