This year the annual ecumenical service held at Crossraguel Abbey was a bit special.
Organised by Maybole Council of Churches, the event centred on the 500th anniversary of Maybole being made a burgh and there were some special guests.
Instead of being held at the beginning of gala week, the service was held on the day following gala day which allowed the Gala King and Queen of Carrick, Jack Gemmell and Letia McGeachie from Cairn Primary, to attend in their full regalia.
The service was led by Rev Andrew Baldock of St Oswald’s, and the opening prayer was offered by Bishop Gregor Duncan, Scottish Episcopalian Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.
Rev Jim Guthrie, Church of Scotland, read from Ecclesiastes 3:1-18 and the homily was given by Bishop William Nolan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Galloway who spoke of the long history of Christianity and pilgrimage represented by Crossraguel Abbey. A prayer of thanksgiving and blessing was offered by Rev Stephen McGarva, Pastor of Wigtown Baptist Church and Interim Moderator of Maybole Baptist Church.
The Gala King and Queen were given a blessing by Bishop Duncan and the Maybole primary schools choir sang “Amazing Grace” and “This Little Light of Mine” with lively enthusiasm. The service closed with a final blessing was by Bishop Nolan, after which those attending then headed to the Carrick Centre for tea and scones.
Other invited guests were included the Marquess and Marchioness of Ailsa, Lord David and Lady Anne Kennedy; Provost Helen Moonie, Canon John McGee, Rev Richard and Mrs Margie Moffat, Rev Noel and Mrs Moya McCullins and Lady Marguerite Hunter Blair.
Thanks go to Maybole Council of Churches for organising the event together with the Community Association; also Historic Environment Scotland for permission to use the Abbey.