Kenneth was born on the 18th December 1959 and brought up in the town of Paisley. On leaving School in June 1977 he started work with the Department of Health and Social Security as casual employment for the summer. Unsure of where his future lay he then applied successfully for a full-time position.
Kenneth’s own family Church was Sherwood in Paisley and there he was heavily involved with the Boys’ Brigade and Youth Organisations. Through time he felt called to the Ministry and in 1983 left the D.H.S.S. to begin studying and training at Glasgow University.
During his studies at Glasgow Kenneth served as the Student Assistant at Elderslie Kirk for two years and at the High Church in Paisley (Now known as Oakshaw Trinity) for two years. During a post-graduate year Kenneth studied Industrial Chaplaincy and Psychiatric Chaplaincy. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Paisley in Paisley Abbey on the 31st August 1988.
After University Kenneth spent his Probationary period as Assistant Minister at Martyrs’ Church in Paisley. During his time at Martyr’s Kenneth started a Church Café which still exists to this day.
In November 1989 Kenneth was Ordained and Inducted to Prestwick South Parish where he has enjoyed a very happy and rewarding ministry. In addition to the structural changes that have taken place to the property of the Church over the years of his Ministry Kenneth has also been heavily involved in the Organisational and Social life of the Congregation.
One of the first innovations Kenneth made at Prestwick South was for the formation of a Social Committee to stimulate a greater sense of fellowship and friendship within the Congregation and also local community. Over the years Theatre Outings, Car Treasure Hunts, Barbecues, Outings, Christmas Shopping Trips and a great deal more have ensured that Prestwick South has a very active social life.
In 1992 he founded the 4th Prestwick Boys’ Brigade Company to cater for the needs of young boys within the area. After running the Company for approximately seventeen years Kenneth stood down in 2010 and the 4th Prestwick amalgamated with the 2nd Prestwick. Kenneth is now one of the Chaplains to the 2nd / 4th Prestwick Boys’ Brigade Company.
Of course Worship is a priority within the Church. In recent years Kenneth has tried to make Worship more appealing to all generations In 2003 Kenneth formed a worship Group to allow those interested in leading worship to have the opportunity to share their talents with the Congregation. The Worship Group regularly contributes to worship. In recent years Worship has also incorporated the availability of modern technology. In 2010 PowerPoint was installed in Prestwick South with a new Lighting system and this has made Services of Worship more visual and more informative.
Through Kenneth’s own vision the Chancel was modernised and extended to provide a more practical and adaptable area. A Service of dedication took place on the 1st March 2015.
Within the Presbytery of Ayr Kenneth has served in a variety of different capacities:
|Convener of the Presbytery of Ayr Benefice & Fabric Committee||1997-2000|
|Interim Moderator at Alloway Parish Church||1998-1999|
|Currently the Presbytery of Ayr Representative on West Sound Radio Religeous Programming Advisory Group||1998-|
|Moderator of Ayr Presbytery||2000-2001|
|Convener of the Presbytery of Ayr Mission Committee||2001-2003|
|Interim Moderator at Ayr: St.Quivox Parish Church||2003-2004|
|Interim Moderator at Coylton / Drongan Parish Churches||2006-2008|
In January 2009 Kenneth was appointed ‘Associate Clerk to the Presbytery of Ayr.
He has now been formally installed as ‘Presbytery Clerk’ on the 2nd February 2010.
At National level Kenneth has served on two committees:
|National Mission (New Charge Development)||2002-2004|
|Board of Communication||2004-2005|
Due to the restructuring of the National Committees the Board of Communication was replaced in 2005.
Kenneth was also a Sessional Chaplain at Ayr Hospital from 2002 – 2007, his contract was terminated due to the appointment of another full-time Chaplain. He greatly enjoyed his time at Ayr Hospital where he was involved in liaising with the palliative care staff and thereafter visiting palliative care patients.
Until June 2014 Kenneth presented a weekly programme on local radio, however due to centralisation ‘Timeout’ as it was known ceased to be broadcast. Kenneth however with the help of Tosh Lubek still writes and presents some programmes for religious broadcasting. To date Kenneth has been nominated for seven national Radio awards in London – four for the Jerusalem Awards and three for the Sandford St Martin Trust.
Within the local area Kenneth is Chaplain to Glenburn Primary School and also a Team Chaplain at Prestwick Academy. At Glenburn Primary School Kenneth also helps with the weekly Scripture Union group. One of the great successes in recent years has been the relationship that has evolved between the school and church, highlighted by the fact that Glenburn Primary now uses Prestwick South for special Services at Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Primary 7 Leaving.
Another rewarding aspect of Kenneth’s diverse ministry has been the privilege of leading members of the Congregation and their friends on religious pilgrimages:
|Israel||This included visits to the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea.||1998|
|Iona||Included the celebration of Holy Communion in the Abbey.||2003|
|Lindisfarne||On this pilgrimage the group also visited Hexham Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Bamburgh Castle and Melrose Abbey.||2005|
|Rome||This naturally included all the major sites in Rome with additional excursions to Assisi and Frascati.||2007|
|Krakow||This included excursions to Auschwitz, Zakopane, Wadowice plus an unforgettable raft ride through the Dunajec River Gorge.||2009|
|Iona and Mull||This trip included not only a visit to Iona, but a day in Tobermory.||2011|
|York||Visits were also made to Beverly Minister and Eden Camp War Museum.||2014|
With regards to family life Kenneth married Fiona in July 1985. Fiona is qualified as a State Registered Nurse and worked at the Ayrshire Hospice in the Day Unit for fourteen years. They have two sons Richard (Born 30th March 1990) and David (24th March 1992). Both Richard and David have in recent years graduated from University.
For Kenneth his own hobbies and pastimes revolve around trying to keep active by playing Golf and Racquet Sports such as Badminton and Tennis. In Prestwick South there are a number of keen golfers and two competitions are held during the course of the year.
With the challenges currently facing the Church of Scotland Prestwick South linked with Craigie Symington Parish Church on the 10th November 2015 ensuring that Kenneth now looks after two parishes. To help with the additional workload the Rev Tom McLeod, Ordained Local Minister, is now assisting with both Churches.
As Kenneth looks to the immediate future in Prestwick South he hopes that the Church buildings can be further developed and upgraded, not only to cater for our modern world, but to allow the Prestwick South to be even more integrated into the community.