EPISCOPALIAN Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Rev John Armes, chalked up a first when he visited Kelso on Sunday.

For he had never been asked to bless the loos anywhere before and admitted that, while there wasn’t an appropriate item in his book of blessings, that should be rectified in the future as good toilet facilities were essential. Happily he had also been asked to bless the new kitchen in St Andrew’s Episcopal Church and was able to adapt and extend his duties to cover the two new facilities which have been created at a cost of £60,000.

Ensuring that, as Rector the Rev Bob King teased, the Church “got its moneysworth” out of the Bishop’s visit, he not only blessed a new carpet for the Lady Chapel, but also authorised new Chalice Bearers, and licensed new Intercessors.

Bishop John also appointed Alan Hall as Emeritus Lay Reader — one of only three in Scotland — in recognition of his long-standing work for the Church in Kelso.

Bishop John spoke of the atrocities in Charleston and Tunisia, telling the congregation that while the perpetrators were setting themselves up to condemn those with whom they disagreed, no-one should consider themselves to be so superior.