Induction of Rev Iain MacRitchie to Greyfriars Free Church, Inverness

A large crowd from the congregation, the wider church family and Presbytery, gathered for the joyful occasion of inducting Rev Iain Macritchie as the new minister at Greyfriars Free Church, Inverness.

A large crowd from the congregation, the wider church family and Presbytery, gathered for the joyful occasion of inducting Rev Iain MacRitchie as the new minister at Greyfriars Free Church, Inverness.

There had been a short vacancy between Rev Dr Malcolm MacLean’s retirement in November and Iain’s induction on Friday 28th June. Iain’s previous charge was Pairc Free Church on the Isle of Lewis.

Rev Stephen Allison, Kiltarlity Free Church and Moderator of Presbytery, presided and preached. Following the reading of Ephesians 4: 1- 16, the sermon focused on the question How do churches grow? After a preliminary introduction of forms and purposes of church growth, the congregation was directed to three fundamental principles of spiritual growth – Everyone United (v1), Everyone Ministering (v3), Everyone Maturing (v13). Examples were given on the implementation of such which included humility, gentleness and patience. The sermon was concluded by reminding people of prayerful Christian involvement in supporting one another and the new ministry in God’s service.

The formal part of the induction then took place. Presbytery Clerk, John MacAulay recounted the steps taken to moderate the call to the point of acceptance. The questions put to Iain were satisfactorily answered, the Formula signed, followed by prayer and the hand of fellowship – all resulting in Iain being admitted to pastoral office as minster of Greyfriars.

Rev Stephen Allison encouraged Iain in his new pastoral role, pointing out the mission field around the church. Helpful advice was given to the congregation – continue and maintain unity and Christian example, be prayerful, supportive and encouraging to the new minister and work with him. The service was concluded by the congregation singing the last three verses of Psalm 72.

Rev Rory Stott, minister of Fortrose Free Church and Interim Moderator for Greyfriars, asked George MacAskill, one of the elders to make a presentation. George used the acrostic in WELCOME to illustrate:

W – welcome

E – elders,

L– learning from our new minister

C – congregational duties

O – outreach

M – much to be thankful to God

E – encouragement to pray for Iain

Mrs Rena Macritchie, Iain’s mother, was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Mrs Muriel Davidson. Greetings from several people were read, including a poem, written by Gordon MacLeod. Rev Donald Macleod, of North Tolsta Free Church. spoke about Iain’s work in his previous congregation, Pairc, as well as his contribution to the Western Isles presbytery as a whole.

Donnie MacLeod (Formerly of Faith Mission Highlands & Islands) spoke of the necessity of Gospel Partnership, prayer and support in Christian service. He spoke of how Iain assisted in a focused and practical manner during the Garyvard Mission, making reference to how Iain worked with people and the warmth of his character in developing friendships.

Throughout the evening, recurring themes of being supportive, prayerful, working together for the glory of God, became apparent. The congregation is thankful for the spiritual legacy left by Rev Malcolm and Katie Maclean’s ministry and look forward with anticipation, excitement and immense thankfulness to God for his gracious leading up to this point of the commencement of a new ministry with Iain.