Sunday 20 December – the Evening Carol Service
The Church was well-filled for the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols – with interludes of music and secular readings in between, several musical pieces being performed by the youngsters, who also read many of the scripture readings. Once again the Two Kings entertained with their Rap (see below). Afterwards, mince pies and drinks were served in the Hall.

Sunday 13 December – The Nativity
Once again – and thanks to Beth – we were treated to a new slant on the familiar story of the Annunciation and the Nativity, of which all the essential ingredients were there – but it all took place in A & E …!

'Doctor' Katie tells the story ...
‘Doctor’ Katie tells the story …

2015-Nativity group

2015-Nativity group.2
The story continued …
2015-Rapping Kings
Euan and Sam, the two rapping Kings

Here is the rap, sung by the two Kings:

We’ve had a journey
We’ve travelled far
Over deserts to follow the star.
We carry the bling, myrrh and frankincense
It may seem strange but it all makes sense.

We had a little accident you need to know
A camel stood on Caspar’s toe.
Now we’ve got to go to A and E
Best not be late to see the baby.

At the hospital the parking was fine
We left our camel on a double yellow line
Now Caspar’s waiting in a hospital chair
With that queue he’ll be a long time there.

We’ve had a journey
We’ve travelled far
Over deserts to follow the star.
We carry the bling, myrrh and frankincense
It may seem strange but it all makes sense.

Sunday 29 November – Advent Sunday

St Ninian's - candle-lit before people arrived for the Evening Service of Hymns and Readings for Advent
St Ninian’s – candle-lit before people arrived for the Evening Service of Hymns and Readings for Advent

Today we welcomed Bishop Gordon Mursell to preach and to preside at the Eucharist. At the start of the service, the children of the Sunday School gathered to light the first Advent Candle, assisted by Jenny Wright.

Lighting the first Advent candle
Lighting the first Advent candle

Sunday 4 October – Harvest Thanksgiving:

The Sanctuary Guild turned out on the preceding day to decorate the church …

Hard at work ...
Hard at work …
2015 02 Harvest
The finished displays

This year dried and canned goods were requested instead of the usual fresh produce.

Sunday 30 August: the Rector made a presentation to Katie MacQuarrie, who is about to go to university in Glasgow, thanking her for all her contributions to the church, in particular her work with the youngsters in the Sunday School.

Katie receives her gift from the Rector and St Ninian's
Katie receives her gift and good wishes from the Rector and congregation of St Ninian’s

On Sunday 16 August, Ann and Clem Gault provided wine/juice/nibbles after the Service for all those attending in celebration of their forthcoming Golden Wedding Anniversary. (Click on images for larger view)

Ann and Clem
Ann and Clem
2015-08-16 Toast to Ann & Clem
The Rector proposes a toast to the couple …
Some of the congregation and visitors in the Hall sharing in the celebration
Some of the congregation and visitors in the Hall sharing in the celebration

Also on Sunday 16 August, the annual Ecumenical Open Air Service at Dundrennan Abbey was held – and the weather stayed fine! The Service was planned and led by Revd Stephen Ashley-Emery (Church of Scotland – Castle Douglas and Bengairn). Father William McFadden, representing the Roman Catholic Church in the Stewartry and Revd Sally Russell (Church of Scotland – Corsock, Kirkpatrick Durham, Crossmichael and Parton) were involved in leading the prayers and reading from the Bible. Canon David Bayne (Scottish Episcopal Church) gave an address on “Live as children of light.” The congregation was drawn from different churches across the Stewartry.

Clergy and people arriving for the Service
Clergy and people arriving for the Service
Dundrennan Abbey
Dundrennan Abbey

On Friday 7 August, the Bexley Phoenix Choir gave a splendid performance of Fauré’s Requiem and other music in St Ninian’s Church.

Bexley Phoenix Choir with their conductor, John MacKenzie
Bexley Phoenix Choir with their conductor, John MacKenzie

The choir visited here about twelve years ago as a youth choir but, as adults, they reformed as the Phoenix Choir to give summer concerts – some of them are now working in different parts of the world. Following the solemnity of the Faure, beautifully accompanied by Bishop Gordon Mursell on the organ, there was a refreshment break in the Hall and the choir then treated us to a very varied selection, some accompanied on the piano by Christine Diggens, some unaccompanied – from traditional Scottish songs to a compilation from the Beach Boys via S Pottle’s ‘Jabberwocky’, performed with plenty of visual interpretation. The audience loved it! More information on the choir from: Bexley Phoenix Choir

Easter Sunday Confirmation …

Bishop Gregor Duncan presided and preached at the Festival Eucharist and confirmed three of our young men: Sam Stevens, Euan MacQuarrie and Michael Little.

Sam, Euan and Michael after their Confirmation
Sam, Euan and Michael after their Confirmation

and Flowers …

The Church was beautifully decorated for Easter - click on image for larger view.
The Church was beautifully decorated for Easter – click on image for larger view.

… and glasses were raised in a toast to the newly-confirmed trio The toast Bishop Gregor Duncan has been here for the whole of Holy Week, taking part in our services from Palm Sunday onwards, including celebrating at the Chrism Eucharist at St Ninian’s on 31 March, following which a soup and sweet lunch was enjoyed by all in the Hall. He also attended services at St Margaret’s, New Galloway and Christ Church, Dalbeattie culminating in a joint Easter Songs of Praise service there on Easter Day in the evening. Bishop Gregor’s Lent Appeal The Scottish Episcopal Institute is the training agency for the Scottish Episcopal Church and forms people for service as competent and confident public ministers, whether as Lay Readers, Deacons or Priests. Currently there are 24 students in its midst, drawn from all seven dioceses. SEI is poised to launch new courses and fresh ways of formation to fit the changing Scottish context. To find out more about its ethos and courses, please go to

Bishop Gregor writes:
This year, all seven diocesan bishops have agreed that, in their Lent Appeals, they wish to support the training and formation of those entering the ordained ministry or licensed lay ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church. In commending my 2015 Lent Appeal to you, I do so alongside each of my fellow bishops in their respective dioceses.
2014 was a year of significant change in the Scottish Episcopal Church. It saw the creation of the new Scottish Episcopal Institute (SEI), which replaces the former Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (TISEC). The ethos of SEI has a very intentional emphasis on formation – the shaping of a person for ministerial functions and ensuring that the person has sufficient maturity in Christ to carry those functions. The Rev Canon Dr Anne Tomlinson was appointed Principal of SEI in August and Dr Mike Hull joined as Director of Studies early this year. The role of the Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden, the Provincial Director of Ordinands, has also been expanded from one day per week to a two thirds role which will enable candidates to be accompanied from the early stages of the recruitment and selection process throughout the entire period of their initial ministerial education.
Changes in provincial structures, to create a new body called the Institute Council, to act as the governing body of SEI, received initial approval at General Synod 2014 and will come for final approval later this year. Once that process has been completed, SEI will be formally launched.
Already, we are encouraged by the numbers of potential younger candidates exploring vocation and, funds permitting, we hope to be able to offer full-time training as a possible pathway for some in the future.
General Synod 2014 received the proposals regarding SEI with enthusiasm and the Bishops also indicated then that we would act in concert with our Lent Appeals in 2015. Members of Synod gave practical voice to their enthusiasm by offering personal financial contributions there and then. In acting together in the 2015 Lent Appeals, all the bishops hope that the Scottish Episcopal Church as a whole will similarly be willing to support this important work.

+ Gregor You can look at the Diocesan leaflet by clicking here: Glasgow and Galloway Lent Appeal 2015


(Click on link above to open a printable copy.) Details of the five week course are below.

Lent Course 2015