A Montrose man who has served the Church of Scotland for 13 years in Angus has become the first Ordained Local Minister in the county.
The Rev. Ian Gray, of Rossie Island Road, was ordained on August 27 at Edzell Lethnot Church, on his 30th wedding anniversary to his wife Celia.
He had worked as a Reader in Angus since 2000, which allowed him to conduct funerals and other acts of worship but not baptisms or marriages.
Mr Gray said: “Two years ago, the Church of Scotland decided that Readers would be able to become Ordained Local Ministers (OLM) by going through further training. Once fully ordained, an OLM is able to conduct marriages and baptisms.”
He added: “Before 2000, I worked as a financial consultant but was made redundant, though before my redundancy, I had already been studying to become a Reader, as I had felt there was a calling into ministry throughout my adult life. I didn’t think it would happen at my age, so becoming a Reader was the next best thing as far I as I was concerned.
“The opportunity for Readers to become OLMs is fantastic, I never thought it would happen. To be given the opportunity to become ordained was the icing on the cake.”
An OLM is different from a full time Ordained Minister, as OLM positions are non-stipendiary, meaning they are not paid for their services, and they are appointed to a specific church or church grouping for a period of time. The OLM will then work under the supervision of the full time Ordained Minister.
Mr Gray will be working for the Kirk Sessions of Edzell Lethnot Glenesk and Fern Careston Menmuir, which has churches in Edzell, Glenesk and Fern, covering approximately a 31 mile area.
The Rev. David Gray, the full time Ordained Minister, said: “It’s a large geographical area for one individual to cover and Ian has been sent here to assist in the development of the ministry. We want to develop the ministry as well as maintain it, even in our modern way of life we think development is important.
“Edzell Lethnot Church will be the hub but we will serve all the churches.
“Even though OLMs are under the supervision of the full time Ordained Ministers, Ian and I want to work in partnership.
“The hope of the Church of Scotland is that more Readers will become OLMs.”
Ian Gray is from Montrose, he and his wife, Celia, have two children, Jamie, 27, and Carolyne, 23.