Moderator taking part in seafront Walk for Malawi event as part of Ayr Presbytery visit

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The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison and his wife Marion.

Best foot forward in aid of a good cause.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is embarking on a seafront walk to raise money for the people of Malawi.

The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison is taking part in the event along Ayr Promenade as part of a nine-day visit to the region which starts tomorrow.

He said he was "greatly looking forward" to the trip and learning more about the work carried out by "unsung" Christian heroes who made a "huge difference" to many lives.

Ayr Presbytery has enjoyed a close relationship with Bandawe and Limphasa Presbyteries in rural Northern Malawi since 2004 when a World Mission team from the Church of Scotland's central offices in Edinburgh, including a minister from Ayr Presbytery, visited the African country just after a very poor harvest.

The traumatic experience of seeing many people virtually starving led to further Ayr Presbytery trips to Malawi in 2006 ,2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Kirk members have supported a wide range of projects such as orphan care centres, community nurseries and have provided mosquito nets to Singo Village and surrounding areas in the Nkhata Bay District as well as computers and laptops to improve communications

Practical goods like clothing, bedding, toiletries, stationery, tools, sewing machines, bicycles, mobile phones, medical supplies and toys are sent to the country on a regular basis.

The Walk for Malawi is taking place on Saturday, March 12 at 11am and starts at the south end of Ayr Promenade.

Participants will walk the length of the Promenade to Newton Wallacetown Church, where tea or coffee will be served, then back again. Donations can be made to the Presbytery's Malawi Partnership.

The Rev Neil McNaught, Moderator of Ayr Presbytery, said members were very much looking forward to Dr Morrison's visit.

He added that he hoped that as many people as possible turned out to meet the Morrisons as they take in the heady sea air on the promenade.

Mr McNaught, minister at Alloway Parish Church, said: "We pray that the Moderator and his wife Marion will find their visit enjoyable and encouraging as he brings the greetings of the National Church."

Ayr Presbytery have organised an eclectic programme of events for the Morrisons to showcase the area and the work Church members are involved in.

The couple are taking part in engagements in Troon, Girvan, Cumnock, Prestwick, Maybole and Ayr.

Dr Morrison is preaching at Alloway Church on Sunday morning before being shown round the Burns Exhibition Centre. He will attend a Youth Celebration service at Ayr Castlehill Parish Church in the evening.

Other highlights include a visit to Ayr Academy and the Tower of St John the Baptist where the Moderator will meet the Provost of South Ayrshire Council Helen Moonie.

Dr Morrison will visit Cumnor Hall, a home for the elderly in Ayr run by the Kirk's social care arm CrossReach, Ayr Cattle market, and Dumfries House in Cumnock – a magnificent 18th century stately home saved for the nation by Prince Charles in 2007.

He will be welcomed to Dumfries House by Provost Jim Todd and other representatives of East Ayrshire Council and a civic reception will be held.

Other events planned include addressing the Guild Presbyterian Council Rally at St Meddan's Church in Troon and visiting the Queen Mother Home for veterans at Hollybush House in Ayr, the Ark youth club at Ayr Harbour and boat builders Alexander Noble in Girvan.

Dr Morrison said: "I am greatly looking forward, with my wife Marion, to our forthcoming visit to the Presbytery of Ayr.

"Such visits are a wonderful opportunity to learn more of the breadth and depth of the work of the church, undertaken in Christ's name, across the length and breadth of our country.

"I trust, too, that they are a source of encouragement to those whose commitment to Christian work and witness goes often unsung, but whose contribution, day in day out, is making a huge difference in many lives.

"I am deeply grateful to the Presbytery for preparing a wide-ranging programme which will provide a clear insight into the work of parish churches."