A Dundee Church has inducted its first permanent minister in seven years.
The Rev Dr Jean Kirkwood was inducted as minister of Dundee Trinity Church on Wednesday night.
Dr Kirkwood, 52, was ordained into the post in front of 90 people – limited due to Covid restrictions – by Alan Philip, moderator of the Presbytery of Dundee.
Originally from South Lanarkshire, Dr Kirkwood graduated with a PhD in microbiology from Dundee University in 1996.
After training for the ministry in 2011, Dr Kirkwood became the reverend of Townhill and Kingseat Parish Church in Dunfermline.
Ian Main, secretary at Trinity Church, said: “Trinity church has been vacant – it hasn’t had a permanent full time minister for over seven years.
“Having the Rev Dr Jean Kirkwood is really quite something special for the congregation.”
Dr Kirkwood said she was excited to be back in Dundee.
She said: “Moving to Dundee was a sense of calling for me. I used to live in Dundee, I was a student here many years ago.
“So there was a pull to want to come back to Dundee.”
She added that “it was a lovely service, and quite meaningful.”
The move comes just weeks after High Kirk on Dundee Law announced it was “99% likely to close”.
Dundee Presbytery clerk, the Rev. James Wilson confirmed that the church on The Law has balloted its members on whether or not the church should close down.
He said it was “likely to be the case”, saying that dwindling membership numbers were the cause.
Officially known as St David’s High Kirk, the Gothic church sits on Kinghorne Road on the slopes of Dundee Law.
The Rev. Wilson said: “A lot of businesses have indicated how terrible Covid-19 has been for them and have blamed Covid-19 for all their ills.
“But for many of them, they were struggling already.
“In terms of the church, the General Assembly report that has come out indicated that Dundee Presbytery will see a reduction. That’s nothing to do with Covid. That’s been coming for years, 30-years at least.
“The broader picture is one that counts against the church anyway. The population is also ageing, and the last two generations have not been as interested in the Church as we would have liked.”