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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > December 2019 > ’A real honour and a real privilege’

’A real honour and a real privilege’

Jackie Macadam learns about the work of the newly elected President of the Diaconate Council, Mark Evans DCS.

“MY call was always to be a Deacon. I never saw myself as being the person upfront, leading the way – it wasn’t a role I was comfortable with. I saw myself very much as walking with the people of God rather than leading them.”

Mark Evans DCS is the newly elected President of the Diaconate Council and works as Head of Spiritual Care with NHS Fife. Born in north Edinburgh into a large extended family, Mark always felt drawn to the church.

“North Edinburgh in the 1970s and the early 80s was notorious as a centre for drugs and gangs. However, my childhood was really happy. I grew up in a large extended family, which was based around my gran and granddad who were a huge influence in my life.

“My grandparents had a strong faith and were members of the church and brought their family up within the Church. Our home church was the Old Kirk, West Pilton – or the White Church as everyone called it. The teaching of PaPa Reid (Iain Reid who took over from George McLeod as Leader of the Iona Community) created in my wider family a great respect for the Kirk. It had a huge eff ect on my family – and whilst I was the only one who attended church regularly – the Old Kirk remained central in my family. “

Unlike many children, Mark rather enjoyed going to the church, and he wasn’t one for Sunday School either. “The Old Kirk was my spiritual home and the ministers and elders had a big influence on my life and my future great ministry. I started going to church when I was eight. I went by myself and wasn’t a fan of the Sunday School – I much preferred sitting watching and listening to the service. Jess Wilson, the Sunday School superintendent and Eric Grant the Session Clerk, treated this silly wee laddie who turned up on a Sunday morning with respect. I felt accepted and loved and included. The first minister I remember was Colin Anderson – and the importance he gave to the preparation and conduct of worship. Then there was Tom Gordon and Maureen Hutchison who taught me about the unconditional love of Christ, who accepted me for who and what I was. I was a child of God made in the image if the Creator – and I was loved. Ian and Elsie Moir started the weekly Worship Workshop – the predecessor of Messy Church! They taught me that the church was more than the building but the people and I was introduced to Summer Mission by them too.” His school years were a real struggle for Mark, with undiagnosed dyslexia. He found school difficult and frustrating, excelling only in music.

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About Life and Work

CHRISTMAS IN THE HOLY LAND - Tiberias and Bethlehem contrasts DISCIPLESHIP AND ME - Following Jesus around the world 'A REAL HONOUR AND A REAL PRIVILEGE’ - Mark Evans DCS, President of the Diaconate Council much more packed across 60 pages