22 years of ministry in Edinburgh marked by compassion for people. This was the overarching theme of the Lamont’s induction service on Sunday 28th January at St Columba’s Free Church, Edinburgh. While this service was to induct Derek and Catriona to their new ministry in Leith, it also marked an end of their faithful ministry at St Columba’s. Furthermore, it recognised nearly five decades of Lamont ministry at St Columba’s, as Derek’s father, Rev. Donald Lamont was the minister there from 1964 to 1988.
After a reading from Rev. Bob Akroyd from Matthew chapter 9, Rev. Cory Brock, Assistant Minister at St Columba’s Free Church preached on the compassion of Christ. “This has been Derek and Catriona’s mark, the compassion of Christ and the love of people. That’s what makes them want to plant a church in Leith at this stage in their lives.” Cory’s message considered how we can also grow in the compassion of Jesus. “We’ve got to love cities like Jesus did. He went around city to city. He wept over a city, over its lostness. Derek and Catriona love Edinburgh like this. They’re quick to attach to people. Leith is the most densely populated area in Scotland, with more image of God per square inch than anywhere else in the country. We’ve got to have a heart like Christ that’s quick to forgive. Jesus Christ came for people who put him on the cross long before they asked for forgiveness. Derek and Catriona are able to take a lot and let go of things too. They learned that from Jesus.”
Rev. Neil Macmillan, of Cornerstone Free Church, gave an exhortation, reminding us that the first thing God revealed to us about his character was compassion. “We know you want to come alongside people. At your great age, you’ll need the strength from somewhere else. It’s God’s love that compels. This is a love for the lost, not just for social welfare but for the eternal welfare of the lost. The hope of the city is in Jesus. We’ve all got your back. We’re here to help.”
Derek responded, confirming that they’ll be hanging onto God’s coattails as He goes before them, knowing that the harvest is plentiful. “It’s been a blast. We’re really sad to be leaving, but we’re very excited to be going. You’re in great hands. To God be the glory for his amazing grace.”
Don Macleod shared a word of thanks on behalf of the congregation and reflected on the profound and lasting significance that pastors have on Christians. “In this place week after week, Derek has stood here and he’s opened his mind and his heart and his soul to us. In doing so, he’s influenced us in ways we might not fully realise.” He also acknowledged Catriona’s deep commitment and duty to serving, with her even insisting on completing her welcome duty shift at the induction service itself. Don closed by using one of Derek’s regular quotes, “it’s better felt than telt.” And so in an attempt to express a fraction of their thankfulness, the congregation presented gifts to this amazing couple who’ve made a huge mark on so many through the compassion of Christ reflected in their lives.