Presbytery of Angus tour for Moderator

The Moderator of the General Assembly is embarking on a 10-day visit to learn more about the life and work of the Church of Scotland in Angus.

Lord Wallace said he is looking forward to attending a wide range of events and activities organised by the Presbytery of Angus.

He will visit churches, a secondary school, a care home, a harbour, a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station, a community trust run by a football club and various groups which support local people in a variety of ways.

Lord Wallace
Lord Wallace is an elder at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Lord Wallace, who will be accompanied by his wife Rosie, is also expected to visit Pictish stones, a renewable energy company, explore part of a pilgrimage route and meet with ministers at their churches in towns across the area to learn about their outreach activities.

Rev Dr Ian McLean, Clerk to the Presbytery of Angus, said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming Lord Wallace to Angus.

"We hope that as we begin to enjoy more freedom from restrictions he might encourage our congregations to engage in the opportunities for mission and service to our communities with renewed vigour.

"As well as getting alongside our congregations to encourage and support them in a time of immense change and uncertainty, we would very much like to share with him the many ways we are seeking to share the Good News of Jesus in word and action.

"There are some exciting and innovative projects we would like to share with him.

"There will also be opportunities for the Moderator to visit and engage with projects beyond the Church and gain insights into lots of good work being done.

"It will be an opportunity to illustrate the Church's interest in the life and work of the people of Angus as a whole."

Awareness of HIV

Lord Wallace's first official engagement is on Sunday when he will be the guest preacher at Old and St Andrew's Church in Montrose.

The service will be followed by Souper Sunday lunch in the hall afterwards with members of the congregation and representatives from other local organisations.

Souper Sunday is a special act of worship led by church elders to raise awareness of the many issues around HIV and money to fund support initiatives.

On Monday, Lord Wallace will visit Montrose Port Authority and meet Harbour Master and chief executive Captain Tom Hutchison who will share with him a bit about the work that goes on.

The Moderator will later visit Seagreen Renewable which operates an off-shore windfarm in the North Sea. His host will be base manager, Robert Young.

Lord Wallace will also meet Shona Barakat, Children's and Families Worker (MDS) for Montrose Churches to learn more about her work.

In the afternoon, he will visit Dorward House, a care home in Montrose where he will meet some residents and staff.

On Tuesday, the Moderator will be in Carnoustie and will meet members of local groups including the Food is Free Community Garden project, Carnoustie Memories and Cycling without Age, a charity which takes the elderly and people with limited mobility for rides on trishaws, a three-wheel bike with a carrier.

In the evening, he will meet with members of the presbytery business committee to learn more about local church life.

Encouragement

Lord Wallace will spend Wednesday in Forfar and will visit local churches to learn more about their outreach activities to support people and spread the Good News in action as well as word.

He will visit a school uniform pop-up shop at St Margaret's Parish Church and take part in a worship service led by elders.

Lord Wallace, who is an elder at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney, will then visit East and Old Parish Church which has undergone a transformation to ensure it is fit for purpose for 21st century mission.

It has been renovated into a "flexible, warm, open and welcoming" space from which to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Lord Wallace will spend time with members discussing the remodeling work and how the building is being used.

He will later visit Lowson Memorial Church to learn more about its mission and community outreach work.

Last year, office bearers erected a large white marquee in the grounds to enable them to restart community outreach projects which were halted during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Akin to a Tabernacle, the ‘tent of meeting' which is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, it was used to host a free breakfast club for families during the school holidays and a wide variety of activities.

Listening

Lord Wallace is spending the day in Arbroath on Thursday and will visit Arbroath High School to meet pupils and staff and take part in an awards ceremony.

He will later attend a "Bible Alive" event at Hayshead Primary School before having lunch with members of the "Mum and Me" support group for new mums, which is based in the halls of St Andrew's Church.

Lord Wallace also hopes to visit the local RNLI station and the Arbroath FC Community Trust which supports activities to help local people develop and thrive.

On Friday, the Moderator is expected to visit Pictish stones in and around the village of Aberlemno, walk part of a pilgrim route and visit a project called Kirrie Connections which supports people living with dementia and their families in Kirriemuir.

Lord Wallace will also visit Sustainable Kirriemuir Community Garden at St Mary's Field and Northmuir Primary School which has a market garden.

On Saturday morning he will take part in a concert of prayer at Ferryden Church in Montrose and the following day will preach at Arbroath West Kirk followed by a meeting with church elders from across Angus at Letham Church.

Prayers

Lord Wallace said: "Presbytery visits offer a wonderful opportunity for Moderators to see first-hand, the life of the local church and to offer encouragement and support to members and the wider communities they serve, but it is also an opportunity to learn.

"It is a privilege to hear the stories of congregations, communities and people and share in just a little of their journey in faith.

"The last two years have been challenging for all of us in different ways and everyone who is involved in ministry has been on the frontline serving communities to the best of their ability in difficult circumstances.

"As a Church, we seek to be active in the community and I am looking forward to meeting a wide range of people from different walks of life to discuss the issues that they face and assure them all that they are held in our prayers."