Harris minister says farewell

Bill Kenyon, our longest-serving elder presenting gifts to Mr Maciver from the congregation and community.
Bill Kenyon, our longest-serving elder presenting gifts to Mr Maciver from the congregation and community.

Long serving Church of Scotland Minister Rev Norman Maciver retired recently after more than 20 years serving the community of Tarbert.

Donald John Morrison, Session Clerk explained more about Rev Maciver’s contribution:”Mr Maciver, who is a native of Point, came to us from the congregation of Kilmuir-Paible in North Uist and was inducted to this charge on the 28th October 1988. The long and illustrious ministry of the Rev Donald MacRae was a difficult act to follow, but Mr Maciver succeeded admirably, in his own way, in continuing the good work of the past, and he leaves this congregation now as a congregation in good heart, having overseen changes that have enhanced the worship, ethos and comfort of the congregation.

“His ministry here was distinguished by its diligence, integrity and faithfulness to the word of God. He was an earnest preacher of the Gospel in both Gaelic and English. He preached systematically, with an evangelical zeal and conviction and he rejoiced to see souls saved through what the Bible describes as “the foolishness of preaching”. He is not “ashamed of the Gospel” and was never afraid to make a stand for the truths of the Bible and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

“He was also caring and attentive in his pastoral duties, in the regular visitation of the sick, the housebound, the bereaved and those going through difficult times. He was and is highly esteemed and respected by young and old wherever he is known, not only by those of our own denomination but also by those of others and by the un-churched for whom he had a sincere and genuine burden and concern.

“He enjoyed warm and cordial relations with his colleague, Rev Murdo Smith, minister of the Manish-Scarista congregation who has also recently retired, and also with the other Presbyterian churches in Harris.

“To his ministry he brought many attractive gifts and qualities with which the Lord blessed him, and I mention just a few- a warm and attractive personality, friendliness, helpfulness, compassion and generosity of spirit, all rooted and grounded in that wonderful thing we call grace. He was an enabler and encourager, a good organiser and one who was adept at making good use of the gifts and talents in the congregation.

“He has seen many changes in this congregation over the past 23 years. Many dear friends have left us- office-bearers, members, adherents, yes, and loved ones too, but like a good pastor, he ministered the comfort and consolation of God to his people in times of need. When he came here, in October 1988, there were 17 elders in our Session. Of that number only four are still living, Lachie Fraser, Bill Kenyon, Angus A.Morrison and Dr John W.Robertson(Rosemarkie).

“And in all these tasks and duties of his ministry he was ably supported by his wife Catherine to whom we also owe a great debt of gratitude for the contribution that she made to the life and work of the congregation as Sunday School teacher and helper and also of course as a welcoming and hospitable lady of the manse (Mrs Maciver also taught for 15 or so years as Home Economics teacher in Sir E. Scott School, Tarbert).”

The Special Farewell Service for Mr and Mrs Maciver on Thursday, October 6 was attended by over 200 people and was conducted by the Interim Moderator, Rev Andrew Downie, Benbecula.

After the close of the service Mr and Mrs Maciver were presented with gifts from the congregation and community. This service was followed by a Supper and Social in the Community Centre where further speeches and presentations were made.

Mr and Mrs Maciver have now retired to Inverness.