Tarbert Church looks forward to welcoming new minister

Sole Nominee: Rev Ian Murdo Macdonald

The congregation at Tarbert Church in the Presbytery of Uist is set to welcome a new minister to their parish.

Reverend Ian Murdo Macdonald will preach to the Tarbert congregation on the 3rd of May, after accepting the invitation from the congregation to be Sole Nominee.

Mr Macdonald graduated from the University of Aberdeen and has been minister of Cross Ness Church in the Presbytery of Lewis for nearly 14 years. A Gaelic speaker, Mr Macdonald hails from Bernera in Lewis. He is married to Alison and they have three children. Ian Murdo is expected to move to Tarbert in the summer once his appointment has been formally approved.

Reverend J Colin Caskie, Interim Moderator of the Kirk Session at Tarbert said: 'Ian will fit in to Tarbert like a hand in a glove. He is man greatly respected in the Hebrides and there is a widespread sense of anticipation for his future ministry in Tarbert.'

Tarbert Church has not had a minister since the retirement of Reverend Norman Maciver in 2011. Services have been led by visiting ministers while the search for a minister was ongoing. The congregation suffered a setback last year when some members chose to leave.

Mr Caskie said: 'There has been a strong sense of the Lord's hand in Ian's appointment, and whilst understanding the sense of loss the people of Cross Ness must feel, the congregation look forward to the new ministry of Ian Murdo MacDonald. His appointment brings peace of mind to the congregation, now they have a minister to lead them after such a long time without.'

Although the Presbytery of Uist in the Outer Hebrides is one of the remotest parts of Scotland, a renewed spirit and optimism in the Church is taking place. Within the last month, the congregation of Manish-Scarista have welcomed a new minister, and Benbecula Church is about to advertise their vacancy. Despite recent challenges, these welcome developments show the ministry of the Church and church life in the islands remains in good heart.