BBC Alba looks at the role of the minister's wife
Published on 8 January, 2014
Traditional preconceptions of ministers’ wives are set to be shattered when a new six-part series on BBC ALBA begins on Friday.
‘Bean a’ Mhinisteir/ The Minister’s Wife’ will follow the lives of three women across Scotland as they support their husbands in unique ways.
Producers claim viewers – who may have classic images of Sunday Schools, flower arranging and baking in their minds when they think of a minister’s wife – will be given a window into a world where such women are more likely to be found attending the Edinburgh Fringe, distributing food to those in need or giving advice on pregnancy.
Among the trio is community arts officer for the Church of Scotland, Ruth Rankin (26), who has been married to Rev. David Rankin for the last three years.
The show charts the couple’s attempts to invigorate Kaimes Lockhart Memorial (KLM) Church in Gracemount in the South East of Edinburgh.
KLM was previously known as Burdiehouse Parish Church, and was based in Southhouse/Burdiehouse before moving across to Gracemount in 1961. It was given its current name in Easter 1989, in memory of Rev. Lockhart who had been minister of Burdiehouse Church from 1951 to 1963.
In 2009 the Church building was closed due to structural damage and, ever since, has survived by meeting at a day care centre.
“I must admit that I had my own preconceptions about ministers’ wives before I got married to Dave,” said Ruth."
“My own mother was one for a while. I had to remember I was marrying Dave because I fell in love with him. I love Dave for being Dave. Being a minister’s wife is a bonus.”
Ruth, who is originally from Lewis in the Western Isles, said her grandmother had aired concerns about Friday’s broadcast."
“She grew up in a time when the minister’s wife would sit separately from the congregation and always be known as Mrs."
“My granny told me she hoped I had remembered my commandments!"
“I reassured her that I was a good Christian."
“I hope I come across as someone who is just being themselves with no airs and graces.”
Ruth said she thought the programme had the potential to connect to people of no faith.
“I hope the programme will show people, who might not be involved with the Church, that Christians are good, normal people.” said Ruth.
“Friends of mine who are non-Christians are really curious to see what my life is like within the Church."
“I hope I can demonstrate that having God in your life really enhances your quality of life.”
‘Bean a’ Mhinisteir / The Minister’s Wife’ begins at 8.30pm on Friday on BBC Alba.
You can find out more about Kaimes Lockhart Memorial Church, at their website.