Gretna is in Dumfries and Galloway, in the south of Scotland, on the A74(M) near the border to England, and near the mouth of the River Esk. The township is distinct from the smaller nearby village of Gretna Green, famous for marriages, which borders but is a separate area from Gretna proper. To the West in Scotland are Eastriggs (about 5 miles to the West) and Annan (about 8 miles to the West), both situated on the B721 and linked to the nearby A75.
As we start another Lent, we pick up the Bible story where we put it down last Holy Saturday!
These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."
So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labour the Egyptians used them ruthlessly. (Exodus 1.1-14)