East Kilbride’s new minister is pointing his community to Christ
Published on 11 November 2022 3 minutes read
Former banker, Rev. George Sneddon has spent the last 16 months developing new and creative ministries in a small corner of East Kilbride.
George, who was inducted as an assistant minister of the Church of Scotland on Tuesday, has already been working effectively as the full-time minister at Mossneuk Parish Church in East Kilbride.
He has already witnessed it change from a quiet church recovering from Covid, to a vibrant centre of faith becoming a community hub where all are welcome.
"The change here has been transformational," Mr Sneddon said.
"Just over a year ago there was only worship for an hour on a Sunday and that was really it, but now we have weekly opportunities to worship, pray and have fellowship together. Our Waterwell Prayer fellowship on a Friday can last up to three hours and includes a whole array of people, not just from Mossneuk, but Christians from across the town and from different denominations. It's amazing to be part of it."
Mr Sneddon attributes this transformation at Mossneuk wholly to God's work through the Holy Spirit, which had inspired him to focus his work on reaching the community.
It began as a simple leaflet drop, but then turned into a door-to-door ministry, as he began chapping doors, and speaking to people directly.
He said: "My simple question was: ‘is there anything I can pray for in your family?' That was the catalyst question that led to opportunities to ministry and to break down barriers of faith that had grown up around people. It was an open door to show the community how beautiful Jesus is.
"Perhaps they don't come to church all the time, but the objective was never really about upping the numbers on a Sunday morning. It was about a heartfelt desire for people from all backgrounds to know the love of Jesus and to dedicate themselves to following him. Asking someone what is going on in their lives, and then offering it to God...what else is there we can do?
"That has been a real special kind of ministry here. It has ministered to me as much as I have ministered to others. Stripping away the rigours of religion lets us see Jesus more clearly."
Manager of Happiness
Relationships were key to Mr Sneddon's previous career in the world of banking where he worked in a number of senior leadership positions, including one which saw him get the nickname "the manager of happiness".
"That was quite nice because I was responsible for staff engagement at work," he said.
"That was where my call to ministry started, because when you are dealing with people's happiness, you are also dealing with their brokenness. I had this overwhelming desire to pray into that space but was never able to do so. You never were able to share your faith as freely as I would've liked.
"That drove me to turn to a call to ministry that would give me the opportunity to look deeper at the full needs of people and minister to them."
Mr Sneddon studied theology at the University of Glasgow and he also paid tribute to his supervisors for teaching him how to prepare for ministry.'
He still lives in his home village of Kirkmuirhill, just 20 minutes away from Mossneuk Church, with his dog Jack, his Jack Russell/Staffie cross.
Kirkmuirhill Minister and George's long term spiritual advisor, Rev. Andrew Rooney, preached at Mr Sneddon's induction service which was held at Viewpark Parish Church in Uddingston, the home church of George's most recent probationary supervisor and Mossneuk interim moderator, Rev Michael Lyall.
Mr Sneddon described the event as an amazing evening full of rousing praise, heartfelt prayer, beautiful and kind encouragement, celebrated by his family, friends, supervisors and all those who had touched his life and ministry in some way.
The service was led by the co-Moderators of the Presbytery of Forth Valley and Clydesdale, Rev Dr Shaw Paterson and Mr James Watt.
As well as being renewed as a spiritual centre, Mossneuk Church is also an important community facility, and Mr Sneddon has opened its doors to local children and their families.
"The church is becoming the focus of people's lives again after a period of neglect and seeing a bit of life again attracts people," he added.