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Last Sunday, the people of Campbeltown’s Lorne and Lowland Parish Church bid a fond farewell to their minister, Reverend William Crossan, who has retired on health grounds.
A former pupil of Campbeltown Grammar School, Mr Crossan was the school’s rector for 19 years, from the spring of 1992 until his early retirement in 2011.
He then undertook a course in Christian and religious studies at the University of Aberdeen before training for ministry at the Lorne and Lowland and at Ardrishaig Parish Church.
He was ordained to the Church of Scotland’s Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 2014 and worked in churches throughout Kintyre and as far afield as North Mull, before being appointed as interim moderator and locum minister at Lorne and Lowland in February 2018.
In January this year, Mr Crossan suffered a stroke, as a result of which he had to step back from his duties as minister.
‘I have made a good recovery,’ he said, ‘but it became clear that, at the age of 72 and with the impact of the stroke upon my health, I could no longer go on working at the same level as before.
‘I am sorry to hang up my cassock for the last time, and I will miss the good folk of Lorne and Lowland very much. Their support and caring concern have carried me through the past few months, but the time has now come for me to retire.’
Jean Durnan, session clerk of the congregation, said: ‘Thank you to Reverend Crossan for his unremitting care of the members of the congregation during his years with us.
‘It is greatly appreciated and he will be missed very much.’
On Sunday, she presented him with an oil painting by Campbeltown artist Ronald Togneri and other gifts, including a selection of treats for his two spaniels, Cara and Morgan, from the children of the Sunday clubs.
Mr Crossan in turn paid tribute to the congregation.
‘As I take my next steps along the world, as we shall sing shortly, I will carry with me many wonderful memories of a happy and deeply fulfilling time in my life.
‘I have been privileged to share in the warmth of true Christian love evident in your life as individuals and as a congregation.
‘I wish God’s blessing on you and your fellowship in the years ahead.’
Mr Crossan moves away from Campbeltown at the end of this month to a new home in Livingston, where he will be closer to his family.
Reverend Janet MacKellar, moderator of Argyll Presbytery, extended the good wishes and blessings of members to Mr Crossan.
‘He has been a much-valued member of Argyll Presbytery for many years and his service to the church in Campbeltown, and the Kintyre peninsula, has been especially appreciated,’ she said.
‘We wish him a long and happy retirement as he moves from the local area to be closer to his family.’
Mr Crossan’s service to Argyll Presbytery will formally be recognised, as is customary, at its next meeting.
The presbytery has appointed an interim moderator to work with the congregation of the Lorne and Lowland.