Gala Event in St. Mary’s Church

Our beautiful church hosted a lovely afternoon musical & reflectional occasion for Gatehouse Gala week on Tuesday 2nd August. Music and vocals were led by our own organist Susan Smyth and friends who encouraged the audience to chat and treat the event as informal. The very talented artistes were aided by inspiring prose and prayers, placed around the altar, baptismal-font, lecturn, windows etc which was provided by Rev. Gill Hart. Scrumptious home-made cakes and biscuits provided added to the happiness of the occasion. Some 35 attended, including children.

Gala Week Songs of Praise

For the first time in several years ( previous bad weather & covid problems) St. Mary’s Gardens hosted this ecumenical service led by the wonderful Creetown Silver Band. Over 50 people including children, and patrons  of the Ship Inn, attended in glorious sunshine. The service was conducted  by Rev. Val Ott, Canon Stephen Hazlett, & Pastor Chis Barratt, and various lay leaders representing the four Gatehouse churches. We were honoured to have the Gala Queen and her retinue attend, and £140.89 was raised for the good community and youth work undertaken by the Creetown musicians. We appreciate too everyone who worked hard setting up the chairs and audio system.  (Photos Jim Logan)



Sunday 31 July
Songs of Praise led by local churches & Creetown  Silver Band in St. Mary’s Garden Sunday 31 July 6.30pm. If raining this will be in the Community Centre.

Tuesday 2 August
An afternoon of live music ( organ & strings) with poetry & reflection, coffee & cake, in St. Mary’s church on Tuesday 2 August 3.30pm onwards.

Mothering Sunday at St Mary's

Isabella and Charlotte (Dee DuRose's grand-daughters) who read at and distributed posies at the Mothering Sunday service recently in St. Mary’s Church.


The thrills and spills of life on the ward

Some thoughts from our very own Alastair Richardson, who has recently been in hospital, and for whom we pray a speedy recovery.


It was on a miserably cold and wintry night in March of the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty two that I experienced a violent gastric event so brutal that it was only measurable on the Richter Scale. After some days of ‘after-shocks’ the medical profession concluded that I would be less troublesome if committed to an institution of remedial repair: Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, an august body of physicians reputedly a centre of excellence and haven of care. Here began a series of investigations, interventions, analysis and procedures medical, of my recent abdominal eruptions. Soon a regular routine of disciplined discomfort was established.

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“Second Retirement” 

After many years loyal service assisting successive Rectors of St. Mary’s & Greyfriars, Rev Denis Samways has finally retired from public ministry for the second time! Canon Hazlett was particularly grateful to him for holding fort during his serious illness last year. Rev Denis also took services in All Saint Challoch, St. Ninian’s Portpatrick, & St. John’s Stranraer. Denis was born in Bridport Dorset, but after serving a Curacy in the Clun Valley in Shropshire he moved to a second Curacy in Polkington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Later he served Incumbencies in Hinderwell & Roxeby, nr Whitby, Boosbeck & Lingdale, tough mining communities, and finally Rydale near Pickering, all in Yorkshire. Indeed he married a Yorkshire lass, Judy who was from Pickering. For a time he served as a Youth Worker, and his talents here were much appreciated by Gatehouse YMCA which he chaired for a number of years. 

After the service on 20th March, Denis was presented by the Rector  with a set of specially engraved cut-glass whiskey tumblers, and a bottle of fine Scotch malt to put in them! Judy was presented with flowers by Mrs Vivien Milner, our Hon Secretary. Denis then rendered without script words from his hero, the poet and hymnist George Herbert. Everyone was entertained to morning coffee and tea, cake and biscuits.


Visit of Rt Rev Kevin Pearson Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway

On Tuesday 21st February Bishop Kevin spent time in Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse as part of his official Galloway Episcopal visitation.

Following lunch in the Rectory and a chat with the Rector about church business, including discussion on the continued vacancies in Challoch, Stranraer & Portpatrick, the bishop accompanied Canon Stephen to Gatehouse Primary School. He was warmly welcomed there by the head-teacher Mr. John Riley and other staff, had a tour of the school, and addressed an assembly of P6/7 pupils. Many of these children had assisted in the St. Mary’s Harvest celebration, decorating the church in their own creative style. After bishop Kevin spoke to the children on a bishop being a shepherd of the flock, and showing them his pastoral staff, they were invited to question him, which they did with enthusiasm. Questions included “how often did he pray every day?” and “had he any other mitres (hat) apart from a gold one ?!”. It was very obvious the bishop thoroughly enjoyed his time - he was almost late for the following Service in St. Mary’s at 3pm! 

Joint Evensong (with worshippers from Greyfriars) was led by the Rector, and lessons were read by Sandra Walsh and Vivien Milner. Susan Smyth was our talented organist, and bishop Kevin preached a most apposite address on “hope”.  A delicious  afternoon tea was served and the bishop happily mingled with the congregation who evidently enjoyed his company as much as the school children did as people did not disperse until nearly 5pm! 

On Sunday 27th February at 5pm, the Bishop and Provost Kelvin Holdsworth will install our Rector as a Canon of St. Mary’s Cathedral. This will be available later on the Cathedral’s own YouTube channel.


Wednesday Service Discontinued

The Wednesday mid week Holy Communion at 9.30am is being discontinued for the present due to declining numbers. This may be reviewed nearer Easter. The midweek Holy Communion every Thursday in Greyfriars continues as numbers there have increased. St. Mary’s flock would be MOST WARMLY WELCOME to the identical service in Kirkcudbright.

Harvest 2021

The St. Mary’s Harvest Thanksgiving on 10th October was a resounding success. Our attendance was well above average, and Rev Gill Hart preached a memorable sermon. The Auction following (the Rector donned a bow tie and trilby hat for this) with the offertory cash, raised a generous £252 for Tear Fund Afghanistan, including a particularly hansom bid for the lobster pot donated by Rev Denis Samways. Hazel Hazlett also donated three of her talented water colours.

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This is Stephen's first service back after his heart op. Thought the setting was very GOLD AND WHITE. Penecost is the birthday of the Church when the Holy spirit is 'set' free, a very important day in the Christian calender.

Holy Week Services

28 March - Palm Sunday
9.30am:  Said Eucharist

1 April - Maundy Thursday
7pm: Said Eucharist and The Stripping of the Altar
2 April - Good Friday
2-3pm: The Hour Before the Cross  
4 April - Easter Sunday
9.30am: Said Eucharist
All services will be led by Rev Denis Samways

Gatehouse Commemoration of VE Day

The 8th May is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.  The Town was planning a number of events and activities to mark this occasion but of course with the current coronavirus crisis this has had to be cancelled or postponed.  Graham and Margaret Wright who run The Gatehouse Folk website have been working over the past months to collate a memorial document of the experiences of the people of Gatehouse during the war, both at home and away.  The material is now available to read online on The Gatehouse Folk website.  

The presentation contains many photographs from the time including many members of the community and it documents their activities during the war both at home and away on service. 

Visit The Gatehouse Folk website or click on the image below.