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.


In the prayers a couple of months ago, the newsletter mention was made of “Frendz” so here is a brief introduction to the service.

Frendz began in 2009 as a crisis pregnancy service following prayer and extensive training through Care Confidential for its volunteer counsellors. In 2008 we completed an 80 hour course in Crisis Pregnancy and that was followed by a 50 hour course. This was The Journey and it was a Post-Abortion Training Programme.

Troqueer Church in Dumfries allowed us to renovate boiler and store rooms in its Church Hall ground floor. These premises at 24 Church Street were transformed into a counselling room, an office and a welcoming reception area with its own entrance.

Over the years we have run a phone counselling service as well as meeting up with clients, had further training sessions and taken part in fund -raising activities. We see women and their partners who are facing an unplanned pregnancy, helping them to think through the available options in a structured way. We run a 10-week programme for those who have had a termination and are struggling with their emotions and would appreciate a safe, confidential space to talk it through with someone who is trained.

At a prayer and planning day at Barcaple a couple of years ago it was decided to widen the charity’s remit.  

Our Constitution now states that we will provide ‘Within a Christian ethos, the advancement of health and wellbeing through provision of counselling, advice and assistance to those who are suffering from any physical or mental illness; experiencing mental health issues, distress or poverty.’ 

This means that we aim to improve the overall health and emotional wellbeing of clients. The clients we will see for counselling on other issues e.g. anxiety, depression, self -harm, trauma, could be anyone 16 years and over. We are able to refer to other agencies who might help with e.g. baby equipment, relationship problems.

If you are interested in being a counsellor or are already one and looking to use the skills God has given you, do contact Frendz. Or if like me, you are more of a talker than a listener, you can help in other ways. I can give you more information.

The counsellors are motivated to care by their faith but you do not need to be of any faith to access Frendz. If you need to talk that is what Frendz is for.

There is a mobile phone with answering machine which is checked every day. Find Frendz at or on Facebook. Tel: 07961865720 Email:

Frendz is an affiliate member of the Association of Christian Counsellors.

Katherine Naylor 


The title of this year's Holiday Club from Scripture Union - for those of you who weren't there, here is an brief account of how it all went.

A few months ago I approached John to talk about running a Holiday Bible Club for the primary school children of the town. After last year's spectacular circus themed holiday club, it seemed a shame to not have one this year. It was my first time heading up holiday club so I was a bit anxious of how it would all work. But I needn't have been.

After putting out a notice at church, I ended up with a wonderful team of volunteers. I was so blessed with all the help and support from the church. Its so great when God's people work together. Got to love the Body of Christ - eh!!

We ran holiday club over three days the 13th- 15th of August in the parish hall. God really blessed us so much with many children attending over the three days. It was wonderful to see the Sunday School usuals, but equally wonderful to have lots of new children from the town coming along too.

Each day we looked at different Bible stories, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and his disciples. We used the theme of the week “Team Builders” and explained about being on God's team. Joseph's family didn't start off working together as a team very well, but God changed all this around for his plans, purpose and glory. Moses was stressed out, trying to do everything himself. But after taking some good advice he appointed trusted judges to help him continue God's work. And finally, Jesus chose his disciples to help him on God's mission. They all had a special job, role and purpose. Jesus chose them for a reason and he would love to have you on his team too!

We had great fun telling Bible stories, dramas, silly songs, lots of sticky, glittery, gluey crafts, and of course yummy cakey snack times.

The three days were thoroughly enjoyed by all the children and volunteers, including myself. And I just want to thank everyone who helped plan, volunteered over the days and prayed for us. The whole thing was done in God's strength so we must give all the glory to him for all his blessings!

God bless.

Katy Metcalf


In June we have said goodbye to Rhys Loftus and welcomed Jeanette Peel.

Jeanette Peel is a Ministry student at Glasgow University preparing for full time ministry in the Church of Scotland. Part of the course requirement is a 10 week placement over the summer. Jeanette had chosen to split this into two, spending 6 weeks with us in Kirkcudbright and 4 weeks on placement with the hospital chaplain at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Over the 6 weeks she is with us, Jeanette will be taking part in the full range of activities, worship, pastoral care, organisations, youth work, meetings etc. I know you will give her a warm Kirkcudbright welcome.

Here’s what she says about herself:

“My name is Jeanette Peel and I am looking forward to being on summer Placement with you all. I have lived in Dumfries for many years now after moving up from Cumbria with my family as a child. For the past year I have been on placement at the Border Kirk in Carlisle as I continue my academic studies at the University of Glasgow. Prior to starting my training as a ministry student I was a Parish Assistant at both Dumfries Northwest Church, and with Annandale and Eskdale Presbytery for 2½ years. I also spent many years as a church volunteer taking on a pastoral role and working as chaplain for our local primary schools. I came to my church role after many years as a primary teacher but have also served in the police (when it was Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary) - a while ago now!

My dog, Dan the Greyhound (rescue), stays with me and we enjoy our leisurely walks out. We're hoping for a dry and warm summer to get out more but time will tell... Spare time at the moment is reading for studies as I prepare to write my dissertation and go into my last university year. I am a Strictly fan and enjoy jazz music so I am coming to the right place for the Jazz festival!

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you as I continue my ministry studies.”

Rhys Loftus has been with us for 2 years in his role as Youth Worker. He was appointed to this new role in June 2016, and immediately had to cope with the demands of two bosses, because the appointment is a partnership with the Abernethy Trust at Barcaple. Rhys’ contract was to work with the maintenance team at Barcaple for 3 days and 2 days a week in Youth Work attached to the Parish Church.

Rhys soon proved himself more than capable in this role and in a relatively short period of time he has done a fantastic job in developing the Youth work within the Parish Church. He also acted as a most effective channel of communication between the Barcaple centre and the Parish Church.

A big component of Rhys work in the parish has been with the Primary and Secondary schools and he has shown himself to be an effective communicator who is widely respected by both staff and pupils.  He has been involved in SU groups in both schools as well as helping with football and basketball. These contacts have enabled him to build some very positive relationships.

The work the church youngsters has included Bible study, Sunday School and making a regular contribution to the 9:30am Sunday Service. With the help of volunteers from both Barcaple and the Parish Church he has run a regular Friday Youth Club as well as organising a Holiday Bible Club in the summer.

Rhys is moving to take up a post at a Christian Outdoor Centre in Canada and we wish him God’s richest blessing in this new stage of his life and ministry.

The Kirk Session have agreed to seek another joint appointment with Abernethy Barcaple and this is currently being advertised through the Abernethy website.