Rev John Murray inducted to parish of Kilmuir and Stenscholl

Rev John Murray
Rev John Murray served as an Auxiliary Minister before becoming a full-time minister

Kilmuir and Stenscholl, the most northerly of Skye's five parishes now has a new minister – the Rev John Murray.

Rev. David Kellas the moderator of the Presbytery of Lochcarron/Skye, presided at the new minister's induction. Rev. Dr. Rory MacLeod, appointed to the most southern parish of Strath and Sleat just a month ago, preached on the need for the church to move forward with renewed purpose and unity.

Originally from Glasgow, and brought up in Cruden Bay, John arrived on the island in 1985 and practised as a solicitor in Portree. He served as an Auxiliary Minister, before sensing the call to full-time ministry and studying at Highland Theological College in Dingwall.

Now John is starting his vocation as a full-time minister.

"It's a real privilege for me to enter the parish ministry, and I'm thankful to Kilmuir and Stenscholl for calling me as their new minister," he says.

"HTC is a fantastic centre of learning, at the forefront of using modern communication, and for me it made things so much easier."

John is married to Neilian, whose father Angus MacKay from Lewis was the minister in Kilmuir for 30 years. Jonathan MacDonald, the Session Clerk welcomed him to his role saying John was starting his ministry almost 67 years to the day after his late father in law was inducted there.

John became a member of the Kirk over 40 years ago, having been invited to Gilcomston South church in Aberdeen by his brother Scott, himself a former Church of Scotland medical missionary in Chogoria, Kenya.

"Looking back over the years, I have gained so much from the church and now I'm really looking forward to giving something back," John says. "In all the changes that are going on in Scotland, the church holds a unique and valued place in folks' hearts as a fund of inspiration and hope. Here in this parish we have a committed and talented group ready to find new ways to serve and worship."

Kilmuir and Stenscholl lies in a vibrant Gaelic speaking area. Last year the congregation produced a new Gaelic hymnbook and plans to issue a CD later this year.

Island churches have learned the art of making a little go a long way, he says.

"I really believe that here in north Skye we have a huge amount to offer in bringing practical love and care into areas where life has its own special challenges. The values of Christ's kingdom include social justice and equality, so help for areas on the edge is a fundamental issue."