Service to celebrate landmark’s 750th

Kathleen Thomson, chair of peebles churches together and Frank Drummond, chairman the cross kirk 750th anniversary sub-committee look forward to monday's commemoration service.
Kathleen Thomson, chair of peebles churches together and Frank Drummond, chairman the cross kirk 750th anniversary sub-committee look forward to monday's commemoration service.
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ONE of Peebles’ most important and ancient monuments, the Cross Kirk, will celebrate its 750th anniversary this month, writes Mark Entwistle.

It is said that on May 9, 1261, an ancient cross was found on the site, along with a stone bearing the inscription: “The tomb of the bishop Saint Nicholas”.

As a result of the discovery, King Alexander III declared the site to be a holy one and had a church erected there.

Now, 750 years later, local organisation Peebles Churches Together is to host a celebratory service to mark the occasion.

All the congregations of the town are being invited to meet at their own churches on Monday evening before processing to the Cross Kirk for the service at 7pm.

Barry Hughes, Warden of the Cross Kirk, will conduct the service which will feature music from Peebles Silver Band and contributions from young people.

Pupils from the three local primary schools have entered a competition to design a poster publicising the event, with the winners being presented with their prizes at the service.

The successful poster – and many of the other entries – are on display at the Eastgate Arts Centre.

The event will be open to the public and it is hoped many local people will attend what is a significant milestone in the history of the town.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Christie, will participate in the service.

Eagle-eyed visitors may have spotted that the information board at the Cross Kirk states that the church dates from 1241, making this celebration 20 years too late.

However, Historic Scotland has confirmed that the actual date should be 1261 and will be changing the noticeboard later in the year.