Diocesan Makar

In October 2021, Bishop Kevin announced the appointment of the Rev Kirstin Freeman as the Makar of the United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. The term makar, borrowed from Scottish literature, relates to a poet or bard, coming from the Middle Scots word for maker.

In this inaugural honorary post, spanning an initial term of four years, Kirstin will mark events in the life and witness of our Diocese by the creation of bespoke pieces of art that will encourage our congregations, communities, and individuals to interact with new directions of creativity and mission throughout the Diocese and further afield.

Kirstin’s visceral poetry and thought-provoking artworks have long been enjoyed by friends and colleagues and have made multiple appearances in our diocesan communications. Bishop Kevin views this appointment as a unique opportunity to crystalise creative forces in the Diocese and help shape new liturgy, prayers, art and resources, as well as a chance to offer a different angle for people to journey with their faith and engage with the issues of the day.

The position of Diocesan Makar is an Honorary appointment of the Bishop, intended to give creative voice to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway by means of poetry, prose, or other artistic endeavours, either by suggestion of the Bishop, or when moved and inspired by the Holy Spirit to create pieces of art relating to significant events in the Church and the world, as well as our mission, ministry, witness, and faith.

The works on this page were created by the Rev Kirstin Freeman, Diocesan Makar of Glasgow and Galloway and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons Licence

2021

Climate Crisis Litany
Elohim you were from before the world was, be with the world today we pray.
Source of all,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation;
Light of the World,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation;
Breath of Life,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation.
Forgive us, Holy One, for abusing creation by our carelessness, our complacencies, our greed,
Holy God, hear us and help us.

As Joseph knew the wisdom of when to store and when to distribute, help us to have that wisdom and not hoard when others are in need;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Jonah knew the joy of the shade and the destruction of the worm, help us to appreciate the interdependence of nature;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Ruth knew the saving nature of the gleanings, help us to look again before we discard that we may not consider perfect.
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Jesus reminded us of the preciousness of the sparrow in God’s sight, help us never lose sight that this world is not ours alone;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Jesus was baptised in the Jordan, help us to keep our rivers, lochs and seas pure and clean so they may offer life and hope;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Jesus died to save the whole of creation, help us as we seek to heal this groaning world;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Francis of Assisi cared for all creatures, help us to value the life and breath in all living things;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Hildegard of Bingen said, Creation is the song of God, help us join the song in harmony, not discord;
Holy God, hear us and help us.
As Benedict taught, to be one with where we live, help us to see the things on our doorstep we take for granted, to care and protect them;
Holy God, hear us and help us.

Grant governments and leaders courage and wisdom to make decisions which favour the whole planet;
grant them courage and wisdom.
Gift scientists and horticulturists insight as they strive for new more sustainable protein sources;
gift them insight.
Stretch engineers and entrepreneurs imaginations to discover better and new ways of living in harmony with nature;
stretch their imaginations.
Enrich educators and researchers words with the knowledge that will inspire;
enrich their words.
Illuminate industries and charities vision as they deal with the consequences of generations of ill informed decisions;
illuminate their vision.
Bestow on individuals throughout the world, whose homes, livelihoods and communities have been damaged by the demands for produce and goods from those who already have plenty, justice and peace;
bestow justice and peace.
As we shop, work, seek relaxation and entertainment, help us to make choices that will not negatively impact others or the planet;
be in our choices.
When we consider taking the familiar, comfortable, easy option, rather than the option which will benefit this blue planet;
inform our decisions.
When we are confronted by those who deny the damage done, and being done, plant in us the words that may sow a seed of recognition in their lives.
gift us the words to speak.

As weather patterns shift, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, empower us.
As ice caps melt and sea levels rise, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, challenge us.
As famines continue, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, embolden us.
As water courses change, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, protect us.
As wild fires increase, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, strengthen us.
As air become laden with unseen pollutants, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, disturb us.
As we struggle to give up the things we have become accustomed to, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, inspire us.
As we struggle for solutions to our waste, to our use of and desire for energy, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, encourage us.
As we struggle to protect and care for this planet entrusted to us by you, open our lives to embrace the change we must be;
Sustaining God, breathe through us.

Elohim you were from before the world was, be with those gathered for COP26;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Send your Spirit to blow through formal and informal conversations, stimulating creative discussions and positive solutions;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Incarnational God, unite the world to tackle climate change;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Enable COP26 to create engagement of climate issues where there was none,
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Bless those prepared to take risks for the sake of the future of creation and climate;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Dull the voices of those who will try to deflect and distract;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Plant seeds of attainable hope which will foster involvement;
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Renew projects that have grown tired through lack of support,
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.
Open eyes, minds and hearts to what we can each do to play our part,
Elohim, fill us with zeal to care for creation.

Source of all, Light of the world, Breath of life, hear us as we pray.
Amen.

Elohim you were from before the world was, be with the world today we pray.
Source of all,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation;
Light of the World,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation;
Breath of Life,
open our hearts that we may learn to live wisely with all of creation.
Forgive us, Holy One, for abusing creation by our carelessness, our complacencies, our greed,
Holy God, hear us and help us.
Read full litany...

 

COP26 and the Widow’s Mite
Melting ice, rising seas.
Mounting rubbish, thinning ozone.
Malnutrition, dirty water.
Air rich with things not seen until,
lung, tree, plant fail.
Sky weeping rain or dry beyond measure.
Earth groaning, aching from deep wounds
forced open, again, and again, and again.

Sweeping robes, make way, make way;
important people passing by.
Words upon words;
deferred promises,
passing the buck,
hand washing extraordinaire.
Keep the money rolling in,
growth at all cost.
Why prune today?
I’m okay Jack!

Two small coins,
small sound, big noise.
Hundreds of miles walked
love abounding and surrounding.
A cairn of sacrifices
transfiguring into a mountain
of hope and love.
Like the altars of the past
marking God’s presence
on mountain top and within heart.
Proclaiming care for world and neighbour.

The Dear Green Place, a Holy Place,
sacred from the beginning when
with the Spirit’s breath
all came into being.
In small steps walked by many
Hope can be brought to the world,
speaking truth to power,
asserting we care
for life now and for generations yet to be.
One Life, and one life, and many more one lives
rich offering of love,
hallowing a Square into a Halo.

Alongside the poem, the Diocesan Makar suggests that people could build cairns, having written on stones their hopes for the future of the planet.

Mounting rubbish, thinning ozone.
Malnutrition, dirty water.
Air rich with things not seen until,
lung, tree, plant fail.
Sky weeping rain or dry beyond measure.
Earth groaning, aching from deep wounds
forced open, again, and again, and again.
Read full poem...

 

Diocesan Clergy Pilgrimage
In Whithorn’s sacred isle
where sea meets pebbled shore
in the greyness of the gloom
God’s glory came to shine.

Now may, rocks hallowed
by the prayer of saints,
with pilgrims loosened hopes and fears;
join with Wind of peace
that skims the sea
and Waves of angel song.

O Love of God whose gift illumined
your people Israel
in their quest by waters in an unknown land.
Now searching in turn
through Ninian’s witness in this land.
Light the way of sustenance
for weary souls to know
brightening rays,
to banish all that tries to hide
your love,
your light.

Step by step,
God of Pilgrimage,
from Abram’s tribe,
and Emmaus Road,
Ninian,
we,
countless travellers before,
and still yet,
those whose journey has not begun.

In Whithorn’s sacred isle
where sea meets pebbled shore
in the greyness of the gloom
God’s glory came to shine.
Read full poem...

 

Allhallowtide
Blessed be your name, Holy One,
who blesses us with seasons.
Autumnal myriad hues, like Joseph’s coat,
swirl around, reminders of your radiant presence
and your love. Always with us.

Waning Hunter moon,
its labour easing, drawing out the night,
while bittersweet memories
tinge the frosty air.

Saints and saints, both.
Those whose names and smells and voices
we recall, with smiles upon our heavy hearts.
Those with halos shinning bright;
Owning unknown faces,
inspiring words,
mysterious deeds of wonder;
Watching from mosaic, tempera, coloured glass.
Both saint and Saint
remembered in this hallowed time,
of falling leaf and tolling bell.

Blessed be your name, Holy One,
who blesses us with seasons.
Seasons of the earth,
transient life, perpetual soul.

Blessed be your name, Holy One,
who blesses us with seasons.
Autumnal myriad hues, like Joseph’s coat,
swirl around, reminders of your radiant presence
and your love. Always with us.
Read full poem...

 

Remembrance Sunday
Time might have passed
years have come and gone since the memory was made.
It was people,
people just like you and I
who fought and died on those foreign fields,
brothers, fathers, uncles, sons,
whose bodies lay crumpled and lifeless
waiting for someone to come along and give them dignity in death.
War is a terrible thing,
Today we remember,
lest we forget.

We remember the cost of war, in flesh and blood.
We pray, we hope, we plead
that one day,
one day very soon,
those horrors may end,
for still today they continue,
lives lost or maimed forever,
uniforms bloodied by bombs and bullets
the list of names grows ever longer.
Lest we forget.

And, the tortured bodies and minds that did return,
To try and live again, echos still within their heads,
their minds,
their hearts,
of others lost,
of sights that cannot be unseen,
of cries that never quieten,
of what ifs and if onlys.
Lest we forget.

Lest we forget those who in their return,
return to loved ones whose suffering
while quite different
should neither be forgotten.
They too lost, they too gave,
they too paid the price of war.
lives never to be the same again.
families living on,
deadened under a pall of silent pain and suffering.
Lest we forget.

Remember,
do not forget the service men and women
whose lives are lost, except to God and love.
Remember,
do not forget those who returned, forever changed.
Remember,
do not forget their families,
Remember too, lest we forget,
the countless others
whose lives too came to a brutal and abrupt end
whose lives would never be the same again,
in camps and villages,
in homes and fields,
towns and cities,
across the world.
Lest we forget.

Lest we forget the cost of war,
the cost not only of lives but of communities,
of respect,
of tolerance
for each and every person is precious in God’s sight.
The mothers and unborn children,
the daughters and wives,
the elderly and the infirm,
the sons and men,
too young or too old, to count among the fallen.
Those of every creed and none.
Lest we forget.

Those who could not flee for they had nowhere to flee,
those who dashed for safety,
for shelters that didn’t offer the protection promised.
Those who thought safety had been reached
only to discover new challenges
new dangers, new faces of death.
Those who found a safe haven
but whose lives are
forever overshadowed with haunting memories.
Lest we forget.
For they could not,
can not.

Lest we forget.

Time might have passed
years have come and gone since the memory was made.
It was people,
people just like you and I
who fought and died on those foreign fields,
brothers, fathers, uncles, sons,
whose bodies lay crumpled and lifeless
waiting for someone to come along and give them dignity in death.
War is a terrible thing,
Today we remember,
lest we forget.
Read full poem...

 

Upon the Death of the Rt Rev John Taylor,
former Bishop of the Diocese

The bell tolls
marking more than a death,
a life of faith well lived.
The sombre timbre
resonates our grief,
recalls voice and gentle smile,
word of encouragement, blessing, prayer.
Hands that laid on others
passing on The Great Commission,
anointing, blessing, serving_
God and God in all;
have found their rest.
Within its peal
a brighter resonance marks
a uniting one final time.
Hope realised,
faith completed,
the final communion
of body, blood and spirit;
united to the great I AM,
who is all in all,
in life and death.