From print to pulpit: Former Herald staff member to be Church of Scotland minister

A former employee of the company which publishes The Falkirk Herald has switched career to become the Church of Scotland’s newest minister.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:30 pm

John Gow, of Polmont, is being ordained and inducted to be the spiritual leader of Portsoy Church in Aberdeenshire this evening (Friday).

The 56-year-old said he is excited and looking forward to taking on his new role, having previously worked for what was then Johnston Press for 27 years.

During that time, Mr Gow served on The Falkirk Herald, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.

Polmont man John Gow is being ordained and inducted to be the spiritual leader of Portsoy Church in Aberdeenshire. Contributed.

He joined Johnston Press in 1989 and carried out a number of roles at the company, including planning manager and business control manager, and was an occasional copywriter and feature writer.

The last two years of his career with the company were spent with The Falkirk Herald before leaving in 2016 to train for the ministry.

Mr Gow said: “I’m so glad that God has called me to ministry and I’m so glad he has called me to Portsoy.

“The town is full of friendly, warm folk with a real sense of togetherness and I’m looking forward to further strengthening the church’s place at the heart of the community.”

He will be the first full-time minister at Portsoy Church, which also serves the communities of Fordyce and Sandend, for nearly five years.

Mr Gow added: “Much love and hard work has been put into setting up the Portsoy Church Centre, which opened in 2019 as a flexible, modern worship space.

“I’m honoured to be the first full-time minister to serve there.

“However, if the last year has taught us anything, though, it’s that God doesn’t expect us to be tied to our buildings.

“He wants us to take his good news to the people and I’ve every intention of doing just that.”

A service is taking place at St Ninian’s and Forglen Church in Turriff at 7pm and will be livestreamed on the church’s YouTube channel with a link made available on Portsoy Church’s website.

Yvonne McKay, session clerk of Portsoy Church, said Mr Gow’s arrival is “brilliant” news.

She continued: “We believe we have the minister that God has chosen for us and are really looking forward to working alongside him.”

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