The following presentation, given at the inaugural service held at Castle Douglas on Monday, 6th June 2011, has been forwarded by Rev Roger Cutler:
Regional Presentation at the Growth Strategy Launch
What is the essence of Galloway? Is it the rugged yet beautiful scenery – the many lochs and rivers Its wildlife and the belted Galloways – or is it the people?
The Galloway Region is a large, mainly rural area some 92 miles long and an average of 20 miles wide (1,800 sq. Miles).
In this Region we have 14 churches all represented here. They range from St.John’s in Dumfries – the largest by far, to small village churches like Eastriggs and they stretch from Portpatrick in the west to Moffat in the east.
The distances between churches does hamper the way we work and some churches can feel isolated, some under great strain – and the region, as a whole, can seem set apart from the hub of the diocese
We are a diverse region in many ways, however, this diversity is also one of our strengths.
Our local strengths, our signs of hope and our potential are wide ranging and immense – what we need, as was indicated in the questionnaire last year, is: “more sharing of ideas within the region” “better communication across the region” “sharing between charges” and “strengthening in the regions prayer life”
Our churches need to be seen as the building blocks of the Region, bringing healing and reconciliation bringing peace building up God’s family.
When we look at the churches we find signs of hope and growth in many ways. Some with generational family ties, as shown here by the families from Challoch and Castle Douglas. Some of our churches already have great outreach into their communities Some have deep spirituality and prayer lives Some are in retirement areas with Anglicans moving here bringing new vision and ideas And some have very lively social lives.
These are our seeds of hope – our mustard seeds.
Our vision for Growth with God’s Grace in Galloway as a region is closer co-operation and closer ties within the region so that these seeds of hope can be rolled out across the region and all charges benefit from the wealth of expertise and knowledge that we already have.
In our service this evening we will receive some seeds – put them in a container on your windowsill and watch them grow – and as you do, let them remind you of our vision for Growth with God’s Grace.
Let us pray a prayer for our region.