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The sun shone on the wee village of Clachan as more than 100 folk gathered from far and near to welcome Reverend Scott Burton to Argyll.
Scott has responded to a call to be minister to the charge of Cara and Gigha, linked with Kilcalmonell, Killean and Kilchenzie, better known as the churches of Gigha, Clachan and A’Chleit.
Scott was minister at St Matthew’s Church in Perth for almost 13 years and comes as an experienced minister.
When interviewed for the charge, Scott touched our hearts with a piece of prose he wrote as he waited in his hotel room, and I quote it here:
THERE’S NOTHING THERE!
A Glasgow lad, a city boy, journeying to Argyll?
Leaving behind the fair city and crowning place of kings?
There’s nothing there!!
Sure. There IS ‘nothing’ there;
No high rise flats or multi storey parks.
There’s no shopping centres or big stadia for amassing the crowds.
There’s no incessant traffic and no traffic lights. Heck, there’s places where street lamps don’t exist!!!!!
I know! I know.
THANK GOD there’s nothing of this sort here.
But oh my goodness, there’s ‘nothing there?’
He said: ‘I have come that you might have abundant life,’
And there’s abundance here!
So much to see,
So much to hear,
To touch, to smell, to savour.
From the tiniest wild flower swaying on the ocean breeze,
To the wilder coastal wind churning up the vast ocean.
Then there’s the lonely roads and the meandering streams,
The forests and glens and starlight.
There’s the birds and the mammals,
The drams and stills,
The kayaks and surf,
The biking and hiking,
The music and song.
And shops when you want them,
The ferries and buses and cars when you need them.
There’s everything here!
There’s life in all fullness here!
And…there’s the (too often forgotten) people here:
In church and community,
In private and public houses,
In good times, in bad times,
In joy and in sorrow.
There’s people here to be served and to serve.
And there’s faith.
Lord, where would you lead me?
What would you have me be and do?
I’ll go if you call me to the wild places where ‘there’s nothing there’.
Scott was welcomed to Argyll by local folk, those from his previous church in Perth and by the Presbytery of Argyll. We hold him in our prayers and our love.
The service was conducted by the Moderator, Douglas Allan, and the sermon was preached by Reverend Sibyl Tchaikovsky from Bute.
We are grateful to the folk of Clachan for giving us such wonderful hospitality and for Julius Weeks for such inspirational music.
Scott was gifted a piece of local pottery with the map of Kintyre and Gigha and with an appropriate inscription.
We wish Scott every blessing in his new ministry as he walks hand-in-hand with his people into the future guided and nourished by God.