New minister takes over at Arbirlot and Carmyllie

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A NEW minister has taken over the charge of Arbirlot and Carmyllie in succession to the Rev. Ian Coltart who retired in April of last year.

The Rev. Stewart Lamont (64) started a new chapter in a varied career when he was inducted as minister of the large landward parish last month.

He was born in Broughty Ferry and educated at Grove Academy and St Andrews University where he served as president of the Union and on the University Court.

He began work with the British Broadcasting Corporation in the religious broadcasting department producing and presenting first radio, then television programmes, and in 1980 began a 20-year spell as a columnist and religious commentator in The Herald in Glasgow.

In 1990 he met his wife, Larisa, a Russian economist based in Kazakhstan and they married in 1991 and moved to their first parish in Kinning Park, Glasgow.

Twelve years ago Mr Lamont began a series of ministry appointments which took him from Brussels to Gibraltar, where he spent six years, and other locum ministries in the Presbytery of Europe.

He told the Arbroath Herald: “It’s nice to be back where I started. One of the highlights of my induction service was to see in the congregation my first teacher in primary one at Grove Academy, Mrs Helen Dutch, who now lives in Carnoustie.

“The welcome we have had could not be bettered and I look forward to settling down to rural life.

“The parishes of Arbirlot and Carmyllie both have extremely interesting histories. I think it’s important to honour the past but in a way that makes faith meaningful in the 21st century. It dismays me that science and religion are seen as opposing choices when I see them as partners in making sense of life.”

Mr Lamont is the author of 10 books, among them an expose of Scientology and a biography of John Knox. More recently he took to writing fiction. His first thriller ‘Hollow Rock’ featured terrorists taking over Gibraltar and the sequel ‘Bermuda Gamble’ is set in Bermuda.