A wee bit background from your new and very part time locum team, Graham and Sheila Blount…
It was lovely to read the words of welcome from Louise McClements, explaining our treasured early links from Falkirk days with your minister and her extended family. As retired ministers, we are delighted to have this opportunity to support Louise one day a week, in the year ahead, as she gets a little bit of weekly space to write up her thesis, while continuing her ministry amongst you all. We look forward to getting to know some of the congregation and parish as we work alongside and under the direction of your very able minister who is also to us a respected friend.
Graham was ordained in Linthouse St Kenneth’s Church in Govan, back in 1976 and Sheila was ordained in the newly formed Springburn Church in 1978. We moved to Bridge of Allan in 1983, where Graham was minister of Chalmers and half time Stirling University chaplain, and Sheila was part time prison chaplain at Corntonvale (women’s prison). In 1990, thanks to encouraging support from Rev Duncan McClements who was interim moderator, we became joint ministers of Falkirk Old and St Modan’s, job sharing a charge and a first for the Church of Scotland! We settled happily into teamwork with our associate minister Ron Smith, which hopefully will stand us in good stead for working with Louise. After eight years, Graham moved to another ground-breaking Church role, as the first Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer when the new Parliament came into being. Sheila was re-inducted as full-time minister at Old and St Modan’s, until 2002 when she moved on to Cupar as minister of St John’s, eventually united with Dairsie Parish. Back in 2010, Sheila had to take early retirement, following several years of serious illness, but thankfully is now much better and has been able to undertake a few locum appointments in recent years. Graham at that time, moved to his final charge of St Enoch’s Hogganfield in Glasgow, from which he retired in 2016, though added a couple of extra years job sharing the role of Joint Presbytery Clerk of Glasgow. We are now members of our local parish Church at Sherbrooke Mosspark.
All this makes us sound quite ancient, but perhaps it’s better to say we were married as students, studying in St Andrews, “just” 47 years ago … so we’ve not reached our Golden years quite yet! Sheila’s dad Rev Campbell Gillon was a Glasgow minister (as well as both grandfathers) so she’s happy to tell you about that sometime in person. Mostly we enjoy taking things a bit easier these days, sharing time when possible with our two daughters, sons-in-law, and four granddaughters and enjoying caravan holidays in the northwest of Scotland. We look forward to helping Louise out a little and getting to know you in the time ahead.