On 28th November last year, I was inducted into the parish of Abernethy and Dron and Arngask as your new part-time Parish Minister, so I thought you might like to know something about the Reverend Stan?
I was brought up in Garelochhead, on the West coast and attended secondary school in Helensburgh. Having worked for eight years with Boots the Chemists in Dumbarton, I went to Edinburgh University to study divinity. My first joint parish, in which I served for eight years, was in Stow and Heriot, in Selkirkshire. I joined the Royal Navy as a Church of Scotland Chaplain in 2000 and served in the Chaplaincy Service for sixteen years. During this time, when I wasn’t at sea, I lived with my family in either Devon or Cornwall. Having retired from the Senior Service in September 2016, I then worked for two years as a locum minister in the linked parishes of Muirkirk and Old Cumnock Trinity in Ayrshire, These parishes provided me with a welcome, fulfilling and happy return to the fold of parish ministry, North of the Border.
I am married to Aileen, an Occupational Therapist, who still currently works in Tavistock in Devon, but who will soon retire in April and subsequently join me here in the manse in Abernethy. We have two grown up children: Naomi and Reuben. My interests include growing vegetables and plants and I’m on the lookout for another tallish greenhouse in which to grow tomatoes again. My other hobbies include keeping tropical fish and walking and occasional activities encompass cooking, entertaining, music and playing Mah Jong.
For my part, I am very excited to be here, starting a new ministry and serving and leading the people of the church and parish in this special and rather beautiful part of the country. Invariably, in the Navy and also in Ayrshire, I was called “Stan, the Man” so I would be very happy for you to call me that too, bearing in mind that there are far worse things a minister could be called. Having read Dr.David Booth’s farewell letter which read: “Remember to toot your horn if you see a tall skinny bloke passing with two great big hairy dogs!” I am tempted to say: “Remember to toot your horn if you see a tall not-so-skinny bloke passing wearing a dog collar and carrying a bag of tropical fish!” Hopefully we will all encounter each other in the fullness of time, but in the meantime, can I send you my very best wishes for a happy and peaceful year ahead?