A former Tayside communications manager is to be ordained a minister and take over her own congregation for the first time, at the age of 53.
Lorna Tunstall, who lives in Inchture, has been appointed as the minister to lead two Church of Scotland groups in the Highlands after returning to college to study theology in 2016.
The soon-to-be minister will be ordained via video conference on Friday before she takes over her new role at the Clyne and Kildonan and Loth Helmsdale churches in Sutherland.
Lorna was inspired by her minister at Inchture, Rev Dr Marjory MacLean, to begin leading worship ceremonies in 2012 which eventually saw her return to education at New College in Edinburgh.
She said: “Marjory recruited Dr Alison Jack from New College as our assistant minister at Inchture where I am a member and she trained three of us up to lead worship.
“Dundee Presbytery eventually gave us permission to lead worship on our own.
“Marjory and Alison saw something in me that they thought should be developed and I was sent to a Vocations Training conference in 2014 which is the first step to becoming a minister.”
During her studies Lorna undertook a placement at Letham St Mark’s Church in Perth and spent her 15 month probation at Barnhill St Margaret’s Parish Church in Broughty Ferry.
Having graduated from her studies last year, the 53-year-old was “thrilled” to have been unanimously chosen by members of her new parishes to be their full-time spiritual leader.
She said: “I am overjoyed and thrilled and terrified in equal measure.
“I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome by members of the congregations.
“I am very pastoral in my ministry and love being part of a community and want people to know that the doors are open for everybody.
“I am looking forward to walking alongside people and putting the church back into the heart of the community and the community back in the heart of the church.”
Lorna and her husband Mark will now move to Brora when she takes up her new role.