Cummertrees, Mouswald and Ruthwell Church

Cummertrees Mouswald & Ruthwell Parish  
The regulations have all been cleared and we are now free to welcome members and friends back.
We will also be able to sing again albeit with our masks on. Bring your own cushions. 
We have to follow the current guidelines.


We have all faced our own individual trials over the Covid pandemic and beside us all the way, was our Interim Moderator Bill Holland, with his smile, monthly messages and support. This is Bill's last message for now as he is standing down to enable him to concentrate on his health. The message is self explanitory but on behalf of all of us I would like to thank Bill for everything he has done and I am sure our prayers will be with him constantly through his journey. Lots of love from all of us Bill and thank you for everything. 



Dear Friends,

This is a letter that I had no inkling I would have to write.  However, because of a sudden, unexpected health problem and the treatment that will be required, I have had to step aside as your Interim Moderator.  It has been my privilege to work with you and your office bearers through these last six years.  We have shared many things together.

It has been a pleasure to worship at Ruthwell and be associated with the good folk of Cummertrees, Mouswald and Ruthwell Church.  It has been good to have had Gerald as Locum.  I want to thank you all for the friendship and kindness you’ve show to Helen and me during this time.

Rev Alison Burnside has been appointed by the Presbytery as your new Interim Moderator.  She is the minister at Castle Douglas and Bengairn Churches and has worked in rural ministry.  I’m sure she will guide you well in the days that lie ahead.  The end of Covid-19 restrictions is in sight and you should all be able to return to a more normal arrangement for life and worship.

In recent months I’ve used different scenes on the Cross to identify helpful messages for us at each stage.  The Cross has now become part of me and my faith.  Its presence and its messages will always remain with me and be a source of strength to me in the months ahead.  I look forward to being able to visit Ruthwell – its Cross and its people in the future as an ordinary worshipper.  I would ask that you keep us in your prayers as I go forward with my treatment.

Stay safe.

May God bless us all,

Bill Holland


  •  Masks must be worn at all times.
  •  Hand sanitiser is available at the door. 
  • There will be no bibles/hymn books available so bring your own.    
  • Anyone who doesn't have a hymn book can pick one up at the door and keep it for the duration. 
  • 2 metre distancing must be observed at all times. Seating has been arranged accordingly. 
  •  Elders will be available to assist with directions etc 
  •  Bring your own cushion! We have had to remove the soft furnishing from the seats for cleaning reasons. 
  • You are welcome to bring your own cushion and take it home with you. 
  •  Contact details including name and phone number or email will be taken at the door on entry. 

Bill Holland's monthly messages are still available on our NEWS PAGE

To view the interview with Prof Daniel O'Donnel on the Visionary Cross Project CLICK HERE    

If any of our members or friends, need any kind of support to pick up supplies or medicines, please contact Fiona on 07803 171007 in the first instance and we will do what we can.  Your Elder is always available to help, even if it is just for a wee chat, so please get in touch with us.  This is a time when we all need to help one another and we could not be in a better place for this to happen. I have every faith that no matter what the issue any of you may face, that one of us will be able to help.  

"The Ruthwell Cross" by Evelyn Hope The Easter story incorporating the Ruthwell Cross and and anthology for Lent   is available to purchase for £13 including P & P. Please order through our contact page.                         

Thank you for taking the time to look at our website. Our aim is to give you an understanding of our congregation, our rural community and our ancient Christian heritage.

Ruthwell Church is the oldest building in South West Scotland still in regular public use. It is a painted rubble kirk, which began as a long narrow medieval church.  The Murray Aisle was added in the 17th Century and the apse, which houses the cross, was added in 1886. It is in a remarkable state of repair both outside and in. 

The graveyard,which surrounds the church, is still in use and is bounded on two sides by a tall gated wall. 

Our traditional Session House is located out with the church yard in the large car park adjacent to the church.  The Session House has been extended to provide a good-sized meeting room and a large galley style modern kitchen and toilet.

Parish Profile

Our United Congregation

Welcome to Ruthwell Kirk web site.  Our aim is to give you an understanding of our Church of Scotland congregation, our rural community and our ancient Christian heritage.

Our united congregation was formed in 2011 from the linked parishes of Cummertrees, Mouswald and Ruthwell. Our place of worship is Ruthwell Church and the two church buildings at Cummertrees and Mouswald have now been closed.

The united parish lies along the beautiful Solway Coast between the towns of Annan and Dumfries. The congregations live in and around the rural villages and hamlets of Collin, Mouswald, Ruthwell Station, Clarencefield, Ruthwell, Cummertrees and Powfoot as well as in the larger towns of Dumfries, Annan and Lochmaben.

The parish has one primary school at Cummertrees, which is well renowned in the area and there are local secondary schools in Dumfries and Annan.


The Parish attracts people from around the world to visit the ancient Ruthwell Cross, a magnificent 7th century Anglo Saxon preaching cross and the oldest cross of its kind on mainland UK. The church also houses a magnificent 12th century font. The Trustee Savings Bank Museum, is in Ruthwell Village and is famously the oldest savings bank in the world, founded by the Reverend Henry Duncn, minister of the parish in the 18th century. Just outside the village, you can find The Brow Well, with its historic connection to our national bard Robert Burns, who bathed there shortly before he died.

The local area boasts two golf courses within the parish at Powfoot and Hoddom and several more in the surrounding area. There are many accessible walks along the miles of shore and forests in the parish and the National Cycle Route also runs through the parish and the vllage of Ruthwell.  We have Hotels and wedding venues at Comlongon Castle in the village of Clarencefield and Hetland Hall just outside of Mouswald. The Powfoot Hotel has recently reopened in Powfoot village and Clarencefield is home to The Farmers Inn.

RCM Club

The RCM club was founded in 1985 on the inspiration of our minister at the time, Rev Robert Nicol and his wife Margaret. It was created to develop a friendship amongst the ladies of the three parishes and provides a welcome night out once a month during the winter with a variety of speakers, demonstrators and outings.

Friendship Group

A friendly, welcoming, relaxed group who meet in Cummertrees Hall on the first Monday of the month from 2pm – 4pm. Meetings vary according to members’ wishes or suggestions. All are welcome.

Tracing Ancestors

Many visitors are interested in tracing ancestors in our area. Memorial Inscriptions (MIs) for our cemeteries have been transcribed and published by Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. The Society has a Research Centre in Dumfries. It has a website which gives details of the archives they hold and a list of the publications which are available.


Do you hear the call of The Ruthwell Cross?

Do you hear the call to come and work with us?

Do you hear the call to share the message of the Gospel with our rural Solway community?

Then we would love to hear from you...


The Ruthwell Cross: A Symbol Of Our History And Our Future.

The Ruthwell Cross is a magnificant 7th Century cross which is the oldest of its type on Mainland UK and twinned with another in Bewcastle in Cumbria. The cross has a checkered history and was condemned by The Church of Scotland during the The Reformation as being too papish. The cross was broken up and hidden in the graveyard, which the main part being conceled as a curch pue in the church itseld.  It was the rediscovered by two of the minister in the 18th century and follwong 20 years of reconstruction it stand in the church today as a testament to our heritage.  Incidentely...the Church of Scotland has never rescinded the condemnation of the cross and after 250 years.......

Our last full time minister, Jim Williamson, retired in 2009 and initially we were fortunate to have the excellent pastoral care and leadership of Rev Neil Campbell as our interim moderator, with Rev Logan Kirk as pulpit supply. Rev Kirk subsequently took over as Interim moderator and has since retired, with position currently being ably handled by Rev Bill Holland. For several years, we have been grateful for the attention of our Locum Minister, Rev Gerald Moule from Moffat, who has continued to encourage this successful union until such times as we find a suitable candidate for our vacancy here at Ruthwell Church. We have all prayed and worked together towards this successful union of our three charges.

A nomination committee has been appointed and the search continues for a new minister. Our vacancy is for a part time of 50% ministry, allowing applicants time to pursue their other interests. Indeed like our famous 18th century minister Henry Duncan who while preaching in this parish, founded The Trustee Savings Bank, the first savings bank in the world.

Modern Manse

The manse is a four bedroomed modern bungalow, built in 1982, with oil fired central heating and double glazing throughout. The lounge has a large picture window to the front and patio doors to the side as well as a fireplace.

The kitchen with informal dining area has been newly refurbished. There is a separate dining room plus a shower room and family bathroom.

There is an integral garage and ample parking for visitors in the tarmac drive.

Our Congregational Life

We have a very active Kirk Session of twenty one elders who are joined by a further five to form the Congregational Board, all of whom work hard to ensure that the parish is in good spiritual health and organise various events as well as fund raising.

We have 200 members on our congregational role and we enjoy an attendance of around 30 at our Sunday worship in Ruthwell Church, although our communion services, which are held twice a year and our Chritstmas, Easter and Harvest Thanks giving services can attract up to 80 members.

Our New Minister

We asked our congregation to tell us what they felt about their church and their faith, their hopes for the future and the qualities they believed would be of most value to the individual answering the call to be the new minister of our parish.

This is a summary of the conversations we had.

Church And Faith

Fellowship was the aspect of Church Life, which brought most joy to our members. There was a real sense that we have an opportunity, through our union of reaching out into the community and sharing God's love and message with young and old.

Many expressed a hope of attracting young people to join us in the church and we have several new young members, who have now completed their New Communicants Class and are now members of our congregation.

We would like to see our Young Church gaining momentum and are hoping to re-introduce it to encourage young parents to bring their children and themselves to church and enjoy the fellowship and friendship there.

Qualities Of Most Value

The most valuable quality for our new minister, was considered to be that of providing inspirational practical Christian teaching. It is also important to the members that the successful applicant would be able to relate to children, young people and the wider community and finally, to make people feel welcome.

In return, we as a congregation and a community, would make our minister feel welcome and supported in their role as minister at Ruthwell Church.

Our News
Our interim moderators, May message.  ...

Our interim moderators, May message. 

Bill's May Message
Here is the May message from our Interim Moderator, Bill Holland who has been an inspiring light through his messages throughout lock down. With the imminent reopening of our Church on 13th June, I sincerely hope that we will be able to continue with Bills words and they are all recorded here for you to look over at any time....

Here is the May message from our Interim Moderator, Bill Holland who has been an inspiring light through his messages throughout lock down. With the imminent reopening of our Church on 13th June, I sincerely hope that we will be able to continue with Bills words and they are all recorded here for you to look over at any time. Thank you so much BIll for all of your support to us as always. x

April message from Bill Holland, including and Easter Blessing.
April and Easter message from our Interim Moderator Bill Holland.  ...

April and Easter message from our Interim Moderator Bill Holland. 

Ruthwell, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG1 4NP
Contact Us
Our Details
Fiona Sloan
Clerk To The Nomination Commitee
01387 870653 or 07803171007
Fiona Sloan
Enquiry Form