‘It has been a privilege,’ says minister

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AFTER 37 years serving as a minister at Innerleven East Church in Methil, the Reverend Jamie Templeton has preached his final Sunday service, at the age of 65.

Originally from Glasgow, Mr Templeton grew up in Pollokshields and studied chemistry at Glasgow University.

It was while there he became a Christian and began to consider becoming a minister.

He explained: “I wanted to share my faith with others. It was an opportunity to help people discover God is real.”

Following his decision to become a minister, he spent a year in Grenada with Voluntary Service Overseas, teaching maths, chemistry and religious education, before returning to Glasgow to study a three-year divinity degree.

He then headed south of the border to do his probationary year at a church in Corby, where he met his future wife Veronica at a prayer meeting.

The couple married in Corby then made the daunting move to Fife to begin life at a new church.

Mr Templeton was ordained at Innerleven East Church on May 15, 1975 and he’s stayed ever since.

“Looking back, I feel that God has wanted me to be here,” he explained.

While serving as a minister, he also took on the role of chaplain to Kirkland High School and Aberhill Primary School, Cameron Hospital and Methil and District Sea Cadets.

During his time, Mr Templeton has been present at countless christenings, weddings and funerals.

In his role as a chaplain at Aberhill, he’s seen children he first met in his early years as a minister grow up and send their own children to the school.

Mr Templeton said it had been a privilege to be present at the most important moments of people’s lives.

Among the many varied duties he has performed, one of his favourite memories was the busy year in the 1980s he spent serving as the chair of Kirkcaldy Presbytery, overseeing all Church of Scotland churches in the Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth areas and ordaining three ministers.

But he is looking forward to more peace and quiet in retirement, as his job meant he’s been more or less on call for the last 37 years.

He and Veronica, who have a daughter and two grandchildren, plan to stay in the Leven area after moving out of the manse and Mr Templeton already has some ideas for retirement, including making more time for Rotary, DIY and badminton.

For his final sermon, Mr Templeton focused on something which had been a guiding principle in all his years of ministry.

He added: “I’ve always tried to make people aware that they matter, to show them they matter to God and the proof of that is in Jesus.”

He also had one unexpected trick up his sleeve which he revealed on his final day.

Veronica explained he had always been a great dancer and even attempted to teach her Scottish reels before her first ceilidh.

She said at church events there had always been a line of ladies hoping to dance with Mr Templeton and, as a farewell, arranged for him to dance with one of the church’s longest serving members, to ‘Let’s Face The Music and Dance’.

A replacement for Mr Templeton has not yet been appointed but interim moderator Rev Ken Froude will oversee the church during this time.