Edinburgh Kirk minister virtually inducted into new charge

Rev Attie van Wyk, 38, a Kirk minister originally from South Africa who has yet to move to his new congregation of Edinburgh's Liberton Northfield Church, was inducted remotely on Tuesday (14 April) at 7pm.

Rev Attie van Wyk beside a photo of Liberton Northfield Church
Rev Attie van Wyk was formally inducted as minister of Liberton Northfield Church in Edinburgh using Zoom and Facebook Live.

The formal induction, hosted by Presbytery Moderator, Rev Dr Richard Frazer, and Depute Presbytery Clerk, Dr Hazel Hastie, was conducted using both Zoom and Facebook Live and watched by around 1,100 people.

"Waking up this morning, knowing that I was officially inducted to being the minister of Liberton Northfield, Edinburgh, filled my heart with great joy and excitement," Rev Attie van Wyk said.

"Although this was a first for the Presbytery of Edinburgh and for me, many of my family and friends expressed their gratitude being able to follow the virtual induction.

"Together with them I felt cherished and welcomed by the manner in which the online induction was conducted.

"I am very grateful unto our Lord that this was such a blessed event. I heard of the statistics being around 1,100 people tuning in to the online induction – this gives me hope and it shows that folk still appreciate being part of the body of Christ even though we couldn't be physically together."

Attie is still living in his old manse in the parish of St Andrew's Lhanbryde and Urquhart in Moray, where he spent a one-year familiarisation placement with the Church of Scotland, and will stay on there during the lockdown period.

However, as a result, the two congregations of St Andrew's Lhanbryde and Urquhart and Edinburgh's Liberton Northfield have become closely connected through the lockdown and their use of technology to share in Sunday worship through YouTube, which Attie described as "a wonderful initiative".

"Communication and support happens through digital and telecommunication and extended hands and feet on the ground, both in Liberton Northfield and Lhandbryde-Urquhart," Attie said.

"Both congregations will collaborate in doing Sunday worship services online. In Christ we are one where we serve the Lord together – miles apart, joined through worship, thoughts, songs, prayers and heart."

Rev Marjory McPherson, Presbytery Clerk for Edinburgh, is delighted to welcome Attie to the presbytery.

"With the lockdown in place it is not possible to gather at the church but instead the service was conducted via a Zoom webinar," Marjory said.

"This allows for the congregation, family and friends of Attie, and members of the presbytery to take part.

"Though the service is a virtual one, the welcome to Attie is real as the congregation is very much looking forward to this new ministry and the presbytery to welcoming a new minister into our midst.

"We pray God's blessing on Attie and the congregation as this new chapter begins."

The induction of Rev Attie van Wyk is available to re-watch on the Edinburgh Presbytery Facebook page.

Edinburgh's Barclay Viewforth Church will be next to stage a virtual induction in the presbytery on Wednesday 29 April, with the induction of Rev David Clarkson.