Three generations of the same family were present at the Church of Scotland’s recent General Assembly.
As well as Catriona Morrison, the joint minister of Kirkcaldy Linktown and Auchtertool for the last 18 years with her husband Marc Prowe, her mum Mary Morrison, a retired minister who started her ministry at Townhill in Dunfermline and her son Ruari (20) were also present.
Mary, the first woman minister in Fife in 1978, was celebrating 40 years since her ordination into the church and Ruari was Kirkcaldy Presbytery’s youth representative for the event.
Mary retired from her last charge in Edinburgh in 2000, just six months after Catriona was ordained, and they were the first ordained mother and daughter ever in the Church of Scotland – although there have been a few more since.
But Catriona is adamant that she never set out to follow her mum into the ministry, and says Mary initially tried to discourage her from becoming a minister.
“When you grow up in a manse being a minister is the last thing you want to do because you see how much hard work it is.
“The call came quite suddenly when I was just finished school and was deciding what to do with my life. I was on holiday in North Uist and it came to me quite clearly that this is what I should do.
“I had been brought up in the church but never wanted to be a minister and I have two sisters and a brother who are not ministers.
“When I told my mum it was what I wanted she tried to put me off saying it was an awfully hard job for me to do.
“But when she realised I was serious she accepted it and has been very encouraging all the way through.”
Ruari was born in Germany where Catriona and Mark, who is German, lived and worked for five years.
He lived in Germany for two years and plans to return there to study theology, although Catriona says he is unsure if this will lead to him becoming a minister.
“Every year presbytery chooses a youth representative for the General Assembly so they can hear the views of a range of different voices, and Ruari applied and was successful,” explained Catriona.
“He is very interested in the church in general and has been visiting lots of different churches of all denominations to find out how they work and the different styles of worship and that is what he spoke about at the General Assembly.
“I never imagined we would all be there at the General Assembly at the same time.
“My mum always wanted to be a minister but didn’t have the chance until women were allowed to be ordained in 1968, I never wanted to be a minister but became one, and Ruari has yet to make up his mind.”