Former actress ordained as Inverurie minister

A former actress who has performed all over the world has been ordained as a minister at an Aberdeenshire church.

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Rev Rhona Cathcart (55) has taken her first charge at Inverurie West Church where she plans to bring “creativity, energy and a listening ear” to the 633 member strong congregation and surrounding community.

Rev Rhona Cathcart (55) has taken her first charge at Inverurie West Church where she plans to bring “creativity, energy and a listening ear” to the 633 member strong congregation and surrounding community.

The Canada-born mother of two said she had been inspired to take up the post after being made to feel “exceedingly welcome” during a visit.

She added: “Hospitality just radiated from the place.

“The redesign of the buildings eight years ago, inspired by the desire to being a 'church without walls', really reflects this commitment to a hospitality, which is embedded in, but not limited to, our church space.

“The Inverurie West tag line is 'A church in the heart of the community, with the community at its heart' and you can feel the truth of it in the way the space is used and generously shared.”

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“It's a huge privilege to be invited into people's lives and be trusted to speak the name of God to them."

Fortunate

Mrs Cathcart started out on her path into ministry as a jobbing actress, appearing in theatre productions across the world. She has also been a lift driver in a Sydney department store, a drama teacher and has a psychology degree.

Her last job before ministry was working as a web writer for the Strathclyde Police communications department.

She said it took some time before the Call to become a minister was heard.

“Years ago, when I was in a period of denial about the idea that God might be calling me into the ministry, I jokingly stated that if I did become a minister, it would be for the books and the manse,” she said.

“A job which actually expects you to buy and read books, and then gives you a place to keep them, what's not to like?

“But in the end, although the books (and the manse) are great, it's the chance to be doing the work that I believe God has called me to do, which makes me feel most fortunate.”

Mrs Cathcart said she first learned the craft of being a minister at Fullarton Parish Church in Irvine under the tutelage of Rev Neil Urquhart.

“It is a fantastic place to grow in the faith and one which has produced many ministers,” Mrs Cathcart said.

“Partly because of Neil’s commitment to encouraging and developing the talents of others and his generous approach to shared ministry.

“Further training under wonderfully creative ministers like Rev Peter Gardner, now the new pioneer minister to the Arts Communities, enhanced my appreciation for the many ways we can connect with God in worship.

Pinnacle

Of any role Mrs Cathcart has performed in a colourful career, she said being a minister with the Church of Scotland was the pinnacle.

“It's a huge privilege to be invited into people's lives and be trusted to speak the name of God to them,” she added.

“It's not an easy job - and you need people to keep you accountable for the sin of believing it all depends on you - but it's an immensely rewarding one.

“If God calls you, he will equip you. Don't be afraid to say yes.”

Mrs Cathcart is looking forward to working with the congregation in their expressed aims to support families affected by the economic downturn after the oil boom, reach out to immigrants adapting to life in the North East and engage more young people.

She also looks forward to working alongside other churches in the area including the sister church at Inverurie St Andrews.

Interested in becoming a Church of Scotland minister? Begin the journey here.