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Community / Care home visit among engagements for new church moderator on trip north

The moderator chats with resident Mildred Thomson at the Walter and Joan Gray care centre.

FORMER Northern Isles MP Lord Wallace has made a visit to Shetland in his new role of moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Lord Wallace visited the Walter and Joan Gray care home in Scalloway on Thursday, paying tribute to the staff who work there.

The care home, which offers accommodation to 16 residents and additional day care for older people, is run by CrossReach, the operating name of the Church’s social care council.

Lord Wallace said: “I have a long-standing affinity with Shetland and one of the highlights of my official visit there as moderator was visiting the Walter and Joan Gray care home.

“It provided a real opportunity to see the practical side of our Christian faith in action.

“As the Church of Scotland’s social care arm, I’ve long been impressed by the scope of the work of CrossReach, and it was refreshing to be able to visit one of their facilities finally in person.”

Care home manager Jennie Gunn said: “It was a lovely afternoon and our residents enjoyed the moderator’s visit.

“Everyone was in good form and he joined them for afternoon tea and asked how we had all coped during the pandemic and discussed some of the challenges.

“The moderator praised staff for their work to keep all the residents safe and asked them if they were enjoying spending time with their families and getting out in to community again.

“We assured him that it had been a team effort and I told him that I am very proud of the staff who worked long hours during the pandemic to ensure that the needs of our residents were met.”

During his visit to Shetland Lord Wallace also addressed an elders’ and local church leaders’ gathering in Brae.

He also spent time with church members and ministers including Rev Dr Fran Henderson, who is the transition minister for Shetland, Rev Irene Charlton and Rev Lynn Brady.

His visit came just over a year after Shetland became part of the new Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland.

The merger process came amid plans from the Church of Scotland to sell off two thirds of its kirks in Shetland.