A MINISTER from Barrhead has been handed one of the highest honours in the Church of Scotland.

The Reverend Dr George Whyte was installed as chaplain to the Queen at a special service at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, in Edinburgh, last week.

He is one of only 10 chaplains to the Queen in Scotland.

Although originally from Barrhead, Dr Whyte never served in his home town and left East Renfrewshire after he completed his studies in 1981 to serve as a parish minister at Kilchrenan, in Argyll.

He then went on to serve a congregation in Dalavich, also in Argyll, before moving back to the central belt to take up a post in the Langside area of Glasgow.

Dr Whyte later became minister of Colinton Parish Church, before serving as the Presbytery Clerk of Edinburgh Presbytery.

He is now Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland. 

 

Barrhead News: (left to right): Very Rev Dr John Chalmers; Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance; Rev Dr George Whyte; Very Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal and Dean of the Order of the Thistle; Rev Neil Gardner; Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood; Very Rev Dr John Cairns; Rev Professor Norman Drummond; and Rev Charles Robertson.(left to right): Very Rev Dr John Chalmers; Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance; Rev Dr George Whyte; Very Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal and Dean of the Order of the Thistle; Rev Neil Gardner; Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood; Very Rev Dr John Cairns; Rev Professor Norman Drummond; and Rev Charles Robertson.

 

The former Springhill Primary pupil still refers to Barrhead as his home and thinks of the town with much addection.

“I grew up going to what is now St Andrew’s Church and lived in Glen Street, before moving to Auchenback,” said Dr Whyte.

“I got married there as well and was about 26 years old when I left.”

Dr Whyte recently returned to Barrhead to attend the funeral of his former Boys’ Brigade captain Jim Law, who inspired him to pursue a life in the church.

“I would not be a minister if I hadn’t been in the church, obviously, but especially if I hadn’t been in the Boys’ Brigade,” he continued. “It was the first time I got trusted with responsibility, without which I wouldn’t be a minister.

“It played a huge part in putting me on the road to the ministry.”

His new role as Chaplain-in-Ordinary within Her Majesty’s Household dates to the 15th century and is largely a ceremonial honour, with chaplains taking part in formal state occasions and conducting services at significant national events.

Dr Whyte will hold the post for 10 years.

“I feel very honoured that the Chapel Royal have organised this service and I am very grateful to my own congregation for hosting the event,” he said.

“This is a nice honour and a sign that you’re a trusted person to take part in that kind of thing. It doesn’t take up a lot of time but it’s an honour getting to play a part in Scotland’s most significant national events.”

The service at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church was also attended by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, as well as eight other members of Her Majesty’s Household in Scotland.

The Very Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal, said: “We are delighted to welcome George Whyte to the Chapel Royal in Scotland and thank Mayfield Salisbury Church for hosting the service of installation.

“George’s wide experience of the church, allied to the leadership role he exercises as Principal Clerk, will be of much value to the Chapel Royal in the years ahead.”