Minister blesses new bridge over River Carron

The Rev. Andrew Sarle blessed the new bridge last week
The Rev. Andrew Sarle blessed the new bridge last week

A Falkirk minister has blessed a new £840,000 footbridge installed across the widest part of the River Carron near Falkirk.

The Rev. Andrew Sarle said he was pleased to take part in the opening ceremony fot the Abbotshaugh footbridge, which provides an important link between the Bainsford, Langlees, Carron and Carronshore communities.

The Clerk to Falkirk Presbytery adapted the words used by former Moderator of the General Assembly, The Very Rev. 
Dr Derek Browning, to bless the Queensferry Crossing in the presence 
of The Queen last September.

Mr Sarle also poured a flask of water from the River Jordan, which flows from the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea in the Middle East, into the River Carron from the middle of the bright green, 157-foot bridge.

He said: “It was something of a surprise to me that I got a request last week to ‘come and bless our new bridge’.

“I thought that the words used by Dr Browning for the Queensferry Crossing blessing were excellent so I adapted them to fit this somewhat smaller, but nonetheless impressive, footbridge.

“To me, bridges are a great sign of hope, of enabling people to come together.

Mr Sarle, local ordained minister at Bainsford Parish Church, carried out blessing of the 27 tonne bridge, which is open to pedestrians and cyclists, last Tuesday.

Dr Browning said blessing the Queensferry Crossing was one of the highlights of his year as Moderator.

The Abbotshaugh Bridge blessing

This is a bridge

That connects the land:

A bridge to honour

The contours of earth, air and water,

All gloriously united.

This is a bridge

That celebrates the skills

Of hand and heart and mind:

Concrete and steel, style and shape,

All gloriously created.

This is a bridge

That enables the movement of people:

Through space and time,

In coming and going,

All gloriously dynamic.

This is a bridge

That facilitates more opportunities:

For recreation and leisure,

for the people of Bainsford and Langlees,,

and of Carron and Carronshore.

This is a bridge

For walkers and cyclists

For horses and riders

For young and old

For locals and visitors

God bless this bridge;

God bless this Abbotshaugh Bridge,

And all who cross it.