Leuchars minister awarded MBE medal

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A north east Fife minister has been awarded the MBE after being named in the Queen’s honours list.

Rev John Duncan, of St Athernase Parish Church in Leuchars, was given the medal for his service to the British Army.

He spent 15 years as an army chaplain before retiring in March and taking up the post at St Athernase in March this year.

Rev Duncan says he was delighted to be given the MBE.

However, he remains quite modest despite being awarded the honour.

“I’m proud of it, but I’m not shouting it from the rooftops,” he laughed.

“Some of the congregation have been asking about it.

“If people mention it then I respond, but I wouldn’t want to be imodest.”

Rev Duncan travelled to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday where he was awarded the medal by someone who knows the north east of Fife area all too well.

“Prince William pinned it to my chest,” said Rev Duncan.

“When I told him I had come from Leuchars he told me it was a lovely part of the world.

“Of course he knows it well having studied there.”

“When I came back and arrived at church the congregation broke into a round of applause.”

Rev Duncan joined the army after leaving his church in Burntisland in 2001, serving with the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and also the Black Watch.

“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “It’s just a great life.

“I’ve seen so many places around the world that might not always be on a travel agent’s books; Canada, Jordan, Israel, Afghanistan.

“You have to get used to the lifestyle of moving every two years when you get stationed somewhere else. You have to make adjustments.

“But now my major adjustment at Leuchars is staying put.

“It can feel strange when you’ve lived in a situation where you move so much.”

Now with his MBE, Rev Duncan is looking ahead to continuing his work at St Athernase, as the new year will hopefully bring the start of restoration work at the historic church.

“I’m now looking forward to seeing the restoration of our grade A listed building, which we hope will begin next year.

“A lot of hard work has gone on before my arrival here, so we hope to make the building windproof and watertight.”