Girl power with new ministers in Lanark Presbystery!

Rev Elspeth MacLean, Rev Louise Mackay, and Rev Maudeen MacDougall. (
Picture by John Young)
Rev Elspeth MacLean, Rev Louise Mackay, and Rev Maudeen MacDougall. ( Picture by John Young)
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The Rev Louise Mackay has become the third new female minister in neighbouring parishes in Clydesdale in less than a year.

Louise, 27, was ordained and inducted at St Nicholas Church in Lanark last Thursday evening.

Rev Louise MacKay in St Nicholas Church, Lanark, after her ordination on Thursday evening. (
Picture by John Young)

Rev Louise MacKay in St Nicholas Church, Lanark, after her ordination on Thursday evening. ( Picture by John Young)

She follows the Rev Elspeth MacLean, 61, a former small animal vet who changed career in her 50s, taking up her post at St Paul’s in Forth in September, and the Rev Maudeen MacDougall, minister for the parishes of Carstairs and Carnwath since last March.

Louise, from Selkirk, took a degree in psychology at Napier University in Edinburgh before studying for the ministry, then training, under the guidance of the Rt Rev Russell Barr at Cramond Kirk for 15 months.

Despite Thursday’s snow, Dr Barr and about 40 members of the Cramond congregation got through to Lanark for her ordination, and he said that gave him confidence that the kirk “continues to be in good hands”.

“It was a delight to see her grow and develop into the thoughtful, caring and highly skilled minister which she has now become,” he said.

Dr Barr, currently the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said that Louse could not have been made more welcome at St Nicholas, and he added he was pleased she would be supported by other women of “varying experience of ministry”.

Ms MacDougall was ordained in 1978 and in 1984 became the minister at Dundee: Meadowside St Paul’s Church where she spent more than 25 years.

“Speaking as a minister who remembers the days when it was quite usual to be the only woman among a multitude of men, it is good to have many women in the ministry,” she said.

Ms MacLean described her move from her career as a vet as a culture shock. Her first minister post was on Tiree in 2011, and she was there five years before moving to Forth.

“I am enjoying working in a larger church with a great team of elders and a delightful congregation who are all ready to help and support each other, and their minister,” she said.

“The church is physically, and spiritually, in the centre of the village, and I have been amazed at how well the whole community support any church events.

Louise said: “I am excited about what the future holds for myself, for the congregation and for the local community.

“I hope that I am able to use my energy, creativity and zest to lead my new congregation and in the context of the wider work done by the Church of Scotland.”

The women, along with Dr Barr, are supporters of the Tomorrow’s Calling campaign to encourage people from all walks of life to consider going into the ministry.