Introducing Mary – Minister in Training


Hello, everyone, and thank you for the warm welcome that you gave me at my first service in Granton Parish Church at the beginning of October.

As the minister said, I am joining you all now as a student until after Easter next year, while I also study part-time at the University of Aberdeen by distance learning. I’m half way through my training for the Ordained Local Ministry. This is a part-time ministry with the church, so I will continue to work in my profession as an archaeologist, as well as serving as a minister. It is a relatively new role in the church; the first OLMs were ordained less than ten years ago, and OLMs normally work as part of team ministries, rather than independently.

A bit about me

I’m 56, married to an artist, and with three grown-up stepchildren. Until three years ago, my husband and I lived in the Isle of Lewis, which is where my father’s family is from, and I worked part-time as a university lecturer in archaeology, and part-time as a crofter. We didn’t expect to move to Edinburgh in our 50s, but our children moved to the Central Belt for university, and my job was not going well, so when I was offered a job with Historic Environment Scotland, we made the move. I had already decided to attend the Vocations Conference for the church, so I put it off until after our move, and then attended from the Presbytery of Edinburgh.

God’s hand in guiding this move has been remarkably clear. In Lewis and Harris, there are still no women in leadership in the church, and though I was interested in becoming a Reader, this wasn’t something for which there was much support. When, after the Vocations Conference, I embarked on my first, discernment placement in Edinburgh, it was wonderfully liberating to be gently guided towards the ministry rather than the readership. We found accommodation we could afford, my husband found a job, and the church embraced my call to the ministry. On top of all that, when I applied to do a placement in Granton, I found out that Norman is from just across the island from where I’m from in Lewis. It’s very nice to hear a voice from home, and it seems very clear that Edinburgh is where God wants us to be for the time being.

I’m very much looking forward to being based in Granton for the next 8 months, to getting to know everyone, and to learning from and contributing to the church and parish activities. Thank you so much for your warm welcome.