Historic visit to county

Strathesk Primary Choir with Ian Armstrong, the choir master and the Moderator  Rev Dr Russell Bar
Strathesk Primary Choir with Ian Armstrong, the choir master and the Moderator Rev Dr Russell Bar

The Moderator of the Church of Scotland recently visited projects and groups across Midlothian during his first official trip here for a decade.

The Rev. Dr Russell Barr took a tour of army facilities at Glencorse, visited Midlothian Foodbank in Gorebridge, went to the Messy Church project in Mayfield and toured haggis producers, MacSween of Edinburgh, based in Loanhead.

Penicuik also welcomed Dr Barr when he was special guest of the town’s North Kirk.

The Rev. Ruth Halley and her congregation organised the visit to showcase some of the church’s projects. Dr Barr met some of the MidAid team, a joint venture with Lothian Presbytery, local churches, community groups and Midlothian Council, which sends clothes and supplies to refugee camps and supports Syrian families living in Scotland.

Ms Halley said: “It was wonderful to see so many people from different parts of our community all in the one place, gathered together to welcome the Moderator and to share with him what the local churches are doing with others to support refugees through MidAid.”

The Moderator also heard Strathesk Primary pupils sing their song, Equality. Proceeds from sales of the song will go to the Scottish Refugee Council. Dr Barr then met volunteers at the sanctuary tables as well as people helping the church’s Foodstore@pnk, and he opened the new Godly Play Room in the North Kirk halls.

Dr Barr said the projects showcased on the day were great examples of what can be achieved when communities work together.