THE congregation of Queensferry Parish Church bid farewell to one of its ministers at the weekend.
The Reverend Sean Swindells, the associate minister to the linked parishes of Dalmeny and Queensferry, gave his last sermons at both morning services on Sunday. He had already said his farewells to the Dalmeny congregation on Sunday, March 20.
Sean, who took up his post in Queensferry and Dalmeny in September 2007, has been called to be minister in the parish of Newbattle, which includes Newtongrange, Mayfield and Easthouses churches.
He played a key role in pastoring a grieving congregation following the sudden loss of Reverend John Carrie in March 2008, seeing the congregation through the vacancy and out the other end, and giving incoming Reverend David Cameron time to settle in.
In a tribute to Sean, Eric Proven, the previous session clerk said: “We like our ministers here to stay for a long time but in Sean’s case, this was never going to be. He just dropped off at Queensferry on his way from Aberdeen in the north to Newbattle, just south of Edinburgh.”
Alex Laughlan, in his tribute said: “Throughout those periods Sean Swindells was a rock that we could turn to for strength and help. I, and I know many others, like to think that it was God’s will and plan that Sean was here with us during those difficult times.”
The minister will be remembered for all sorts of things: the cakes he baked - in a previous vocation he was a chef – and the way he inspired lots of men to bake by introducing a men’s baking competition; his passion for steam trains; his antics when winding up the children on many a Sunday morning.
And finally, Sean’s thought provoking sermons and challenging insights, punctuated by his distinctive jokes and irrepressible humour will be much missed.