New Minister for Bishopton Parish Church

A former orthopaedic nurse has been ordained and inducted as the new minister at Bishopton Parish Church in Renfrewshire.

Rev Yvonne Smith
Rev Yvonne Smith

Rev Yvonne Smith led her first service on Sunday and was preached in by her mentor Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood, a former Moderator of the General Assembly.

The 52-year-old, who was a nurse for 27 years, latterly at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley, described it as a fantastic occasion.

Miss Smith said her new congregation, which includes former Scottish Conservative leader Baroness Annabel Goldie, were extremely warm and welcoming.

The minister is following in the footsteps of her father Rev Albert Smith, who served as a minister at Johnstone High Church in Renfrewshire, Dunkeld Cathedral in Perth and Kinross and Methlick in Aberdeenshire - his last charge before he retired in 2006.

Miss Smith, who holds a Bachelor of Divinity honours degree from the University of Glasgow, completed her final year of training at Renfrew North Church under the guidance of Dr Hood.

It was standing room only during a special service at Bishopton Parish Church on January 10 when she was inducted into what is her first charge.

The hymn of blessing, which was to be sung in welcome after she was ordained, had to be sung three times due to the exceptionally large congregation.

Moderator of Greenock and Paisley Presbytery, Rev Ann McCool, told her: "Your father was minister in Johnstone High Church, and here am I, the current minister of Johnstone High conducting my first ordination and induction service for you.

"God's timing is just perfect!"

When asked what drew her to Bishopton Parish Church, Miss Smith said: "It was the words, 'come and join us!' in the parish profile which really struck me.

"The people have been so welcoming and I am really looking forward to working with them and leading them forward."

Reflecting on her first Sunday service, Miss Smith, who initially studied part-time while working in the hospital, said: "Lorna preached me in which was fantastic.

"It was a lovely service, well attended and the singing was great.

"Everyone enjoyed Lorna's preaching and she was wonderfully encouraging to me and the congregation in terms of looking to the future and moving forward together in faith."

Dr Hood retired from Renfrew North Church in October after 37 years in the pulpit.

The Church of Scotland’s Tomorrow’s Calling campaign seeks to encourage people from all walks of life to consider going into the ministry and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.