High praise for Kirking Sunday

The Cornet's Party and Rev. Lisa-Jane Rankin at Sunday's Kirking
The Cornet's Party and Rev. Lisa-Jane Rankin at Sunday's Kirking

Cornet Gregor Hepburn took his first steps into Common-Riding week in time-honoured fashion when he led his supporters to the official Kirking ceremony on Sunday.

Having swapped jodphurs for a morning suit, tile hat, grey gloves and black umbrellas, the Cornet and the rest of the resplendent Big Four ensured the timeless parade was headed up in fine style behind the Halberdiers.

With a slightly wet start eventually giving way to dry skies, the traditional line of Ex-Cornets, Ex-Acting Fathers and male supporters made their way from the town hall to Wilton Parish Church, where they formed part of an estimated 500-strong congregation.

Officiating at her fifth Kirking Sunday, Rev. Lisa-Jane Rankin gave a well-received sermon which focused on the theme Trinity, being the three parts of God.

She told the Hawick News: “The Kirking went very well and according to the ‘old guard’ it was a good service, so I was really pleased. There was a great buzz in the church.”

Second oldest-living Cornet and church elder Bruce Mactaggart gave a reading, as did the Cornet. And popular Common-Riding singer Henry Douglas impressed with a faultless rendition of Hawick Among the Hills – which he performed from the balcony next to the organist.

The hymns also reflected the theme of the sermon, including The Spirit of God and God the Father of Creation. Cornet Hepburn’s chosen hymn was Will Your Anchor Hold.

The Cornet, who along with his Acting Father Richie Lynn was wearing the Cornet’s tie, said: “The Kirking was something really different and a real change in proceedings. I really enjoyed it and the service.”

Afterwards, the Lasses, also dressed in their Sunday best, joined the four Principals and were cheered along the High Street on their way to the Cornet’s Lasses’ lunch at the Nightsafe Bistro.