Real Lives: Reverend bids farewell to church after 30 years

Reverend Andrew Anderson
Reverend Andrew Anderson
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A CITY reverend is preparing to give his final service before saying goodbye to the church he has served for three decades.

Reverend Andrew Anderson, MA, BD, will give his final service at Greenside Church on Sunday before retiring after 30 years as minister of the congregation.

Born in Aberdeen, Mr Anderson, 67, spent most of his childhood near London, before his family moved to the west of Scotland.

He obtained a degree in history at Oxford University, where he also met wife Hazel.

He worked initially in industry, first in Bristol and then for ten years in London.

In 1977 he came to Edinburgh University to study divinity at New College, and graduated with honours as a Bachelor of Divinity in 1980.

He said: “It was a busy church – it still is, but in those days numbers were much bigger than today.

“We had a congregation which was quite an elderly one, and there was a lot of work through people getting older and sickness and bereavement, but I greatly enjoyed that because I was working with such a lot of wonderful people.”

Mr Anderson said highlights of his tenure had included the 1991 visit to Scotland of Billy Graham – the well-known American evangelist – who he saw in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and said had “reinvigorated both us as a congregation and myself, and brought us a number of new members”.

He also served as convener of the board of communication of the Church of Scotland.

In 1994 he and Hazel enjoyed a three-month trip to India and Pakistan.

He said: “We both got very heavily involved in the church in both of those countries and that later led to our involvement with the Asian community here in Edinburgh.

“We have an active outreach to the Asian community and that was inspired by being fired up by and loving our visit to India and Pakistan and we’ve been very happy to be involved with the Indian and Pakistani communities here.”

He was vice convener of the board of world mission from 2003 to 2006, moderator of the presbytery of Edinburgh in 2007/08, when he greatly enjoyed visiting many churches around the Capital, and chairman of the organising General Council of Edinburgh 2010.

He will give his final service at the church on Sunday, followed by a lunch at the church halls.

In retirement, he and Hazel will return to Oxford to be near their two married sons and three grandchildren.

He said: “I shall miss people that I’ve known well and loved for 30 years and travelled with them through life’s journey, through good and bad.

“They’re not just friends, they’re part of a Christian family.”