The new minister of a Moray church has vowed to reach out and connect with local people by making services “intelligible”.
The Rev Peter Turnbull, who is officially taking up his role at Burghead Free Church next Thursday, said he hoped to make it more open and accessible than ever before.
The 30-year-old is swapping the 900-member strong Christ Church Fulwood Anglican congregation in Sheffield for a village congregation which has about 30 worshippers.
The Burghead church has been have been without a minister since 2012 when the Rev Jim Abernethy retired.
Mr Turnbull, whose wife Morag is originally from Elgin, has visited the region regularly over the last 10 years and kept sensing a “God-given desire to come and minister in the north”.
“Spending time in Moray, where Morag grew up, and her parents still live, has given us a love for the area and for its people, and a window into the need for more churches seeking to make Jesus known across the region,” he added.
“My aim is to do simple things well, making all church activities accessible to the outsider.
“This is especially true of our Sunday services.
“More and more we’ll want to make them intelligible to those who haven’t set foot in a church building for many years.
“That doesn’t mean dumbing down, or giving lightweight teaching, but it does mean speaking in language that connects.
“We’ll be holding ‘invitation services’ every term – a special opportunity to invite friends, colleagues and neighbours who wouldn’t normally come to church.
“This gives an opportunity for them to come to a service which is especially geared for them.”
Mr Turnbull’s vision has already caught on with two women in their 20s from his current congregation in Sheffield who have decided to move to the Moray village.
“But of course our primary goal is getting alongside people in the Burghead community and outlying areas,” he added.
“And with three young children and a fourth on the way it’s fairly likely we’ll get to know some of the parents at the school gate once the summer holidays finish”.