This is my last editorial as Minister of Kinnoull Parish Church as my retirement date is now set for mid April. This is dictated by the sale of our Flat at The Broch which had served as “The Manse” for over four years. During this time the rental from the official Manse at Mount Tabor Avenue has produced an additional revenue stream for the local Church which has been a great bonus and seemed to be a very sensible way to take advantage of our property situation.
This did produce one complication concerning when I was exactly going to retire, having given advance notice last summer that it was our intention to sell our Penthouse and move to a more country location. We have been asked the question so often “and when are you retiring?” The answer to which always had to be that retirement needed to occur when the flat was sold. That has now happened and as we will be living beyond the bounds of the Parish I definitely cease to be the Minister of Kinnoull.
Kinnoull now moves into Vacancy. However, during a vacancy, a locum Minister is appointed to provide worship on a Sunday and to do basic pastoral cover for deaths and those ill in hospital and to visit those in greatest need around the Parish on the basis of two further days per week. The appointment of a locum was one of the first matters for the Kirk Session to decide in its initial meeting with the Interim Moderator.
Since I was already being “lined up” to look after various other Parishes it seemed much more sensible to offer to be locum at Kinnoull as we already know each other fairly well. I would obviously take no part in Kirk Sessions, nor Vacancy matters and have agreed to step back clearly prior to any new Minister being elected.
This means that in practical terms, I will continue to do what I have been doing but with the important proviso that, I will not be working full time as your part time Locum. This has been underlined by the Session and by the Interim Moderator Rev Marc Bircham.
Since we will be living at Gowrie Farm just North of Luncarty I am really very conveniently placed to continue to serve Kinnoull. My phone number is published here in the magazine and I can be contacted and messages left. However as a two day a week locum I will need to “time manage” more carefully. Funerals are always a priority but there may be occasions when they need to be fitted to my diary. That, in fact, is something that has always happened behind the scenes in conversation with undertakers.
I am looking forward to doing less over the period ahead and enjoying some time in our south facing conservatory and I have been told that I must make sure that I have the holidays which become due to me, so the motorcycles which are looking good in the garage in our new home may well have more mileage put onto them this summer.
I feel greatly privileged to have been your Minister for coming up towards fourteen very happy years and now look forward to “minding the shop” in the months that lie ahead. My contributions to the Parish Magazine will no longer be “From the Manse” but “From the Locum Minister.” A change of title and a change of pace and a time of gradual change for us all.
For Kinnoull, the task of seeking the next Minister now begins, but the vacancy here seems to present a very attractive proposition: A Parish in good heart, sound finances, very well maintained properties and with much to commend itself to the next incumbent.
As I had said on the morning when the date of my retiral was confirmed “I’m no awa tae bide awa” and following the decision of the Session asking me to serve as your Locum Minister that will now be the case.
With every blessing,
Your Minister and Friend