WHILE many might praise Girvan as a heavenly place, there are surely few who would claim it actually inspired religious faith.
But for a man who could soon play an integral role in the local church community, that is just the case.
Rev Richard Moffat is the sole nominee for the vacant ministry at Girvan’s landmark North Parish Church. And he says the Carrick town played a “vital role” in a faith journey that could take him full circle.
Having worked in the Presbyterian Church of Canada for the past 20 years - based in the southwest of the country at Kelowna, British Columbia - the 60-year-old Scot will this week be returning to the town where he spent many a happy family holiday.
Mr Moffat said he was looking forward to returning to his “home and native land”, and to the place where he discovered a faith in Jesus as more than just an abstract historical figure.
“That revelation, as I answered questions on the harbour at an open air service in Girvan back when Noah was a boy, still floods my mind,” he said. Not having worked in a Church of Scotland before, Rev Moffat has been scrutinised by the Ministries Council in Edinburgh.
But this Sunday will decide whether he will be adopted into the Girvan fold as he leads the service at the North Parish Church.
While he admitted returning to the kirk, let alone in such a sentimentally significant location, had been far from his thoughts before the opportunity arose, he was grateful for the chance to make Girvan his physical and spiritual home.
“Girvan showed me that I was ‘worth the effort’, and although it may have been a long time in coming I would like to repay their hospitality,” he said.
“I also believe that the hospitality I once experienced is still present in Girvan, and I am hoping the congregation of North Church will invite me to be a part of extending that hospitality; particularly to those who have never discovered, as I did, that Jesus Christ is alive and makes a life-changing difference in your life.”
Mr Moffat invited all who would like to experience that hospitality to join the congregation of the North Parish Church on Sunday at 11am, after which church members will cast their votes while he awaits his fate.
He said both he and his family were “very excited” at the prospect of a move to Girvan, and was hopeful that Sunday’s vote would return a positive result.