Award winning campaigner appointed to lead Aberdeenshire churches

An award-winning campaigner has been appointed the new spiritual leader of a cluster of Aberdeenshire churches.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:43 am
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:43 am
Linda with Somer and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh

Rev Linda Pollock said it is a “privilege” to take the reins at Aberluthnott linked with Laurencekirk Parish Church within the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery of Kincardineshire and Deeside.

“I feel a little daunted at the immense responsibility but I am working alongside good people who have worked very hard to maintain a spiritual presence these past few years without a minister leading them,” she added.

“I also feel very privileged because getting to be alongside people at the most vulnerable and the most joyous times in their lives is a priceless gift.

“I love that I am entrusted with committing their beloved family members to God at death and that I welcome their children into the Church.”

Ms Pollock, who originally hails from Northern Ireland, moved to the north-east after spending seven years as the minister of Possilpark Parish Church in Glasgow.

She successfully led a campaign to prevent teenage brothers, Somer and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh, from being forced to leave their home in Glasgow and deported to Pakistan where Christians face persecution.

Asked why she decided to move on from Possilpark Parish Church, the minister said: “I had been feeling a ‘holy restlessness’ for a wee while.

“After we secured ‘leave to remain’ for our asylum-seeking family from Pakistan and our man from Vietnam, I felt it was okay to move to a new charge. It would have been impossible for me to leave knowing that I hadn’t completed that part of my mission.”

Ms Pollock admitted that the Aberdeenshire parish, which comprises Laurencekirk, Marykirk and Luthermuir churches, is a “world away in many ways” from Glasgow.

“I love this new rural ministry and I am looking forward to lockdown being lifted so that I may get involved in as many aspects of life here as possible,” she added.

Alison Duncan, Session Clerk at Laurencekirk Church, added: “Linda is very approachable, friendly and down to earth and we are looking forward to, when restrictions allow, bolstering our presence in the community and being more visible.”