New North Parish minister returns home to Girvan

DELIGHTED: New minister Rev Richard Moffat (centre) with session clerk Ron Gibson (left) and interim moderator Rev Jim Guthrie (right).
DELIGHTED: New minister Rev Richard Moffat (centre) with session clerk Ron Gibson (left) and interim moderator Rev Jim Guthrie (right).

A UNANIMOUS vote has secured the future of Girvan’s North Parish Church as its sole nominee for minister is adopted by the congregation.

Hundreds of worshippers filled the pews at the Montgomerie Street church on Sunday morning to hear Rev Richard Moffat preach – and they were obviously not disappointed as not one member voted against his bid to take on the North Parish.

With the help of a special – stuffed – guest from Canada, Harry the Bactrian camel, Mr Moffat won over the Sunday school with a tale of individuality and confidence, with one boy pronouncing his story “epic”.

And after a sermon as full of laughs as it was inspiration, Mr Moffat and his family retired to the church lounge to await their fate as members cast their votes.

Mr Moffat said he thought the service had gone well, and he was pleased to see a substantial turn out.

And after his visits to Girvan with the Summer Mission, and an open air service at the harbour which he says inspired his faith in Jesus, he said his return felt like coming home.

“You never know how things are going to go, but when I saw the sun shining and the blue sky from my window this morning I thought, ‘This is home’,” Mr Moffat said.

He was delighted to find his hopes and prayers had paid off when interim moderator Rev Jim Guthrie announced he had been unanimously voted in as minister designate, with 206 votes to none.

“It is confirmation of this whole last year that we have spent preparing for this, and to get such a unanimous vote is significant. I couldn’t get a better start than to get that kind of affirmation,” said Mr Moffat.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone, and I believe the best is yet to come.”

Mr Moffat is to take up residence in Girvan on April 1, and is expected to be inducted by a moderator from the Presbytery on April 16.

The call, which church members unable to attend Sunday’s service but wish to sign to declare their desire to adopt Mr Moffat as minister, will remain at the North Parish Church until Sunday before being sent to the Presbytery in Edinburgh.