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Reverend reflects on many highlights

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Reverend reflects on many highlights

AS he settles into retirement, the former Rev Martin Callaghan has been reflecting on his career with the Scottish Episcopal Church.

He began training with the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway in 1987-1988 on a non-stipendiary course, saying: “After a couple of years studying I realised that this is what I was meant to do with my life. So I began the process of going through the selection and I was sent to selection conference and they recommended me to the bishop of Glasgow and Galloway for residential training.”

He then attended Coats Hall, the theological institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and in 1993 was ordained deacon in St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

After serving his curatesy, he was appointed by Bishop John Taylor to the congregations of Gretna and Eastriggs and was licensed there as priest in charge on May 4 1996.

Over the years, as the area was rearranged, he became joint priest for the congregations of Gretna, Eastriggs, Annan, Lockerbie and Moffat, and then rector of Annandale.

It was all a ‘highlight’, he said, adding: “The thing about the priesthood is that it’s a way of life, it’s not just a job and it’s all about people. And there’s people I’ve met in really celebratory times like weddings and christenings and there are people I’ve met during really hard times in their lives such as bereavement. These are all occasions you’re involved in people’s lives and it’s a great privilege and honour, whether it’s a joyous occasion or a time of sorrow, to be invited to their lives to do whatever you can to be with them and assist them and help them through it.

“They’re special times for everyone in the ministry, because it is about service to God but it’s about service to people.

“I’ll certainly miss that but there are always opportunities to engage with people, to be involved with voluntary organisations, to support people, the community – there are always opportunities for everyone to do that.

“And I’ll certainly keep doing that after a little rest.”

It will be family first now for the minister, who is enjoying being a grandfather.

However, he may also pop up “helping out” at other Episcopal churches in the region.

He added: “Maybe taking Sunday services, covering holidays and that sort of thing. All I can say is that I don’t intend to be idle in my retirement.”

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