Events, Services and Groups

Times of Church Services

Services are held every Sunday morning at 11.30am. Communion will be celebrated four times in the year on the 1st Sunday of February, June, September and December. These are at 11.30am and 6.30pm. The February and September Communions will be uncarded due to difficulties in distributing Communion Cards at these times. Uncarded Communions are generally held after the morning service on the first Sunday of the months when there is no regular Communion. (See also Special Services Section.) From Sunday 14th July 2013 there will be an informal Sunday Evening At Trinity (SEA Trinity) at 7pm.

Princess Victoria Memorial

A short wreath laying service at the Princess Victoria Memorial in Agnew Park was attended by a group of about 100. The memorial service to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the sinking of the MV Princess Victoria was held in the Town Kirk of Stranraer. Three ministers, namely Rev John H Burns, Rev Mel Griffiths and Rev Ian McIlroy led the service; well-known hymns with the theme of remembrance, especially at sea, were sung by the large congregation. A retiring offering of £352.12 has been sent to the Merchant Navy Fund. After the service a light lunch, free of charge, along with animated conversation was enjoyed by many of those who had attended the services.

Forthcoming Events in 2014

The only special service scheduled is the Armistice Day Service on Monday 11th November. The Kirk Session has agreed to hold a special service on the evening of Monday 4th September 2014 to commemorate the start of the Great War. The service will be timed to include 11pm, the time when war was declared in 1914. Further details of all events are given in the church newsletter, in the local press, by pulpit intimation and by posters in town shops.

Trinity Church News

The Church keeps in touch with members not only by regular visits from elders but the Trinity Church News is distributed four or five times per year. This is produced "in house" and contains reports of past events and information about future events taking place in the church and church hall.

Vigil Service on 4th August 2014

A congregation of about seventy, including Mrs Terry Brewis, Lord Lieutenant for Wigtownshire, members of the Royal British Legion Scotland as well as members of other denominations, attended an Interdenominational Vigil Service.

At 11pm the congregation was asked to stand for the Vigil to commemorate the British declaration of war against Germany att 11pm on Tuesday 4th August 1914. As the words of the then Foreign Secretary Edward Grey "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time" were quoted the lights of the church were extinguished one by one until only a candle was left lit on the Communion Table. To the accompaniment of the sound of battle the list of the years 1914 to 1918 were recited, then the months of that final year from January to November, the dates of November from the 1st to the 11th and the hours from 1am to 11am ending with the order to “CEASE FIRE” when the lights came up and the sounds of battle ceased.

The service closed with the Benediction and the first verse of the National Anthem.

A fuller account of the service is in the August 2014 issue of the Trinity Church News available in the church.

Our Place in the Community

The church caters for all ages in the local community. The Kirk Session is responsible for the spiritual and pastoral life of the church while the Congregational Board is responsible for all aspect of the financial side, including the buildings.

The Organisations which use the Premises

The church organisations which utilise the premises include the Senior Members Club, Kids in Kirk, Boys Brigade, Badminton Club, Projects Committee, the Choir and the Youth Fellowship although the latter is in abeyance at present, particularly as a venue for coffee mornings/afternoons. Christian Aid uses the hall as the base for the Christian Aid Walk & Fun Run in May.

Project Committee

This was originally set up in the mid—1980s when a problem of damp in the wall behind the pulpit. The original estimate of costs was such that the Project Committee was set up to raise the necessary finances for the work to eliminate the problem. Further examination revealed that the problem could be cured by allowing air to circulate behind the plaster and by sealing the outer side of the wall. This sealing has to be renewed periodically but the problem of damp has been eliminated. The only visible signs are the airbricks on the south wall.

Nowadays the remit of the Project Committee has been extended to include social as well as fund raising events; these are attended by those within and outwith the congregation.


The church is the venue for a number of local events, including the annual concert by Stranraer Brass Band.

Town Kirk News

The Church keeps in touch with members of the congregation not only by regular visits from elders but the Town Kirk News is distributed four times per year. This is now produced "in house" and contains reports of past and future events taking place in the church.

Service of Flowers

Each Sunday the church is decorated with flowers donated by members of the congregation, often to commemorate a special personal occasion. After the service the flowers are distributed by the Flower Covenors to members of the congregation who have, for example, return home after being in hospital or have suffered a bereavement.

Special Services

The minister is chaplain to Rephad Primary School and Thorneycroft Residential Home. He conducts special assemblies for Rephad Primary Church in the church, particularly at the end of term. He conducts a service for the residents of Thorneycroft on the second and fourth Sunday afternoons. The first and third Sunday services are led by local Church guilds. Services in the month when there is a fifth Sunday are led by elders from the Trinity Church. The minister also visits patients in hospital both here in Stranraer and in Dumfries.

During the Easter season, there are joint services with local churches. The first is the Maundy Thursday Communion which is held in rotation in the two Church of Scotland Churches in the town. The Easter Day Early Morning Service is held (usually) outdoors at approximately 7am. The venues vary as Inch Church is included. It is hoped that in future Portpatrick will participate. After the service those attending are treated to breakfast at the organising church. The venues include Castle Kennedy Gardens beside the ruins of the old castle, the Gardens of Friendship on Cairnryan Road and in the ground of the High Kirk.

A service of Harvest Thanksgiving is held annually, the date is decided each year. This is followed by a Harvest Lunch in the hall. Part of the proceeds is allocated to charitable purposes. Remembrance Sunday is marked by a service at the town war memorial followed by a service in the Trinity Church which is attended by all those organisation which have taken part in the parade. On 11th November an Armistice Day Service is held in the Trinity Church, provided this date does not coincide with Remembrance Sunday. A retiring collection is taken for a charity involved with present day or former members of the armed services.

Armistice Day Service

On Armistice Day, Monday 11th November 2013, the retiring offering for SSAFA amounted to £179.27.

Remembrance Sunday Services

On Remembrance Sunday 10th November 2013, the retiring offering for Poppyscotland amounted to £222.05

Christmas Services

The Christmas season is marked by a watch night service held late on Christmas Eve followed by a Christmas Morning service. These alternate between Inch church and the Town Kirk with the Watch Night Service being held in one with the Christmas Morning Service being held in the other.

Moody & Sankey Services

Moody & Sankey Services were initiated in St Andrews Church influenced by the screening on TV of a service depicting the two evangelists and their hymns and music. These services were initially held annually but are now held at longer intervals. A collection is taken for a local charity.

Rotational Services

World Day of Prayer

The World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical event held in a different church each year. The World Day of Prayer service is held on the evening of the first Friday in March. Representatives from each church are involved with the host church, providing the speaker, duty personnel and refreshments. The Order of Service is prepared, usually by Christian women; the programme being from a different country each year. A shortened version of the service is delivered by members of the congregation to elderly residents in sheltered home accommodation or care homes.

Community Carols Service

The minister is involved with two community carol services. Early in the Christmas season there are Community Carols in the Cairnryan Hall. Just before Christmas there is a Community Carol Service held in the town churches. This alternates between the Trinity Church, the High Kirk, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church and the Stranraer Baptist Church. These are accompanied by Stranraer Brass and a retiring collection is uplifted for local charities.

Scottish Bible Society

A service publicising the work of the Scottish Bible Society is held each year and again rotates round the different churches.

Christian Aid events held specifically in the Trinity Church of Stranraer

Christian Aid is another ecumenical event. Christian Aid Week is always held during mid-May. The event starts with an evening service; this again rotates each year.

While a number of events are held in a number of venues in the town, three are held in the Trinity Church, namely the Coffee afternoon and evening, the Rotary Bread & Cheese Lunch and the hall is used for registration and finish of the Christian Aid Fun Run.

Links with other Organisations

Pulpit Intimations

The congregation is kept informed of coming events in this church, our sister church and other churches in the town, by the weekly pulpit intimations. When appropriate, e.g. when a large number of dates are involved, the intimations may be issued to each member attending. Each week a copy is placed on the notice board at the front door and in the rear foyer.

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