A MINISTER who spent time in a probationary role in Lochgoilhead has has taken up one of the Church of Scotland’s most unusual posts to lead the Kirk’s congregation in Jerusalem.

Rev Dr John McCulloch was ordained and inducted into St Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church just outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

In doing so he has swapped rural Argyll, where he was a probationary minister, for a role, as minister and mission partner, which will take him through armed checkpoints, back and forth from Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on a regular basis.

Dr McCulloch said he’ll miss living in an area that he describes as the “cradle of Christianity in Britain - where the beauty, peace and tranquillity of the natural landscape is so inspiring”.

Some have joked that they will be more likely to visit him in Jerusalem than Lochgoilhead which is often cut off by snow, ice and landslides in winter.

Born in Farnborough but brought up in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Lanarkshire he says that the job in Jerusalem “leapt out” at him “despite its complexities.”