Married couple to be ordained as ministers on same day

James Bissett and Susan Cord

A married couple are being ordained as Church of Scotland ministers in the Highlands at the same service on the same day.

Susan Cord and James Bissett of Cowdenbeath, Fife will be welcomed into the Presbytery of Ross during a service at Knockbain Church in Munlochy near Inverness on January 23.

The couple, who are both 40 and met online and later worked together at the Scottish Land Register in Edinburgh, said they were both thrilled to be embarking on a new adventure together.

Ms Cord will lead the linked charge of Killearnan and Knockbain churches as a Minister of Word and Sacrament while her husband will become an Ordained Local Minister who will work directly for the presbytery on a part-time, voluntary basis while continuing to study at Highland Theological College in Dingwall.

The role of the OLM is to lead worship, preaching and offer pastoral support - living in and being known by the local community where the Parish minister is not regularly around

Ms Cord, who studied theology at New College in Edinburgh, described the prospect of a two minister household as "pretty cool".

"It is an exciting and somewhat scary next step on a journey I have been on since I was three years old – the age I told my mum I wanted to go to church," she said.

Ms Cord explained that her husband of 12 years had supported her throughout her training – a journey that partly inspired him to follow in her footsteps.

"When I first started feeling that I should react to what appeared to be God's calling, I broke the news to James and his first reaction was 'that sounds fun'," she said.

"He came to my vocations conference because I was nervous and has always supported me through the journey.

"He too felt he was being called to ministry but did not want the two of us going through it at the same time.

"But after a few years the calling became stronger for him and I encouraged to him to go through the process."

Mr Bissett, who will work wherever the Presbytery deems necessary, said it was a "great privilege" to be a Church of Scotland minister.

"Great work is done in the parishes and we are there to share God's message and give hope to people who turn to the Church when the world is at its darkest," he added.

"I am really looking forward to my new role because I love helping people.

"This is a great adventure – it is all part of God's journey and it has been fun so far."

Mr Bissett, who expects to finish his training in 2019, said he and his wife were a good team and bounced ideas off each other.

"The after dinner conversation can be a bit theological sometimes but we are quite good maintaining a balance and creating space," he added.

The couple will live in the manse attached to Ms Cord's charge with their two gerbils, Caper and Caillie.