Our Minister is Interim Moderator at Tarrf & Twynholm l/w Balmaghie at the moment.  This has coincided with a major Viking Archaelogical find at Balmaghie, now being assessed by Museums of Scotland.  This follows the recent discovery on Tywnholm Glebe of a hoard of coins and a medieval silver pendant cross, the latter now in Stewartry Museum.

Dumfries and Kirkcudbright Presbytery at its November Meeting on 26 November determined to recommend to Edinburgh that Tarff and Twynholm be now linked with the united congregations of Gatehouse and Borgue Congregations with Rev Val Ott to become minister of the newly linked charges.  The unpaid assistance of an ordained local minister or reader based at Kirkcudbright to serve three congregations of Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse and Tarff and Twynholm, is anticipated under the new arrangements.

The future of Balmaghie Congregation is still being considered but in the meantime Balmaghie will cease to be linked with Tarff and Twynholm under a revised Presbytery Plan.


Another month over how did that happen?

Thank you for those who make contact with me regularly or even occasionally I really appreciate it.

The weather is staying really hot in fact the temperature has gone up slightly.  Its Durga Puja time at the moment, one of the largest Hindu festivals and on Monday one of the largest Eid festivals when they very openly sacrifice goats and cows. 

On 16 September I officially moved into my current apartment in Dhaka and started a new phase of my journey in Bangladesh.  I will never forget my time spent in Jobarpar and the many friends and memories made.  After three years I knew God was ready to do something different in my life and use me in other ways and I'm glad He is still doing that.  When I return to rural areas I realise I do miss the peace of living in smaller towns and villages, the simpler way of life and the people.  This month I visited the Jobarpar project where the staff are involved in Integrated Community Health (ICH).  There are three nurses and three community organisers.  They have and are still dealing with changes in the project.  Change doesn’t come easy and often people are upset, unsettled and feel uneasy.  I was there for several reasons and one was to reassure the staff of my help and input wherever that is needed.  I may not be working in the area however it is as are all other projects part of my working area.

Their Programme Organiser is now working in the north of the country as a Project in Charge and so there was a need to have someone organising the ICH and so I discussed with the Project Manager and the project accountant about ideas.  We all agreed we should give Rekha the Jobarpar Community Nurse a chance to carry out this position.  She was pleased to be asked and quickly agreed.  Rekha is a good nurse however does not have a great  deal of people management experience however we are prepared to give her a chance.  As I was writing this the story of Jesus calling His disciples came to mind.  Jesus was prepared to give fishermen, a tax collector and other labourers a chance.  Men who had maybe no or minimal educational background and look how it all turned  out and what wonderful people they became because of his choices and guidance.

When I visited Jobarpar I met with my previous ayah Sopa and her youngest son Leon.  I was delighted to see them.  Sopa has no job, her husband is a daily labourer and she has three sons, one at home, one at a hostel school in the south of the country and another son who lives with an uncle in one of the bigger towns in the area.  Even though the family do not have a steady income Sopa is so grateful for the three years she worked for me and even told me that on my latest visit.  She now has a two room home with proper wooden walls, a tin roof, several goats, chickens, ducks and two cows.  She smiles as she tells me about what she has and continually tells me how it was because I gave her a chance and a job when she had so little.  I am glad I took the chance even though it was a struggle working with someone who had almost no English and I understood so little Bangla yet it worked for three years and I am proud of her.

I feel this quote sums up how Sopa has felt in the past and how she feels now.  ‘All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride.’
W. Edwards Deming

I visited Meherpur in the west of the country once again in September.  In the past there was a large project with many staff however currently there is a small programme running with few staff.  Along with the project manager I visited several government projects, a women’s training group and a young adults training centre.  Women and young people getting a chance to prove they can do something with their lives.  I was really pleased and delighted to visit and build on relations with other projects and with the lovely sunflower cushion cover presented to me before I left them.

There are many women’s groups around the Meherpur and on this occasion I visited one group in the Bollobhpur area.  I talked with the women, they asked me lots of questions and wondered why I wasn’t married and wanted to know if they could get me a husband as a number of them have sons.  All of them of course are late teens early 20s!!

Its jute harvest and everywhere you can see it being dried over bridges, on long poles and anywhere they can find.  The jute when dried is then bundled and transported to factories where they make it into bags, sacks and other crafts.

Thanks for

The first year in my new home in Dhaka and making many new friends in the apartment building and at my yoga class.
Being able to help many projects in various ways Safe travels every day.
Catching up with friends and colleagues in Jobarpar.

Prayers for

Many people who are still displaced due to flooding.
My ayahs nephew who was so homesick he has left the Christian school/ hostel and returned home.
Church of Bangladesh partners consultation next month.
Plans in operation for several project areas which now need implemented and continued safety as I travel to these areas.

Until next month Pat

Kirkcudbright Parish Church

At the heart of Kirkcudbright, having Kirkcudbright at heart!

About our Church by Reverend Douglas Irving, Parish Minister

I am Douglas Irving and have been Parish Minister here for sixteen years, following fourteen years in my first charge - Kilbirnie: Auld Kirk in North Ayrshire.  I lead a progressive congregation with a passion for the very special and vibrant community of Kirkcudbright which we seek to serve in Christ’s Name.  I seek to encourage each member of our congregation to put God-given talent to use that God’s Rule might be established among us.  We seek to be full partners with other community groups within our town.  In particular, we work closely with our sister congregations here under the banner of Kirkcudbright Churches Together. 

It’s my privilege as Parish Minister to extend an invitation to you to join us as opportunity affords you.  

On Sundays and throughout the week, our congregation offers you a variety of opportunities for fellowship and service, whatever your age or background.  We welcome others of faith and of no faith to join us in journeying with Christ, He who has promised to be with us always.  We are all at different stages of our journeying and a good number of us discover particular friendship and companioning in our four Home Fellowship Groups which meet weekly. 

We have a fine, light and spacious church building dating from 1838 designed by the Scottish Architect William Burn; also a fine purpose-built church hall, with a well equipped kitchen, which provides a meeting place for not a few church and community groups.   A current congregational initiative is looking at the possibility of releasing our fine, but under-used, 175 year-old church building into 7 day-a-week use under local community ownership which we would continue to use alongside other community co-users.  Plans have been drawn up for the development of the building for such multi-community use and discussions with all interested parties are ongoing at the moment.

You, whom God sends our way, however, are our main concern.  Should you consider that we might be of service to you, please be in touch.  If I can’t help you personally, I will endeavour to put you in touch with someone who can!

Douglas Irving