The Moderator of the Church of Scotland will visit Midlothian for the first time in ten years for a series of local engagements later this month.
When Rev. Dr Russell visits Lothian Presbytery, among his engagements, he will hear of church work with families, meet school pupils and visit Torness Nuclear Power Station.
If the weather holds up, he and his wife Margaret will take their first flights in a microlight.
It is ten years since a Moderator last made an official visit to the Presbytery and this year’s programme – from September 25 to October 2 – includes a pilgrimage-themed walk, demonstration of horse-riding therapy, a tour of army facilities at Glencorse, and a visit to Midlothian Foodbank in Gorebridge.
Keen golfers, Dr and Mrs Barr will also play at a local club, visit the church’s CrossReach counselling service, take part in the Messy Church project at Mayfield and tour award-winning haggis producers, MacSween of Edinburgh, based at Loanhead.
Rev. Keith Mack of St John’s and King’s Park Church in Dalkeith is delighted his renovated church will be visited by Dr Barr, he said: “It’s nice that the moderator can come in and do the official opening and dedication.
‘‘We are really excited.
‘‘One of the former ministers here, Andrew Doig, was a moderator in the 70s.
‘‘ I’m pretty confident that we have had no moderators visit us since he was here.”