Church leader leaves role with blessing of colleagues

A LOCAL church leader has retired after five years in the role.

Reverend Marina Brown of the town’s St Mary’s and Old Parish Church, who was chaplain at Drumlanrig School and a member of Roxburgh Singers, will conduct her final service on Sunday before retiring with her husband to Perthshire.

Since arriving from Stirling Presbytery to succeed Rev. Bill Taylor in May 2007, Rev. Brown says she has grown fond of the town and its people.

“I’ve enjoyed the work, meeting people at times of great joy and great sorrow, and hopefully walking alongside them through these times,” she told the Hawick News.

“I’ll miss Hawick but I’ll miss its people more: the happy faces of the children in church and in school, with their terrific singing.

“I hope in the time here I’ve managed to open the Bible to people in ways they can readily understand and perhaps inspired a few and helped them to grow in their own faith and personal lives.”

A colleague of Rev. Brown, Sheila Purdie has been an elder for 33 years and session clerk at the church for a year. She said the outgoing Reverend will be a “big miss”.

Ms Purdie said: “She is very uplifting and bubbly, but very sincere and caring – a good listener. She has done really well helping families, and she’ll be a big miss when she goes.”

Neil Combe, the minister at Teviot and Roberton church for the last 28 years, described Rev. Brown as a “valued colleague”.

“I’ve known her all the time she’s been in the town and I’ve enjoyed a really good working relationship with her,” he said. “It’s hard not to use clichés, but in her case the clichés fit: she’s a good all-rounder, and I value her as a colleague and a friend.

“We shared the role of chaplain at Drumlanrig school, it was very easy to work with her. In her time in Hawick, she has been a hugely popular minister among all ages.”