Licensing service for new minister

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The first 2012 licensing service for a Free Church College student will take place in Ness on Friday, subject to the successful completion of Presbytery trials for license.

Alasdair MacAulay, who hails from the Isle of Lewis, hopes to be licensed by the Western Isles Presbytery in a special service beginning at 7.30pm in Cross Free Church.

It is only after a student is formally licensed that vacant congregations can officially approach them about a possible call.

Mr MacAulay was brought up in a Christian home on the island, and was converted at the age of 21 whilst working in the offshore fabrication yard at Arnish in Stornoway.

Soon after that he moved to Inverness to take up employment with the BBC as a journalist, working mostly in Gaelic radio.

After seven years in the Highland capital, Mr MacAulay returned home to Lewis having got engaged to Mairi, and they married the following year in 2001.

Mr MacAulay said: “Even at that stage I could sense the Lord’s calling on my life but struggled for some time with my own inadequacy for such a work.

“It was several years before I approached my minister (Reverend Kenneth Ferguson) to discuss the ministry and another two years before I applied to train at the Free Church College.

“The three years of study in Edinburgh have flown by and the last few weeks since finishing college have been spent studying for my licensing, packing the odd box in anticipation of a move and smiling politely at everyone who gives their view on where you ought to go as minister!”

He received his Bachelor of Theology with distinction, and will graduate at the University of Glasgow on Thursday, 28th June.