Rev. Dr Malcolm Maclean’s retirement from Greyfriars Free Church in Inverness 

Thanksgiving celebrations have taken place to mark the retirement of Rev. Malcolm Maclean, and his wife Katie, from Greyfriars Free Church in Inverness. 

By Kirsti Paterson 

Thanksgiving celebrations have taken place to mark the retirement of Rev. Malcolm Maclean, and his wife Katie, from Greyfriars Free Church in Inverness. 

One hundred and twenty of the Greyfriars congregation met together to give thanks for Rev. Malcolm Maclean, after fourteen years of ministry at the church. 

Deacon Graeme MacDonald welcomed the gathering to remember the work of Malcolm’s ministry – a devoted, faithful and loyal pastor – a  recurring theme throughout the evening. 

There was an opportunity for everyone to meet together to have a meal and to see the cutting of retirement cake. Iain Alasdair Macdonald, an elder, gave thanks for the food. The singing of Psalm 102 preceded Malcolm and Katie cutting the retirement cake which was enjoyed with a cup of tea/coffee. 

Three speakers – Norrie MacDonald, Rev. Callum Ian MacLeod and William MacKenzie – contributed throughout the evening. 

Norrie MacDonald, Session Clerk, recounted that during Malcolm’s fourteen years of ministry, he displayed humility, thoughtfulness, integrity – a man of God, devoted to the Scriptures and prayer.  His provision of spiritual guidance though good and bad times e.g. Covid restrictions, were appropriate and greatly appreciated by the congregation. His communication of the Gospel has been blessed, not least in the growth of the congregation. Malcolm was also able to use his gifts in the wider denomination. Norrie concluded, with reference to Katy’s supportive role as the minister’s wife, thanking both and praying that as they enter a new chapter in their lives, they would know God’s peace and presence. A presentation was made to Malcolm by Norrie and to Katy by Miss Babs Matheson, who recently celebrated her ninetieth birthday. 

As Malcolm responded to the expressions of kindness shown to Katie and himself, he made reference to Ecclesiastes 3 –  ‘a time for every purpose’ –  ‘a time to finish’, indicating  God’s timing is always wise. He reflected on his privileges as minister in Scalpay and Greyfriars, maintaining a Christian witness and also many changes. He thought of those who would have would have liked to have been at this event but through illness were unable to attend.  He thanked the office bearers, members, adherents and children of the congregation, all making their contribution to the life of the congregation and their prayers. He expressed his gratitude to Katie for her wisdom, devotion and Christianly service. His desire would be that God will continue to bless the congregation. 

Rev. Callum Ian MacLeod, minister of Ferintosh and Resolis, spoke of Malcolm’s friendship over 20 years, initially in their Free Church student days and then in ministry. He described such in a lively, humorous but meaningful way, under three headings – brevity, ability and suitability.  He recollected Malcolm’s capability of producing an essay of the correct content and length and meritoriously  awarded. ‘Theologically and doctrinally – ‘a  one off’.  ‘An able practitioner of God’s word, with a passion for the Psalms’. His ministry of wise counsel, excellent preaching and engaging writing; for which is much to give thanks. God also provided a suitable helper for Malcolm –  Katie –  a  perfect  team. Callum Ian ended by conveying the Lord’s richest blessing on Malcolm  and  Katie  in  the  future,  echoing ‘Well  done,  faithful servant’. 

Mr William MacKenzie, of Christian Focus  Publications, made reference  to  Malcolm’s  early  childhood, teenage  years,  and  God’s purpose   for  him –  as  Managing Editor  with Christian  Focus  Publications in  1989  and  later  in  ministry.  William read excerpts from  the  latest book  which  Malcolm  had  edited – ‘From The Marrow Men to  the Moderates,  written  by  late  Professor  Donald  MacLeod.  Malcolm’s phenomenal ability to walk  down  a  farm  track  with  pen  and  manuscript  was  exceptional. William also recalled that Malcolm assisted different personnel with literary needs and had a strong conviction of God’s word. William ended by pointing Malcolm  to John 13 v1,  Katie to Ruth2 v12  and  the  congregation  to  words  of  1 Corinthians 15 v58….. ‘Be  steadfast’. 

In Graeme  MacDonald’s  closing  remarks,  he  thanked  all those who  had  contributed  to  making  the  evening so  memorable.  Rev. Callum  Ian  MacLeod  led  the  gathering  in singing  Psalm 133  and  Angus  Mac Donald, Retired Church Home Missions, concluded  the  evening  proceedings  with prayer.