My name is Andrew Johnstone, and I live in Dumfries with my wife Amanda. We have been blessed between us with four teenagers; Bethany, Sezen, Ayla and Christy. We have three cats as well who keep us well entertained; Star, Ripley and Hubbles. My wife Amanda has a busy job working as a Health Visitor with NHS Dumfries & Galloway. If I was to sum up our family life in a few words, I would have to
say, manic, busy, but always filled with fun and happiness.

As a family we love going to support Annan Athletic on a Saturday afternoon. For going on holidays, our kids love nothing more than going to Blackpool where I think they know every last inch of the famous Pleasure Beach and promenade. Most of our holiday photographs involve either a theme park ride, or an ice cream. Happydays!

For the next six months, Ive been given the privilege of being placed as a student with the congregations of Gatehouse and Borgue, linked with Tarff and Twynholm. This will be my second placement, having previously worked under the supervision of Rev. Alison Burnside in the Parishes of Castle Douglas linked with Bengairn. I write this short introduction after having spent my first day with Rev. Val Ott, and it was wonderful. In just one day we took part in a school assembly, met the new leaders of the Monday Club, led a wedding rehearsal and enjoyed taking part in a choir practice. My singing still needs a lot of work, but my goodness me, we had a wonderful time.

I study with Highland Theological College; something I hugely enjoy. Before entering ministry training as a candidate, I worked for 17 years as teacher in a number of schools; Stranraer Academy, Annan Academy and Dumfries High School. Even before that, I spent 17 years working in the nuclear industry at BNFL Chapelcross. My prayer is that God blesses me with many further years to serve him, as he has called me to his service.

My home congregation is Caerlaverock Parish Church, and the most difficult thing about training is that I have to leave my Caerlaverock Church family on a Sunday morning. However, the other side of this, is that every Sunday morning I have the privilege of sharing in worship with the new Church families with whom I am placed. I am particularly passionate about rural mission and ministry and hope that I can bring a new perspective and hopefully something of value to both charges.

My daily prayer is that our rural parishes experience a move to God in our lifetime, and that we can partner with God, help bring about his Kingdom, and that once again rural South West Scotland takes its place as a powerhouse of the Church.

I feel very blessed to be sharing this next part of my journey with the parishes of Gatehouse and Borgue, linked with Tarff and Twynholm, under the supervision of Rev. Val Ott, and I am looking forward to meeting you all in person.

Andrew Johnstone