This Sunday, at the morning service in Methil’s Wellesley Parish Church, the congregation will be joined by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev Russell Barr, and his wife Margaret.
Dr Barr will be preaching at the service, which will recognise the long service of six elders in the Kirk Session who, between them, have served for over 220 years.
Dr Barr understands the kind of issues we face in Methil.Gillian Paterson
Jack Warrender and David Donaldson have been elders for over 50 years, while Linda Gartshore, Christine Whitelaw, Maureen Cation and Margaret Rae will have served for 30 years.
Each has given devoted service and the minister, Rev Gillian Paterson, felt it was only right that the Moderator was the person to present their certificates, offering the congratulations and thanks of the General Assembly to all of them.
Dr Barr (62), minister at Edinburgh’s Cramond Kirk, recently said he was “excited, honoured and overwhelmed” to have been appointed as Moderator, adding: “I will seek to use the role to raise moral and ethical issues and publicise the important part the Church plays in public life.”
He is also chairman of Edinburgh-based Fresh Start, a charity he set up over 15 years ago, which helped around 2000 people in the last year.
It is supported by more than 80 congregations in Edinburgh and employs 18 people, providing food and offering cookery classes and lessons on budgeting and growing fruit and vegetables.
Dr Barr, whose hobbies include golf, rugby, opera and reading, said he also hoped to raise greater awareness of homelessness and food poverty.
Gillian Paterson said: “Dr Barr understands the kind of issues we face here in Methil, where homelessness and food poverty are a daily challenge, and we are delighted he is able to come and present the long service certificates and to spend time with our congregation, hearing our story and encouraging us in the work we do.”
Wellesley Parish Church is having a special offering for the work of Fresh Start at its Communion Service on September 18, to commemorate the Moderator’s visit.