Lorne and Lowland minister moves to pastures new

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A Campbeltown minister with a geography degree will be on the map at Renfrew north parish, on the south side of the Clyde, from early March.

Reverend Philip Wallace has spent 14 years leading the flock at Lorne and Lowland church and prior to accepting the Renfrew north charge preached as sole nominee on January 14.

Rev Wallace said: ‘I have enjoyed Campbeltown immensly. It has been a great experience there is such a sense of community working with people here and thoughts for all.

‘I have also enjoyed working closely with the other churches in south Kintyre.’

Rev Wallace, who was raised as a Christian in England, spent seven years with Hampshire county council as a trading standards officer before studying for the ministry between 1994 and 1998 at Mansfield college, Oxford.

Rev Wallace spoke about how life in the trading standards department led to a re-evaluation of his life.

He said: ‘My social conscience was developed by dealing with consumers’ problems.

‘It made me look at society and the difficulties which people go through.

‘Secondly, I was at church one day half listening to  a sermon and thinking of all the things I would try to do if I was a minister.’

After qualifying, Rev Wallace was called to the Presbyterian United Reformed Church in Brighton, where he spent six years before coming to Campbeltown in 2004.

As well as his ministry, Rev Wallace has worked with the Kintyre Crime Prevention Panel and the Supporting the Homeless in Kintyre Project. In 2016 he chaired a hustings before the Scottish elections and again last year before the general election.

Rev Wallace said that one of the aspects he has particularly enjoyed has been his involvement with November’s Remembrance Sunday services.

He said: ‘Remembrance services at both the Commonwealth war graves cemetery and at the cenotaph on the Esplanade help the community to remember their lost ones.

‘Part of the ministry is also helping the community to grieve when there are accidents.

‘When preaching sermons I like anything about the love of God and God’s interaction with people.’

Although a minister’s work is 24/7 and may seem very serious Rev Wallace is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing – he motors in a three litre Jaguar XF, which he has driven for seven years.

This Sunday Rev Wallace will preach his final sermon in a Lorne and Lowland service beginning at 11.15am.