Drew Sheridan is new rector at Lanark Christ Church

Canon Drew Sheridan, (second left)  Bishop Gregor Duncan and Christ Churchs Lay Readers Bobby Burgon and Richard Evans after the institution.
Canon Drew Sheridan, (second left) Bishop Gregor Duncan and Christ Churchs Lay Readers Bobby Burgon and Richard Evans after the institution.

The new rector has taken over at Christ Church in Lanark.

And for Canon Drew Sheridan it is like coming home.

Drew (54) was brought up in Carluke, attending the High School until he moved to Lanark Grammar for his Highers.

He went on to study modern languages at Edinburgh University, and into a career in teaching.

But a life in the church was never far from his mind.

“I was always involved with the church,” said Drew.

His family went to St John’s in Carluke and as he grew older Drew began playing the organ for various churches, starting with Douglas Water and Rigside, becoming organist and choirmaster at Crossford, and eventually organist at St Andrew’s in Carluke.

He was teaching in Dumfries when he decided to train for ordination.

“It is something I have always wanted to do,” said Drew. “From about the age of seven I wanted to be ordained, but you lack confidence, and you wonder if you can do this, and you make every excuse under the sun to run away from it.

“But after all these years, this had not left me.”

Drew was accepted for training, on a system similar to the Open Universary, studying every evening, attending classes on Saturdays, and spending weekends on courses and parish placements.

His wife Teresa, also a teacher, and daughter Catherine, who has just graduated in French and Spanish, saw little of him for those three years.

“It was a very, very difficult period go through,” he commented.

Drew was finally ordained a Deacon at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, then a curate, and then was made a priest. His first church was St John’s in Greenock, with St Bartholomew’s in Gourock later added to his charge.

Last year he was elected a Canon.

But he always yearned to return home to Clydesdale.

Christ Church, Lanark’s small Episcopal church, was left empty by the sudden death last June of the much-loved Rev Dan Gafvert. Drew was encouraged to consider moving to Lanark, and after he had applied “his feet never touched the ground”.

He says his way of working is to “Go and see where God is already and join in”, and he is looking forward to working with the small but dedicated and talented, congregation and with other churches in Lanark, and to building on the legacy left by Dan Gafvert.