Links around Duns
Other Churches in Duns
There are two other main Christian churches in Duns, with which Christ Church Duns shares various joint charitable and religious activities. The Parish Church is the largest, and is situated just off the town square, while the Roman Catholic church is on the Berwick Road at Bridgend. Duns Parish Church (Church of Scotland) in the town centre also supports several village churches nearby and in the Lammermuir Hills. There will be a vacancy arising here from the spring of 2018. St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Duns has a resident priest and active church congregation. Apart from sharing the service on Remembrance Sunday and a tea-tent at the Berwickshire Agricultural Show, there is currently little ministry-led work with these churches, though individual members meet and pray together.
The Summer Festival or ‘Reivers’ Week’ at Duns, set up in 1949, includes sports, music, dancing children’s entertainments, a Common Riding of the Parish Bounds, and the traditional Handba’ game.
Local societies. There are several local organisations (onlineborders.org.uk/community/), which range from support and care groups, to volunteer groups and Borders Talking Newspapers. Arts societies including the Berwickshire Art Society, a wine society, crafts and hobbies clubs, dance classes, evening classes, brownies, guides, cubs and a youth centre, all flourish. The Dunse History Society is thriving and undertakes a range of research projects on local history; its lectures are well attended.
Other organisations. The active and vibrant ‘A Heart for Duns’ organisation (www.aheartforduns.org) runs the Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community. This hosts a wide variety of local activities, both regular and occasional, including film shows, conferences, craft fairs, charity lunches, drama groups, singing groups, opera groups, musical performances and youth activities as well as maintaining the floral displays around the town. There is a thriving amateur operatic society and theatre group of which several Christ Church people are members. ‘A Heart for Duns’ was instrumental in the recent celebrations in 2016 in honour of John Duns Scotus, along with the three churches in Duns. The Duns Scotus festival committee is now linked to the newly formed ‘Thinking without Borders’ group that will run annual events to celebrate the intellectual history of the area, focusing not only on Duns Scotus but also on David Hume of Chirnside, Lord Kames of Leitholm and the potential application of their works to modern life and thinking. The Jim Clark Museum, which has a long association with the worldwide motor-sport community and attracts many visitors to the town, is being upgraded and expanded in 2018.
Sport and leisure. A wealth of sporting facilities and leisure/cultural pursuits are available in the area. In Duns they include a swimming pool, football and rugby pitches, hockey pitches, a badminton club, a bowling green, tennis courts and a golf course. There is an active gym at Putton Mill, near Duns with children’s play areas, a fitness centre with group activities, and golf driving range. Duns is also ideally located for outdoor activities, being located between the Lammermuir Hills and the Cheviots, with easy access to the Southern Upland Way. Duns Castle has a nature reserve open to all, and there are numerous local walks beloved by the local dogs and their owners. The town youth club has its own premises, but no current links to any of the churches. Annual outdoor events include the Duns Annual Show and historic ridings. Reivers Week (held in early July) is a festival of civic pride and horseback riding. (http://returntotheridings.co.uk/duns-summer-festival/).