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Our minister

Laurence Twaddle was educated at St Andrews University in Scotland, where he gained an honours degree in moral philosophy and modern history. (Graduated 1972) While a student he served on the Student Representative Council, and as convenor of debates within the Students’ Union.

He then studied theology at New College, University of Edinburgh, where he completed an honours degree in divinity, majoring in philosophy of religion and the works of Søren Kierkegaard. (Graduated 1975)

One year of postgraduate studies followed, before he took up an appointment as assistant minister at St Cuthbert’s parish church, Edinburgh, a city-centre charge with a varied ministry. During that 18-month period he also taught religious education, part-time, at St Margaret’s School for Girls, Edinburgh.

Ordained in 1977, he was subsequently called to be minister of Belhaven, linked with Spott, parish churches in East Lothian – the former a small seaside town of 6,000 people, with a congregation of 830, and the latter a tiny hamlet in the foothills of the Lammermuirs, with a congregation of 100. The experience of working in a linkage was a very happy one, with very positive aspects. This is indicated by the fact, that 38 years of ministry later, he remained extremely happy in what he was doing – as, thankfully, were the congregations!

In 1994 he graduated with a Master of Theology degree in Theology and Ethics of Communication from Edinburgh University.

As Hospital Chaplain for 38 years, he greatly enjoyed being part of the caring team at Belhaven Hospital.

Writing and broadcasting have always been key features in his ministry, and he wrote a monthly column for Life and Work magazine for three years, a fortnightly article for the East Lothian Courier, and presented a Sunday afternoon radio programme on East Coast FM for several years, before coming to Geneva.

Called to Geneva in 2017, he has hugely appreciated the international nature of the congregation, the delights of Switzerland, and the opportunity to serve the church in a different context, at a challenging time. He has served widely on Presbytery and National Committees, and is, presently, Interim Moderator for the Scots Kirk Paris.

He is immensely grateful to his wife Lindy for her encouragement and support in so many ways.

He loves it when he can meet up with his children, Mary, in Scotland, Sarah in Ireland, and John in Moscow – and when he can spend time with his two grandchildren, Eilidh, aged three, and Daíthí, aged one.

Forty plus years of ministry have only increased his sense of privilege and blessedness, and he hopes, one day, to get it right!

When time permits, he loves walking Fergus the dog, skiing, watching football (a season-ticket holder at Heart of Midlothian), entertaining, reading, seeing new places – and meeting new people.

List of ministers in the Church of Scotland, Geneva