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.