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Bell tolls for village church

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Bell tolls for village church

THE final ever service will take place at St Mungo Church on Christmas Day morning before it closes its doors for good.

And the elders are hoping for a good turnout from villagers and parishioners to mark the milestone, with a warm welcome promised to all tomorrow from 10.30 am.

The church, which dates from 1875, is closing down as per the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery Mission Plan, along with 13 others throughout Annandale and Eskdale.

From January 1, it will enter into a union with Lochmaben Church with all future services held there.

Even the communion silver, which was purchased by parishioner subscriptions, is transferring to Lochmaben.

However, the memorial plaques to World War I and II are staying locally and it has been agreed with Sir John and Lady Pandora Buchanan-Jardine that they will be put up in Kettleholm Village Hall, while the pew cushions are off to Dalton.

Meanwhile, the future of the church bell is yet to be decided, but hopes are high it can remain locally.

The congregation at St Mungo has dropped in recent years with just a dozen on average attending the fortnightly services, which have been led latterly by Andy Morton.

However, in its heyday, it was packed to the rafters every week and well supported by the community: the pipe organ was paid for and installed in 1906 by Sir Robert Buchanan Jardine, the communion linens were presented by Miss Jardine and first used in May 1877, while the Women’s Guild donated the communion cups in 1954.

The church building, which was designed by architect David Bryce who was also responsible for Castlemilk and Lockerbie Town Hall, is expected to be put up for sale by the Church of Scotland

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