A GLASGOW minister is believed to have become the first in Scotland to be inducted into a new role via video chat. 

More than 100 people tuned in to watch as Rev Alastair Duncan was installed as the parish minister of St George’s Tron during a service conducted over Zoom.

The unusual induction was carried out by Rev Dan Carmichael, moderator of Glasgow Presbytery, due to restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Mr Duncan, 58, who was at home with his wife Ruth and son Stuart, said: “The experience of ‘virtual induction’ was a strange one.

“Seeing the faces of all those present, rather than being aware of them somewhere behind me as in a traditional induction service was unusual but not unwelcome.”

Mr Duncan has been a Kirk minister for 31 years and for 
the past seven years he has served as transition minister at St George’s Tron, re-planting a congregation in the landmark city centre church.

Glasgow Times: More than 100 people tuned in to watch Rev Duncan's induction More than 100 people tuned in to watch Rev Duncan's induction

The father of three, who grew up in Edinburgh, said: “It’s an odd situation to be in, starting out on a ‘new’ ministry which isn’t new and yet seeking to do so when what I can actually do is constrained within these new limitations.

“But perhaps that calls for more prayer, faith and creativity – and less of the frenzy of activity which I at least often succumb to.”

The induction was organised by Rev Dr Grant Barclay, minister of Orchardhill Parish Church in Giffnock.

He said: “For all that we weren’t present at St George’s Tron, we were undoubtedly together.”


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