On a beautiful weekend in September, members of the Conclave made their way to the stunning region of Dumfries and Galloway for our annual outing, which this time was a long weekend away.
The majority met up on the Thursday for a convivial meal in Dumfries before our weekend got underway on the Friday with a walk across the ancient bridge over the River Nith to the Dumfries Museum and Camera Obscura. A heavy shower on the way up threatened our visit to the Camera, which operates only when dry, but miraculously the sun came out and we were able to view minute details of the Town and surrounding countryside through this ancient equipment.
A short visit to the Robert Burns Museum was followed by lunch then on to Sweetheart Abbey, which dates back to the 13th century. It is now in ruins but is brought back to life by its wonderful history and stunning surroundings. From the Abbey we made a short detour to the home of our Grand Almoner, Helen Neaves-Wilde, who has a cottage overlooking the estuary and the fells on three sides. A delicious afternoon tea was followed by a short and tranquil prayer service in the lounge.
Our base for the weekend was at the Kings Arms, Castle Douglas, from where we were able to make visits to Threave Castle and Kirkudbright, to Broughton House and Garden. Both evenings were spent enjoying each others company over dinner.
The annual outing is one which many of our members enjoy, as it enables them to get to know each other better in informal surroundings, whilst at the same time allowing us to participate in the Order’s objectives of Healing and Teaching, and to raise a small amount of money for the Order’s charity.