Church of Scotland appoints youngest minister

A former shop assistant has now become the youngest Church of Scotland minister - at the age of 25.

Stuart Love . Picture: SWNS

Stuart Love was formally introduced to his new role after he was ordained at a special ceremony on Thursday.

And the new minister, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, said he was “excited” about his new job at Glasgow’s Clincarthill Parish Church.

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Becoming a minister in the Church of Scotland has been a lifetime ambition of Stuart’s, claiming that he first told his parents about it at the age of five.

After leaving his job in the Hamilton’s WH Smith shop in 2013, Stuart studied at the International Christian College in Glasgow.

He eventually graduated from Edinburgh’s New College last year.

He married his wife Ruth - daughter of another minister - during his studies and spent his probationary year at Dalziel St Andrew’s Church in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.

And now that he has his own parish, he can’t wait to get started.

Stuart, from Hamilton, said: “I am excited but nervous about being ordained as the minister of Clincarthill Parish Church.

“I feel a strong sense of calling to the parish and I really care about the people there so I want to do my best - that is where the nerves come from, I think.

“I believe this is what God has called me to do with my life and I have had a sense of call from a young age.”

Stuart believes the Church of Scotland is the only denomination that reaches out to all areas of the country.

He added: “I really appreciate the commitment to reach out in Christian love to all communities, not just pockets.

“The fact that young people are being called to ministry shows God is not finished with the Church of Scotland and there is a place and purpose for it going ahead in the future.”

Ruth, together with his family and friends, have been very supportive of Stuart since he made the decision to become a minister.

He said: “The fact that Ruth is a daughter of the manse, she has really been able to support me through her own first-hand experience.”