Cruden Parish bid farewell to minister

Rev Rodger Neilson
Rev Rodger Neilson
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Cruden Parish Church Minister, Rev Rodger Neilson, is retiring this month, marking 40 years in the ministry.

Rodger started on January 24 1976, when he was inducted to Cruden Parish Church by the Presbytery of Aberdeen.

His last service takes place on Sunday, January 26.

Rodger married Alison as he finished his training and they have two children - Barbara, who stays in Edinburgh, and Paul who lives near Alford.

After college, he was made assistant minister at St Mungo’s, Alloa, where he was ordained into the ministry of the Church of Scotland.

He moved to Hatton to start his post as Cruden Parish Church minister, where he also became a founder member of the Presbytery of Buchan when it was formed in 1976.

For 17 years he worked as the first secretary and treasurer of Cruden Community Council before serving as the Hatton Community Association chairman for a few years.

With a keen interest in youth work, Rodger was happy to have the chance to work with the Boys’ Brigade where he worked on the National Executive for almost ten years.

As well as being appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 198, he has been an Honorary Sheriff in Peterhead since 1996 and chaired the Aberdeenshire Justices Committee for over five years.

In that time he worked with Scotland’s District Courts Association which saw him have the honour of being its chairman from October 2004.

He spent two years working as Vice–chairman of the Scottish Justices Association before becoming a judicial body member responsible for training all court judges.

Still keen to do more, he served for four years as the first chairman of the justices committees for the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands.

In his spare time, Roger enjoys spending time golfing and birdwatching, as well as climbing of all the Scottish Munros with his wife in 2003.

Mr Neilson said: “Retirement will give my wife and I more time to spend with our two grandchildren, Oliver and Emily.

“We are also looking forward to having more time for our interests, mainly bird watching and hill climbing.”

A farewell presentation will be held in Cruden Parish Church tomorrow (Friday) at 7.30pm.

The Kirk Session are asking anyone who would like to, to make a contribution towards the presentation.

Donations: Mrs Pittendrigh, Slains View, 21 Links View, Cruden Bay, Peterhead, AB42 0RF.