Two-year wait for a new minister in Carnwath and Carstairs is over

The Rev Sumit Harrison with his wife Shikha and their two children, Isaiah and Elijah.The Rev Sumit Harrison with his wife Shikha and their two children, Isaiah and Elijah.
The Rev Sumit Harrison with his wife Shikha and their two children, Isaiah and Elijah.
A new minister has been called to lead Church of Scotland congregations in Carnwath and Carstairs.

The Rev Sumit Harrison was inducted into the linked charge yesterday (Wednesday) evening.

A small service, in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions, was held in Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark to welcome the 39-year-old.

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The service, which was streamed live online, was led by Anne Cochrane, Moderator of the Presbytery of Lanark, who is a member of the congregation in Carnwath.

The minister, who goes by Harrison as his first name, was born and raised in New Delhi in India and is ordained in the Methodist Church.

He has lived in the UK since 2009 and is excited and looking forward to taking up the full-time role.

Harrison said: “My vision and call to serve God and minister ‘His’ people has been clear to me since a very young age.

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“My faith made me what I am today and my future, all my actions and the steps I take, depends on it which helps me to continue my journey.

“I believe outreach is more about making Church available at the corner of the street as a moveable and approachable body for the people of the community.

“I feel if the people can’t come to the Church, the Church can go to its people.

“I am looking forward to being a part of a bigger family and sharing my passion for the word of God and His love with His people.”

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Harrison is married to Shikha and the couple have two sons, Isaiah (6) and Elijah (3), - named for two prophets from the Bible.

Over the last 11 years, he has worked in the retail and finance sector to support his family while trying to get back into ministry.

Harrison explained: “All these jobs have helped me a lot in my spiritual maturity and given me a wider and more close relationship with people.”

Harrison has led the Scottish Asian Christian Fellowship in Glasgow on a voluntary basis since 2015.

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The Rev Bryan Kerr, clerk of the Presbytery of Lanark and minister of Greyfriars Parish Church, said: “We welcome Harrison and his family to the area during a significant point of change for the Church of Scotland.

“The congregations are both looking forward to new experiences, new challenges and new perspectives after a period of vacancy for nearly two years.

“It has been a challenging process for them to find a new minister during Covid-19 restrictions but overwhelmingly they felt that God was calling Harrison as their new minister and pastor.

“Having met Harrison and his wife, Shikha during the process, I am confident that they will bring a real sense of joy and commitment to the church and community.”

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