The congregation at the United Church of Bute said goodbye to their decon, Raymond Deans, during Sunday morning’s Holy Communion service in Rothesay.
Mr Deans is leaving after ten years in the job following a decision by the Presbytery of Argyll to abolish his post as part of a programme of cost-saving measures throughout the Church of Scotland.
However, Mr Deans and his family are not leaving Bute: he will continue to lead the 1st Port Bannatyne Boys’ Brigade, and will continue in his NHS post as local hospital chaplain, a role which is being expanded and will see him cover the Dunoon, Helensburgh and Lochgilphead areas as well as Bute.
“My role has been to support the United Church minister and to develop new initiatives for the church in the community,” Mr Deans said. “I’ll miss the work hugely, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to take on an expanded role with the NHS, so people will still see me around.”
Gifts were presented to Mr Deans and his wife Dot during the course of Sunday’s service.
The United Church’s minister, the Rev Owain Jones, said: “Raymond has been a constant in a period of considerable flux for the church over the last ten years, and the fact his post is coming to an end doesn’t mean the things he has done for the congregation will come to an end.
“He has made a very rich contribution to the life of the congregation, and the prayers of everyone in the congregation and Kirk Session go with him and his family.”