A fond farewell to the parish of Eastwood

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Reverend Graham Cartlidge says goodbye to Eastwood Parish Church this month after a lengthy service in East Renfrewshire.

Many will remember Graham from Newton Mearns Parish Church, where he was minister from 1977 to 1993.

He told The Extra: “Having had a special experience that convinced me of the reality of Jesus as saviour when I was 15, I had initially thought of becoming a missionary doctor.

“However, in the final year at school in Edinburgh, I made the leap of faith to go forward for ministry. My first full-time position was at Paisley Abbey for a year, then came the call which brought me to the southside.”

Rev. Cartlidge holds some fond memories from his early career, including broadcasting stints on Good Morning Scotland and Bridge of Hymns, and meeting the Queen during her 1979 visit to Crookfur.

He continued: “One particularly lasting memory was when a certain attractive young lady entered the vestry for the initial meeting of the First Communicants Group in 1980. I fell in love with Elaine then, and the next summer we were married.”

Chaplain for Mearns and Crookfur primaries and Eastwood High, Graham then opted for a sideways move and became a teacher of religious and moral education at a number of schools, including Woodfarm High.

The father-of-three (all doctors) and grandfather-of-two returned to ministry in 2010, taking up his position at Eastwood Parish Church.

He added: “I’ve greatly enjoyed the active, committed, friendly ethos of that lovely congregation for five years.

“I’ll now hand on the reins to whomever the nominating committee appoint as my successor, knowing that they will be very fortunate to inherit a go-ahead, open and willing group of friendly folk whose faith means everything to them.

“Elaine and I will stay in the southside, enjoying retiral and travel plans. I hope to lower my golf handicap at Whitecraigs, as well as joining an orchestra again to play my violin.”

Congregration members and well-wishers are invited to Graham’s final service this Sunday (January 25), at 11.15am.