Our Ministers

Below is a summary of the Libberton & Quothquan joint ministry:

§  George Bennet: 1630s

§  John Taylor: 1677

§  Robert Lawson: 1681

§  Robert Livingstone: 1687

§  James Stuart: 1689

§  John Thomson: 1717

§  John Christie: 1758

§  James Scott: 1761

§  John Noble: 1763

§  David Dickson: 1777

§  John Fraser: 1784

§  Alexander Craik: 1813

§  John Lawrie: 1857

§  James R Sabiston: 1883-1889

§  Rev. John Picken: 1890-1934

§  Rev. W. Nethercote Scott: 1934-1942

§  Rev. T. W. Pearson: 1943-1963

§  Rev. John S. Thomson: 1966-1972

§  Rev. James Fuller: 1974-1976

§  Rev. Peter J McEwen: 1978-1986

§  Rev. Susan Cowell: 1986-1994

§  Rev. Stephen Pacitti: 1996-2003

§  Rev. James Cutler: 2004-2011

§  Rev. George Shand: 2014-present

Jim Cutler Biography

Our last Minister, the Rev Jim Cutler now lives in Peebles and was born in Hamilton and brought up in Motherwell being educated at Dalziel High School.  After school, Jim trained as a Structural Engineer, firstly with Colville Constructional and Engineering Co Ltd and then with Lanark County Council (which later became Strathclyde Regional Council), during which time he became a Corporate Member of the Institute of Structural Engineers.

Jim and his wife Annis had two children: Stewart (38) and Jillian (35).  Stewart lives in Hamilton with his wife Avril and is employed by the United Reformed Church as Development Worker.  Jillian lives in Muir of Ord near Inverness with her husband Scott.  Jim and Annis had 5 grandsons: Ben, Calum, Jack, Ewan and Fraser.

After becoming an Elder of the Church in Carluke: Kirkton Parish Church in the early 1980s, Jim was called into the Ministry of the Church of Scotland.  He studied for and graduated with a Degree of Bachelor of Divinity (BD) at Trinity College, the University Of Glasgow.

After serving his Probationary year at Lanark: St. Nicholas Parish Church under the guidance of the Very Rev John McIndoe, in 1986, Jim was called to be Minister of the Parishes of Kilmun (St. Munn’s) linked with Strone (St. Columba’s) and Ardentinny near Dunoon on the shores of the Holy Loch.  In 1995 Jim was called to be Minister of the linked Parishes of Coldstream with Eccles in the Scottish Borders and in April 2004, he became Minister of our three linked congregations.

Jim retired in October 2011.

George Shand Biography

Rev George joined the Libberton & Quothquan as part of the Tinto Parishes in January 2014 and his final service at Libberton & Quothquan was held on Sunday 4th July 2021.

Prior to coming to Libberton & Quothquan, Rev George worked in St Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church, Jerusalem.  He used that experience to great effect in his 7+ years with us to provide social and historical context and bring a new perspective to many well-known bible stories.  In September 2016 he led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he used his contacts and local knowledge to provide the participants with deeper insights and experiences than would normally have been possible.  His pulpit exchanges with congregations in the US and in Canada also enriched our services both through sharing of his experiences with those congregations and the opportunity provided to us to hear from their ministers in our church.

Regular Sunday Morning Worship is at the very heart of the life of a parish.  When conducting services Rev George used images, prayers and reflections from a range of sources and Christian traditions to enrich our Church of Scotland worship and he introduced us to different types of services including the “Tenebrae” in Holy Week and “Blue Christmas”.  

When he arrived with us, the Tinto Parishes was a new grouping.  Rev George worked with all 3 parishes to develop a shared identity for the group while enabling each parish to maintain its own distinctive characteristics.   This included the continuing existence of 3 websites alongside the establishment of a Facebook page for the Tinto Parishes and a renewal of the quarterly Tinto Parishes “Focus” magazine to enhance the breadth and depth of its content.

During his time with us, Rev George led services in the care homes in Biggar, given home Holy Communion and supported parishioners in a wide range of spiritual, emotional and practical ways (often only known to them and him).  He encouraged and supported a range of initiatives such as coffee mornings, the sale of Free Trade rice from Malawi and “real” Easter Eggs, Festival of Flowers, wearing red on Pentecost Sunday, the outdoor services at Quothquan Church as well as joint Tinto Parishes events such as Children’s Clubs on In-service days, the Palm Sunday interactive joint service at Cairngryffe and Harfest.  He encouraged us to join in with Church of Scotland prayer cycles and events e.g. sharing the work and online contributions of the Moderator, tying white ribbons to the gate of the Church in solidarity with the people Sri Lanka following the Easter bombings in 2019. 

Rev George ran several programmes for parishioners including “Understanding our Faith” for those considering membership of the Church and “Faith & Film”, a new look at faith using the film “Les Misérables” as a stimulus.  He supported two Theology students as they worked towards their degrees.  He acted as Interim Moderator for parishes in the Lanark Presbytery and was appointed Moderator of the Presbytery in 2019.  Towards the end of his ministry with Tinto Parishes, he supported Community Outreach worker Angela Brydson, as she developed and promoted projects in our and other local church communities.

However Rev George rose to the greatest challenge of all when the pandemic hit in March 2020.  He moved quickly to put the worship and work of the parish online.  He upskilled himself to exploit the opportunities offered by the technology to produce Zoom services which had music, input from parishioners, images and reflections.  He exhorted us all to focus on what was gained rather than what had been lost, an attitude he certainly adopted himself in this new “church online” context.  He ensured that those who did not have Internet could join live via their normal phones and made recordings of the services which were then placed online so they could be accessed later.  He established a Tinto Parishes phone line where he placed a weekly reflection so that the church was available to absolutely anyone 24/7.  He sent out regular email Focus newsletters with prayers and reflections for this most challenging of times.  And of course he supported the Kirk Session as they worked to re-open the church safely.

Upon retiring in July 2021, George & his wife Margaret moved to Peebles.