New minister ordained to lead Ayrshire churches
Published on 2 September 2022 1 minute read
A newly ordained minister has been appointed to provide spiritual leadership at two churches in South Ayrshire.
Rev Gillean Richmond will be the locum minister at Troon Old Parish Church and Portland Parish Church which is also in the town.
The 47-year-old was ordained at a service at Portland Parish Church last night in front of family, friends, colleagues and members of the two congregations and people who attend nearby St Meddans Parish Church.
Mrs Richmond, who will divide her time between the two congregations equally, said: "It was a tremendous evening and the buzz in the very full halls was absolutely amazing and very uplifting."
Like all Church of Scotland presbyteries, Ayr Presbytery is in the process of developing a mission plan which will determine how limited resources are allocated to congregations over a five-year period.
Under the proposals, the three churches in Troon will unite to form a new single congregation which will be served by a team ministry of two.
Mrs Richmond, who is married to Pete with whom she has three young sons, admitted that the Church's national programme of reforms meant that her first post was not what she expected it to be when she first sensed her calling.
"It is a challenging time for my cohort of probationers but that does not mean that the opportunities to serve God are limited by any stretch of the imagination, she said.
"God is present in the messiness, God is present in the hard times and that is hopefully something that we are going to be helping the people of the Church with.
"The opportunities that are around are really quite magnificent."
Mrs Richmond, who grew up in Barrhead in East Renfrewshire, said she is optimistic about the future of the church in Troon.
"I hope it is able to find a way forward and see that the future is quite bright despite the uncertainty," she added.
"Members have a tremendous opportunity to come together and work in collaboration to create something quite special and be the church in new ways.
"It is very positive for them even though it might not feel like that at the moment."
Prior to entering the ministry, Mrs Richmond worked as a dentist and latterly a children and youth worker at St Nicholas Parish Church in Prestwick.
She did her probation at St Columba Parish Church in Ayr under the supervision of Rev Dr Scott McKenna.