Hopefully, as you read the title of this page, it will not elicit that familiar cry of despair : “Oh no, not more changes!”! In the case of our Church newsletter, the change occurring is that of editor, so it might be appropriate to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and at the same time, on behalf of our church members, thank my predecessor, Kim Lowe, for all the work she has put in to editing the newsletter over the past couple of years.

My name is Howard Brown, my background is that of general practice, although I retired from that and moved to Kirkcudbright around 10 years ago. I have been a Church of Scotland elder for forty one years, and have witnessed the many changes to church life and worship that the years have brought about, many offering great encouragement, a few somewhat less than that.

However our encouragement in uncertain times comes, not from faith in the transient, but rather faith in God’s revealed eternal truths. The apostle Paul puts it this way : “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever” (Heb. 13 v8), so in placing our faith in Christ and His finished work of atonement and redemption, which took place on the Cross, we should not feel discouraged on our onward journey — rather we should go forwards with both hope and enthusiasm!

These past few years have brought many changes to our own church here in Kirkcudbright, and as we go forward in to 2019, the pace of change is likely to accelerate — but the good news is that we want all of you, our church members, to be involved in the discussion and decision making process. Our minister, in his monthly letter, has already made reference to two very important meetings which will take place in the first week of December, and as they will have significant implications for both medium & long-term future of our church, I will highlight them once more:

  1. Sunday, 2nd December at 10.00am should be in all of your diaries as a “must be there” event. It’s purpose is to receive from our Church Building Group a progress report on future possibilities in restructuring the interior of our church to better equip it for both congregational worship purposes, and also to provide adaptability for use by the community we live in. This is your opportunity to have a say in this important future project, and we are anxious to hear your views! After the service and presentation you are invited to join us for a soup lunch in the hall.  If you haven't been to church for a while, take this opportunity to renew your acquaintance with familiar and new faces.  A warm welcome awaits you and you will not be disappointed!
  1. Wednesday, 5th December at 7.30pm in the Church Hall. Rev. John Collard, our interim minister, will be reaching the end of his term with us in the forthcoming months of 2019. An important meeting for all members of our congregation takes place on the above date with visiting Transition Support Group team members to ascertain progress made towards returning the right for us to call a permanent minister to the Parish Church. The T.S.G. will wish to receive input from as many of our members as possible, so please make an effort to  attend this meeting if at all possible.

Finally, as we prepare to celebrate the incarnation of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, can I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed Christmas.

Howard Brown


Following the service on 2nd December there was a consultation for the congregation about the church building, led by Graham Finch and John Collard. About 70 people took part.

Graham started by giving a short overview of what the Buildings Group had been doing in the 6 months since it was formed. He then invited each person to use three post-it notes, headed ‘Dump’, ‘Keep’, ‘Develop’, to list aspects of the building in each of these three categories. These were then collected and the results are undernoted.

The second exercise was a group one. Each group was asked to think of possible uses and then necessary alterations of the church building. These were all collected on flipcharts – one for ‘uses’, another for ‘alterations’ and  everyone present had a chance to indicate their priorities by distributing 4 dots among the various options. These results are also now undernoted.

After the consultation a soup and bread and cheese lunch was served in the Parish Hall.


Pews - 43 Organ pipes - 11 Toilets - 28
False organ pipes - 13 Communion table - 7 Heating - 18
Poor heating - 11 Pulpit - 6 AV system - 16
Carpet - 6 Memorial plaques - 6 Kitchen - 15
Paintings and artefacts - 5 Organ - 5 Seating - 12
Projection screen (replace) - 5 Windows - 5 Welcoming Entrance Hall - 9
Wooden outside door - 4 Grand piano - 4 Meeting rooms in Galleries - 9
Some pews - 3 Light - 4 Lighting - 7
Pillars - 3 Space - 3 Floor -5
Flags - 3 Blue ceiling - 3 Multi-use rooms - 3
Choir area - 2 Stained glass window - 3 Space under galleries - 3
Present lighting - 2 Wooden plaques - 3 Adaptable partitionable spaces - 3
Entrance hall - 2 Area in front of pulpit - 3 Section off transepts with
Seating areas in balconies Light colour scheme - 2 moveable walls - 2
White paint on the pews Movable chairs - 2 Cafe - 2
Brown carpet at door Paintings - 2 Vestry area - 2
Steps at front of communion Pillars - 2 Chairs all one colour
table GB tapestry Carpet co-ordinated with chairs
Pews in Town and Trades External facades Co-ordinated colour scheme
balconies Plaster work on ceiling Quiet space
Noisy heating system Prayer desk Social space
Excess musical instruments All the woodwork Area for public worship
Back vestry area Main centre for worship Bigger higher screens
White paint surrounding organ Space and possibilities (no Rooms for church meetings
Flooring permanent walls Office, hall
Guts of organ General shape Screens for congregational
Clutter Pulpit falls viewing of what is going on
Current AV set up Main structure of building Glass doors into building and 
Fluorescent lights Pews into church
Toilet Pews but not in white or Trade and Town galleries
Multi-coloured chairs replace by pews made by Window blinds
Negative thoughts local craftsmen Air con
  Prayer tree Community use of building
  Re-use balconies Ground floor space
  Height Link galleries
  All downstairs Ceiling fans
  Presence Access to all three galleries
  Carpets Smaller glassed off worship
  Heating area within main sanctuary
  Gallery frontages Craftsmanship and artistry
  Wooden flooring Insulation
  Sconce lighting New ideas
  Keep organ pipes and  Look forward
  pulpit but move or hide  Pillars



Worship – agreed by the meeting to be taken as default     (2 dots!)
Concerts                                                                        30 dots
Youth and Children’s space                                              21 dots
Community outreach space                                             18 dots
Place of quiet and reflection                                             17 dots
Exhibitions (paintings etc)                                               15 dots
Church Office                                                                  15 dots
Alpha/other Christian courses                                           14 dots
Conferences                                                                   11 dots
Christian bookshop/café                                                   10 dots
Meetings                                                                           6 dots
Spirituality and friendship among congregation                    5 dots
Films                                                                                5 dots
Site of historic interest                                                        1 dot
Live Streaming                                                                   0 dots
Citizens Advice Bureau                                                        0 dots



Toilets                                                                                  33 dots
Remove pews                                                                       33 dots
Kitchen facilities                                                                    27 dots
Improve heating                                                                    24 dots
Screens for flexible spaces                                                     18 dots
Sound/Lighting/Audio-visual                                                   16 dots
Glass entrance doors                                                              13 dots
Disabled development                                                              9 dots
Develop vestibule to include glass welcome area                         3 dots
Extend platform                                                                       3 dots
Small café                                                                               2 dots
Christian symbol at front for focus                                             1 dot
Remove organ pipes                                                                 1 dot
Lift access for balconies                                                           0 dots


In choirs and places where they sing…

Hello everyone, I’m delighted to be with you every Sunday playing the organ. It’s an honour and a privilege. As you probably know I’ve been asked if there is any possibility of resurrecting the church choir and I’m glad to say I’m very happy to try!

The choir would support the hymn singing and (hopefully) provide the odd anthem during the service. The possibilities are endless. If the choir became big enough we might also have a go at and giving a concert! We have already have recruited ten folk who are willing to give it a go. You don’t need to read music and I’d be happy to help with singing.

Singing is a joy for life. The benefits are amazing. It exercises the brain, improves the breathing and posture and eases muscle tension. It helps to sustain a healthy immune system, it bonds large groups of people very quickly, breaks the ice and goes a long towards stopping the present disintegration of communities (on which subject, it is also cost-effective!). All the above has been scientifically proven, even dementia has been seen to be stemmed.

John Milton in his “On the morning of Christ’s nativity” wrote; “Say heavenly muse, shall not thy sacred vein afford a present to the infant God? Hast thou no verse, no hymn or solemn strain to welcome him to this new abode?”

Well, I really hope we could have that hymn ready on Christmas morning! But you need to stifle that reaction (especially in men) that says “It’s not for me”. Come along and see, and be carried along on the wings of song. It is the most marvelous feeling and offers you a fantastic way to be a really useful member of your church.

There would be necessarily another point in the week when the choir would meet to rehearse and I’ll be calling the singers together to discuss how and when this might best be fixed.

The music I would wish to work on will certainly include works of a more “Classical” nature but that doesn’t mean dull – quite the opposite! The Praise band does a great job at the earlier service with its guitars and drums but there is a huge and varied world of church music that is waiting to be discovered and enjoyed and which is presently the well-loved, staple diet of good church choirs country-wide.

The fine Scottish Bass Bill McCue with whom I worked on a couple of occasions at Scottish opera used to have a BBC Scotland programme called “It’s a fine thing to sing!” He was right!

Do speak to me after the church service anytime. We can work things out in complete confidence and secrecy if you like!
I look forward to welcoming you to give it a go!

Geoff Davidson


We are delighted to welcome Geoff as the recently appointed organist at Kirkcudbright Parish Church. Geoff was born in Dumfries and went to school there. He started playing the organ at the age of 15 at Lincluden Church and later at St Georges Dumfries. After studying at Royal Scottish Academy of Music he entered teaching before becoming a staff member of the BBC Singers. As a singer he has toured worldwide with some of the world’s great conductors. He has himself conducted numerous choirs and orchestras, both professional and amateur. He has written his own orchestral pieces as well as operas and musicals. Over the years he has kept up his organ skills, until recently playing for the 6 parish churches near his home in Norfolk! Since retiring to New Galloway in 2017 Geoff has been ‘relief’ organist for Kells, Balmaclellan and Carsphairn churches and undoubtedly their loss is Kirkcudbright’s gain.


I look forward to taking up the position of Session Clerk and being able to serve the congregation in this capacity. Although I know many in the congregation quite well, there will also be some who do not know me so let me give a brief self introduction.

I am not a “native” of Kirkcudbright, but have lived here for 31 years and consider it home. I was born in India where my parents were educational missionaries. We left when I was 2 years old and as a child I lived mostly in the east of Scotland. I went to secondary school and university in Edinburgh where I studied History and completed my teacher training.

I worked briefly as a tax officer at Centre 1, East Kilbride before taking up my first teaching post at Dalry Secondary, teaching History, Latin and German. I moved to Dumfries Academy and while there met my wife, Helen, who was also a teacher, at Dumfries High School. In 1986, I was appointed as Principal Teacher of History and Social Subjects at Kirkcudbright Academy and

I taught there until my retirement in 2011. During the mid 1990s, following an inspection by HMI. I served the school in the capacity of Assistant Head Teacher for 2 years with the responsibility of carrying out recommendations of the inspectorate. Since retiring, I have continued doing supply teaching at Kirkcudbright Academy and Douglas Ewart High School. Hel-en and I have 4 sons – one in London, 2 in Edinburgh and one in Kirkcudbright. My main inter-ests, beyond work, family and church are football (we have season tickets at Easter Road!), curling and golf. While I love the companionship and camaraderie of the EGGS (Elderly Gentlemen Golfers Society) my golf remains infuriatingly inconsistent and my handicap refuses to move in a downward trajectory! I am also a member of the Rotary Club, the Burns Club and Kirkcudbright Parish Players.

Finally, I hope that having served as an elder since 1997 and served in the role of Clerk to the Board and Presbytery Elder, I can put this experience to good use as your Session Clerk. I am honoured to have been asked to take on this role and ask only for your patience while I get to grips with the job.