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Ministry

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Very Rev Dr Alan D McDonald

Our minister came to St Leonards as the Rev Alan D. McDonald, LLB BD MTh, in August 1998 from Holburn Central Church in Aberdeen where he served as minister for 15 years. Alan was born in Glasgow and after training initially as a lawyer and gaining a Bachelor of Laws degree from Strathclyde University, Alan studied for the ministry at Edinburgh University where he graduated with BD and MTh degrees. Before his ministry in Aberdeen, Alan served as an assistant minister in Greenside Parish Church in Edinburgh and then became one of the first community ministers in Scotland in West Pilton, a parish in Edinburgh.
After Alan became minister of St Leonard's and Cameron Parish Churches he was convener of the Church of Scotland General Assembly's Church and Nation committee for four years from 2000 to 2004 in addition to his duties as a parish minister. He celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination on Sunday 24 October 2004
Alan is married to Judith, who is a doctor and continues to practise as a GP. Alan and Judith have two children, Neil and Alison.

Moderator of the General Assembly
On 20 May 2006 Alan was installed as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh and served for one year. This was a great honour for Alan and also for the parish churches of St Leonard's and Cameron. During his moderatorial year, Alan and Judith travelled extensively in the UK and overseas, notably to Ghana and north India. Towards the end of his tenure, the principal of his alma mater, Strathclyde University, conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

On Friday 30 November 2007 an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on Alan by the University of St Andrews. The conferment of the degree was part of the St Andrews Day Graduation Ceremony which took place in the Younger Hall.
As a former Moderator of the General Assembly, Alan is now known as the Very Rev Alan D McDonald, DD Dlitt. In the past, five ministers of St Leonard's have served as Moderator of the General Assembly, plus one who became Moderator after transfer to Edinburgh.
A list of St Leonard's ministers from 1512 to the present day is included on a separate page.


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After morning service

At the end of a Sunday morning service, the minister greets members of the congregation as they leave the main door of the church.

Caring for sick and elderly people

In St Leonards, pastoral care of kirk members often involves the minister and his assistant having to travel to hospitals in Dundee, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline (a round trip of approximately 90 miles) in addition to visiting sick and elderly members in their homes and in the local community hospital.
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