A “big sing” saw more than 200 people enjoy singing the songs of praise voted the top 10. The congregation was led by the church’s Praise Band and by organist Angus Dick. The programme included solo items from the minister, Rev Douglas Irving, and his wife Hilary and from Praise Band members Claire Pepperd and TJ Richards of Barcaple Christian Outdoor Centre.
An exhibition in the church featured the communion and baptismal silver, christening robes and wedding dresses from bygone times as well as photographs and biographies of the nine ministers since 1838. There was also a special case of memorabilia relating to Rev George Hamilton, minister from 1820-36. It
was he who persuaded the then sixth Earl of Selkirk to provide the land and construction costs for the new church. Hamilton saw the foundations of the new church laid and the building take shape but died before the building’s completion.
There were also children’s activities, including banner making, and a special banner featured the children’s and helpers’ hand prints with the message that God needs our hands in His hands-on work in the World today.
There was also a car treasure hunt followed by a dinner in the church hall in with more than 70 in attendance.
These activities were master-minded by elder Irene Robertson and her team of organisers from the Tuesday Group and other members.
A special service of thanksgiving was conducted by Mr Irving. Scripture passages were read by Kathreen Hope-Dunbar and Pat Parker. Ray and Lesley Purdy led the congregation in intercessions. An inspiring sermon on Christian hope was memorably shared by Rt Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. During the Service, the Moderator presented the minister with a glass Celtic Cross made in her native Ayrshire and was thereafter introduced to George Hamilton from Buittle, great-grandson of the Reverend George Hamilton.
A gathering of the congregation took place in the Church Hall afterwards, with the cutting by the Moderator of the 175th anniversary cake made by Addie Clarkson.
A lunch hosted afterwards at Park of Tongland by John and Sandra Corrie afforded opportunity for invited guests to meet the Moderator. Lunch party guests included Violet Service, Moderator of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright Presbytery, a number of the congregation’s officials and descendents of previous ministers including Janet Mothersill, daughter-in-law, and Gill Mullinar and Judith Pottle, grand-daughters of the late Rev JE Mothershill.