Bishop leads St John’s service

On Sunday 16th June, the Service at St John’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Girvan, will be led by the Rt Rev Dr Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

This Service will be held in the Girvan Methodist Church at the usual time of 9.30am and will last approximately one hour, followed by tea, coffee and biscuits.

The Rt Rev Dr Gregor Duncan was educated at Glasgow University before obtaining his doctorate at Clare College Cambridge. He also studied at Oriel College Oxford University and Edinburgh Theological College. He has served as Rector at St Columba’s Largs and St Ninian’s Pollockshields. He served as Dean of the Diocese, before being Consecreated as the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway Diocese in April 2010.

The United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway covers south west Scotland, taking in the counties of Wigtonshire, Kirkcudbright and Dumfriesshire (the ancient Diocese of Galloway) and of Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire and West Stirlingshire south of the River Forth.

The diocesan centre is St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. The Bishop is The Rt Rev Dr Gregor Duncan. There are more than 60 churches in the Diocese.

The Diocese’s roots go back into the mists of time. The Diocese of Glasgow was founded by St Mungo (on the left hand side of the diocesan coat of arms) in the 6th century.

In fact, however, there were bishops in the area before him, such as St Kessog (died circa 520). Indeed, Tertullian leads us to believe that there were Christians in the area as early as AD 210. From St Patrick there is firm evidence of the area being Christian in the mid-fifth century. The Diocese of Galloway is just as old. It was supposedly founded in the early fifth century by St Ninian who supposedly died in 497.

In the 15th century the Bishopric of Glasgow was raised to the status of an Archbishopric, and there were Archbishops until 1690, the last being Archbishop John Paterson.

At that point episcopacy was abolished in the Church of Scotland and Episcopalians separated from the State church. The penal period in the 18th century, when the Episcopal Church was outlawed because of its adherence to the Stuart cause, was a low period for both dioceses: the people of Glasgow and of Galloway were often without bishops. In 1837, however, the two dioceses were united.

The years of decline which marked the second half of the 20th century appear to be behind us. Numbers have stabilised, with several congregations reporting growth.