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.
We are now in the season of Epiphany, the first great Christian festival of the New Year. In the West we have unfortunately allowed this time of the year to be almost eclipsed by Christmas. Our fellow Christians in the East, particularly the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches celebrate this as the sense of Our Lord Jesus coming into the world – and staying there until at least his early thirties. This season continues for some six weeks, and includes His baptism, being presented in the Jewish tradition in the Temple, His first miracles and choosing His first disciples, with the preparation for the mighty miracle of Easter not so far away.
Of course it begins with the Wise Men, the Magi, sometimes called Kings who travelled far across the world to acknowledge the new-born baby in Bethlehem’s rough stable, son of Mary and Joseph of the poorest outcast shepherding community. Scholars have said that the three named (there may have been more) Wise Men were Balthasar who was Arabian, Melchior who came from Persia (modern Iran), and Gaspar who may have been from as far away as India. They brought costly gifts acknowledging the Kingship of Jesus.
At this point we realise a wonderful miracle has taken place. They represented the whole inclusive and worldwide nature of the birth of Christianity. This is probably the greatest theme of Epiphany, the opening of the Gospel to be all embracing and truly international, for all humankind. Our churches are described on this opening pages as caring and warm, inviting everyone, in our communities to share in the greatest gift of all --- Love personified. Our church notice boards have the most important message of all; we are Inclusive . Popular culture has come to use the word epiphany as being A moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation. The modern interpretation is absolutely right. Epiphany is the miracle of Christmas made real in the everyday experience.
Stephen D. Hazlett, Rector
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 163 countries. It is the third largest Christian church in Scotland, and is in full communion with the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, and the Church in Wales. Our Christian belief is centred on the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments of baptism and the Holy Communion. We live out these core beliefs through worship, prayer, and Christian living.
Both churches have an active role in our communities, sharing God’s love in ecumenical partnership with other churches. We give of our means and talents to the greater purpose of God’s work and the needs of our fellow humans locally, nationally, and internationally. We are listening churches, not just to those who attend our worship, but to all who find need of us, whether through baptism, marriage, illness or other pastoral needs, and bereavement. The Rector can be contacted at anytime.
Our congregations are enthusiastic, caring, and warm and hope you will be able to share with us as we celebrate our Christian life together.
May the Lord be with you, and may His peace be yours today and always.