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Moderator Visits Tiree

moderator visit

Tiree’s sunny May weekend was graced with a visit from the Moderatorial Party.

On a glorious Sunday morning Heylipol Church filled with residents and visitors from all congregations. Interim Moderator, Donald MacKinnon introduced The Right Reverend John Christie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. John Christie and his Chaplain, Reverend Alastair Cherry gave a very uplifting service, which included the presentation by John Christie to Donald MacIntyre for fifty-five years of Eldership. It was Donald MacIntyre who proposed John Christie to be an elder in Tiree Parish Church when he lived on Tiree.

During John’s address to the children, he included the memory of the clock and Tiree marble stand which he used in his talk.

John, his party, the Congregational Board and Kirk Session all spent a leisurely lunch at the Elephant’s End where John spent time at each table speaking to everyone. The evening service in Kirkapol Church consisted of Psalms, Paraphrases and readings from the King James Bible and completed a perfect day.

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On Monday afternoon John Christie and Alastair Cherry led a service at Tigh a Rudha. The residents enjoyed talking to John, Annette, Alastair and Charlie while enjoying the delicious tea and home baking served by the staff. John showed Ann MacArthur his bible, and read the inscription inside, from Ann and John MacArthur, Jude 2.
“ Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”

A ”Welcome to Tiree” ceilidh was held for the Moderator on the Monday evening in An Talla. There was a wide range of talent and stories from those who knew John well when he lived on Tiree. John also had fond memories to share and thanked everyone for a very memorable weekend. A presentation of Tiree pottery was given to John and his wife Annette. After Donald MacArthur’s farming tales of John, he gave him a souvenir tractor. During the interval a Fellowship Supper was enjoyed while John mingled with everyone. The evening was brought to a close with the saying of Grace.

John completed his visit by taking School Assembly on Tuesday morning, which would have held many memories for him of his time there as a teacher. During this wonderful weekend John touched many hearts on Tiree with his many lovely memories, compassion and understanding.

John presented framed pictures at various venues that he visited which included this Gaelic Blessing;

GAELIC BLESSING

MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU.
MAY THE WIND BE ALWAYS AT YOUR BACK.
MAY THE SUN SHINE WARM UPON YOUR FACE.
MAY THE RAIN FALL SOFT ON YOUR FIELD.
AND UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, MAY GOD HOLD YOU IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.

Former Tiree Teacher To Be Moderator

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The Rev John Cairns Christie (aged 62 ) will be appointed Moderator designate of the general Assembly of the Church of Scotland when it meets next May.

John, who lived in Heylipol Schoolhouse, was principal teacher of Science at Tiree High School from 1978 until 1984 when he moved to Inverness Royal Academy. The teaching post there included being warden of Dalneigh Hall of Residence where students from the Highlands and Islands stayed.
Having earlier been ordained as an elder in the Parish church on Tiree and following his time in Inverness, he then went on to study for the ministry at Glasgow University and in 1990 was ordained and inducted to Hyndland Parish Church in Glasgow where he remained for 14 years.
During his time at Hyndland he was responsible for major refurbishment of the sanctuary. At present he is an interim minister in West Kilbride and the Scots Kirk in Lausanne, Switzerland, visiting the latter on a monthly basis.

John, and his late wife Elizabeth, had one daughter, Dr. Margaret Christie, herself a former pupil at Tiree high School, who obtained a PhD from Imperial College London and now works in the European Team at Imperial assisting its world-leading scientists gain European scientific research funding.

While on Tiree, John’s hobbies consisted mainly of helping his neighbouring crofters and being a car mechanic. It is believed that not many Moderators can shear sheep or cut a field of arable silage. However, these ‘hobbies’ have now been superceded by more genteel pursuits such as hill walking, sailing and golf. John is now married to Annette who was widowed around the same time as himself. Annette is a Scottish Indoor Bowling Internationalist and their home is in Helensburgh. The good wishes of the Tiree Community go with them as they travel at home and overseas representing the Church of Scotland.