Meet the latest ordained local ministers deployed to Hamilton Presbytery
Published on 13 November 2020
Two ordained local ministers, both based in central Scotland, have been deployed into their first charges in the Presbytery of Hamilton after years of study and training.
Rev Fiona Anderson, from Hamilton, has served as an elder within the Church of Scotland for 25 years and will now be based at Strathaven Trinity Church in South Lanarkshire.
Rev Lorna Fyfe, who is a director at the charity, Bethany Christian Trust, has been a Reader in the Church Of Scotland since 2017 and will be deployed to support the work of the Presbytery in Coatbridge.
In addition to being a Sunday School teacher and trained bereavement counsellor, Mrs Anderson works condensed hours in her accountancy job to fit in her various church roles.
Having spent time at Strathaven Trinity Church as part of a placement just as the congregation was formed from a four-way union, she describes being "over the moon" to be appointed there.
Mrs Anderson, who gained her theology degree from Highland Theological College, followed a personal call but says her placement supervisors were encouraging throughout her training.
"I couldn't have done any of this without the support of my husband - he's been amazing," she adds.
A highlight whilst Mrs Anderson was in training was a holiday to the Cayman Islands, where she was invited by the local church to lead a service.
Members of the congregation there were also invited to watch her ordination online.
"Everybody has been incredibly encouraging - I love it," she says.
Having "never not gone to church", Mrs Anderson says that her life "feels like one big jigsaw and it's all fitting together."
Speaking about people who may feel a calling, she encourages them to "go for it - don't be afraid to find out more, the Church is 110% behind you all of the way."
Considering the immediate challenges ahead, Mrs Anderson is keen to make sure people feel safe attending church and "to plant the seed that the church is there for them."
Ms Fyfe, who is also part of the Glasgow Street Pastor team, spoke of her faith journey which eventually led to gaining a theology degree from Aberdeen University and her ordination.
"After a few years away and some very difficult personal circumstances, I 'returned' to church to seek God's strength, love and reassurance," she said.
With a background in the education sector and the NHS, Ms Fyfe felt drawn to a job she saw advertised at Bethany Christian Trust, where she has now worked since 2012.
However, after "being hungry to learn more" and becoming a Reader, she realised that there was more in store.
"The ministry of Jesus with excluded, vulnerable and marginalised people were encounters that I wanted to learn from," she says.
"His interaction with the woman at the well, the blind man, the tax collector and many others was and is transformational for all of us."
"I was drawn to follow Jesus' example, to walk alongside individuals, using my own life experiences and faith journey as testimony to the truth and good news of the gospel"
Ms Fyfe's minister Rev Joanne Hood encouraged her to re-enter assessment in order to train for ordained local ministry.
"I genuinely enjoy hearing everyone's unique story and where needed, provide love and support in a way that enables them to work through their own difficult situations and emerge greater than before - just as I had done myself," she says.
Placements in North Motherwell and Craigneuk followed, then time as a probationer at St George's Tron in Glasgow which Ms Fyfe says connected her to people who have enriched her life and ministry.
Despite the current restrictions, she says her ordination ceremony was deeply moving.
"Making vows before God and in the presence of those, in person and online, who love and support me was amazing.
"The service also celebrated Scottish talent with an outstanding solo performance by Ciara Harvie and her sung version of 'The Lord's Prayer'.
"We also used imagery from the artist, Janet McCrorie, as a tribute to my late Dad who taught me what a servant heart looks like."
Feel a calling? Why not find out more about the different ministries within the Church of Scotland