Lord Wallace has made a whistle-stop tour of Shetland in his role as the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The former Northern Isles MP visited The Walter and Joan Gray care home in Scalloway on Thursday, where he paid tribute to its “dedicated” staff who have faced unprecedented challenges working during the Covid pandemic.
And he addressed an elders’ and local church leaders’ gathering in Brae and spent time with church members and ministers including Rev Dr Fran Henderson, who is the transition minister for Shetland, Rev Irene Charlton and Rev Lynn Brady.
Shetland became part of the new Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland in May 2020, part of a move across the Church of Scotland towards reducing the overall number of presbyteries from 43 to about 12.
Lord Wallace said: “I appreciated both the opportunity to speak to the gathering as a whole, as well as talk and listen to individuals.
“No one minimised the scale of the challenge and sometimes difficult decisions involved in reaching where we are today but I was encouraged by the universal resolve to make the new arrangements work and to see this as a fresh opportunity for mission.”
The care home offers accommodation to 16 residents and additional day care for older people and is run by CrossReach, the operating name of the Church’s social care council.
Care home manager Jennie Gunn said: “It was a lovely afternoon and our residents enjoyed the moderator’s visit.”