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Parish News

Thursday June 9 2022

Our regular round-up of news received from churches

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Two Welsh harpists, Rhiain Bebb and Huw Roberts, performed in Tarff and Twynholm Parish Church, Dumfries and Galloway, in May to commemorate a tragedy which occurred nearby.

In April 1816,  blind Welsh musician Hugh Pritchard, his wife and five children arrived in Twynholm but were unable to find accommodation so they sheltered in a sand quarry. Sadly, in the night the side of the quarry collapsed, killing the whole family. They were buried in an unmarked grave in Twynholm cemetery.

In 1871, four Stewartry ministers combined to erect a headstone over the grave. Later, folk story and song collector Joseph Train recorded the tale and passed it on to Sir Walter Scott, who incorporated Hugh Pritchard into his book “Red Gauntlet” as the travelling musician Wandering Willie. A second headstone was erected in 1946 by the Galloway Association of Glasgow, which recorded the family name and the link to “Red Gauntlet”.

After the concert in the church, there was a short service beside the grave led by the Rev Val Ott.  The harpists then played and laid roses in memory of the family.

The Rev Ian Hamilton and his wife Margaret cut the cake at a celebration for the Platinum Jubilee in Freuchie Parish Church in Fife.

Stranraer Parish Church held a ‘celebration of service’ at which serving elder, Sam Scobie, was presented with a Long Service Certificate for 51 years service by Mrs Gillian Lynn, Interim Moderator.

Below: the service was also an opportunity to thank the Elders who had chosen to become Elders Emeritus when the Church was formed from a union of High Kirk and Trinity churches in 2020. 14 of the Elders were presented with certificates by the Rev Alan Ford, and another eight will be presented with certificates at home.


Long service certificates were presented to three Elders and 10 Guild members at St Leonard’s Church, Forres, in Moray. The presentations were made by Associate Minister (on familiarisation from South Africa), the Rev Steven Sass.

Elders: Roy Anderson, Audrey Gordon and John Carson.

Guild: Frances Buchanan, Ann McPherson, Mary Duff, Margaret McKenzie, Joan Paterson, Mairi Garrow, Audrey Gordon, Mary Shand and Margaret Wright. Not present: Chrissie Cunningham.

The Rev James Boag presented long service awards to 12 members of the Kirk Session of Broom Parish Church, Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire.

From left: John Dick (ordained 1987), Jim Inglis (1987), Graham Smith (1991), Bill Brown (1983), Robin Marshall (1983), Alastair Campbell (1979), Moira Gray (1991), the Rev James Boag, Bruce Durning (1987), Jim Fyfe (1997) and Douglas Robertson (1990). Not pictured: Cameron Buchanan (1972), Gordon Young (1985)

June Life and Work out now. 

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