Pastures new for Rev Finch

Rev Finch
Rev Finch

Cadder Parish Church minister Reverend Graham Finch is set to retire after 16 very busy years at his post, and will certainly be spending more time with his family ... and playing golf.

But that may be the extent of his involvement with conventional notions of retirement.

First there’s a Harvest Thanksgiving service to conduct, and enjoy, and then he and his wife Louise are off to Sydney where their son John is marrying fiancee Gabrielle.

Then the couple are moving to Kirkcudbright, a place they clearly love.

It is the latest phase in a career which began with his probation to the ministry at the famous St Giles Cathedral, in Edinburgh, before embarking on a fascinating career as minister successfully at Sanday and North Ronaldsay in Orkney, then at Stonehaven on the north-east coast.

He has some landmark career highlights to look back on – not least convening the Church of Scotland’s Ministries Council for four years.

This was a post which inevitably brought him into close contact with some of the most pressing issues of the day.

It works hard to support some of the poorest parishes in the country.

He has been closely involved with local organisations, and is full of praise for the part many of these played – along with the congregation at all levels – for the huge fundraising effort to restore the church’s North Hall.

Meanwhile, on a very personal level he says he is eternally grateful for the support given by so many people when Louise was diagnosed with breast cancer – from which she thankfully made a full recovery.

Her experience has also served as an excellent example of someone facing down a major challenge, and offers hope to others in the same position.

Then, most recently, Reverend Finch had the honour of being asked to read the dedication to democracy campaigner Thomas Muir at the 250th anniversary commemoration staged in Edinburgh (currently posted on Youtube).

Now, with the arrival of technical if not actual retirement, he will be playing at least some golf, if only to up his game.

“I started at Cadder with a 16 handicap”, he says, “and unfortunately I am finishing on 19.”