Celebration for Ewes church's 150th anniversary

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THE congregation of Ewes church will be joined by former ministers to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the current building this Sunday.

The Rev Scott McCarthy, minister of Langholm, Eskdalemuir, Ewes and Westerkirk will lead the service which begins at 11am.

The Rev Bob Glover, the son of a former minister, will preach at the service. Bob and his brother, John, both grew up in Ewes Manse.

Scott said: "For the 100th anniversary the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rev Dr Roy Sanderson, came and Bob played the organ. He has now retired from the ministry and plays the organ for two congregations in East Lothian.

A number of former ministers are attending, including John and Liz Cairns, Bob and Sheila Milne, Jim Watson and Haisley and Jill Moore.

Scott said: "We've received good wishes from the widows of former ministers, including Grace MacKenzie, widow of Iain, and Elizabeth Calvert, the widow of Tom."

A barbecue will be held after the service, weather permitting.

Originally, there were three kirks in the valley: Ewes, Unthank and the Nether Kirk, on the site of which the current building stands.

The church was dedicated to St Cuthbert and there is a fairly reliable record of ministers from the end of the 13th century. One, the Rev John Lithgow, was imprisoned for his faith on the Bass Rock.

Perhaps the most famous was the Rev Robert Malcolm, ordained and inducted on August 29, 1717. Four grandsons were knighted for their services to their country and later became known as the Knights of Eskdale.

The old kirk building had a thatched roof and people, who brought themselves within the discipline of the church, were sent to collect heather and help in mending the roof.

The current building was opened and dedicated on October 13, 1867. The Rev Monro of Campsie preached on He that winneth souls is wise.

Tombstones from the old churchyard were placed in the aisles and walls of the new church where they remain.

An unusual feature is the church bell which hangs in the fork of a lime tree in the churchyard. This bell is rung every Sunday to call the parishioners to worship. This is the third tree to be used.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:41AM
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