Welcome

Welcome to the website of St Ninian’s Church, Castle Douglas, in Bonnie Galloway. The following pages give a flavour of how we go about our declared purpose of sharing the love of Christ in church and community.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Churches of Commonwealth countries, The American Episcopal Church, and the Churches of England, Ireland and Wales. Through the Porvoo Agreement, we are also in communion with the Scandinavian Lutheran Churches.

We welcome visitors from all Christian denominations. All are invited to share with us in all our services and in Holy Communion. If browsing these pages encourages you to visit us, we shall be delighted to meet you.

The buildings are designed for universal access, on a single level, with all appropriate facilities. There is a loop and loudspeaker system. Large print and Braille liturgies are available. Sunday School and Crèche are held in the Hall during the 11.00am Service. Further information on separate page under ‘Activities’.

In addition to the advertised service times, the Church is normally open daily for prayer and contemplation.

EPIPHANY

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 page 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
Interim Priest