With a very full programme of Gala events going on in town we planned and prepared for our Afternoon Tea feeling very unsure if anyone would come. Members baked and sent out invitations. Our organist Susan Smyth gathered friends from far and wide and planned some lovely early music on the organ accompanied by recorders and a cello. And people came!
On Thursday of Gala Week St Mary’s hosted an afternoon to find out more about the Biosphere. Members of the community and visitors to Gatehouse were invited to hear Faith Hillier, one of the Education Team for the Galloway and South Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere talk about the sustainability aims of the organisation and help us uncover what is unique and special about our environment, culture and heritage.
Around twenty people gathered on the first dry day of Gala Week and discussed life in Gatehouseunder a number of headings.
Gala Week got off to an uplifting start despite the overcast weather on Sunday evening. Gatehouse Churches Together gathered in the garden next to St. Mary’s Church to sing God’s praises. We were accompanied by the Creetown Silver Band whose rousing playing kept the rain at bay and inspired the congregation and the many passers who paused to listen. During the service a collection was taken for the Band, in support of their teaching work with young people. It raised an amazing £229.36!
The Gala Queen, her Consort and their attendants joined the congregation of 60+ people from the four Christian denominations in town to give thanks for the Gatehouse community and to pray for God’s blessing on our annual week of celebrations.
As the Band packed up and people made their way home the rain began to gently fall and we gave thanks for a dry service and a happy evening spent together.
Pics form our annual popular event. A well attended church listened to Canon Paul Thompson, Canon Stephen’s life-long friend from County Fermanagh, as he spoke of his time as a prison service chaplain and what harvest thanksgiving services were like “inside”. St. Mary’s had been beautifully decorated with flowers, fruit & veg (including pictoral contributions from the pupils of Gatehouse PS), and afterwards sold at auction by a suitably attired Rector! Photos Vivien Milner, Paul Thompson
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.
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)