Gavin Berry – Parish Assistant at CALM
I was born in Lanarkshire and spent my formative years in Blantyre; the home-town of that other well-known Scottish missionary; David Livingstone.
As a youngster I had a passion for sports, one of which was badminton, which was my only but significant contact with the local Church of Scotland throughout my teens.
I came to college in Dundee in 1980 and have lived here ever since. It’s a well-known fact that “west-coasters” seldom return home after discovering that even in the heart of winter the sun shines on the East coast of Scotland!
I went onto study French & German at University and became a secondary school teacher for most of my adult life. I enjoyed teaching and loved the interaction with young people who keep you on your toes. I taught in various schools in Dundee and in France & Switzerland.
I took the plunge into full-time Christian work in 2004 when I joined Scripture Union Scotland as the Regional Worker for Dundee & Angus for the best part of 10 years but like all good things, God often has something even better waiting for you round the corner, so I joined the Church of Scotland as a Parish Assistant in 2015, initially at Old & Abbey Church in Arbroath and then for a short time at Douglas & Mid-Craigie. I’ve been the CALM Parish Assistant for 18 months now and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members of the congregations at Camperdown and Lochee Parish Churches.
As part of the CALM team ministry I suspect that my job remit is the most varied and I am grateful for that. Some days I may be focusing on visiting the sick and housebound, other days I might be preparing to lead Sunday worship or preparing to take a funeral. I also regularly attend the Drop Inn Café at Lochee and not just for the delicious home-made soup & cake! It’s great to spend time with the volunteers and customers, most of whom are proud to be associated with the church.
These days when I’m not working, I like to go cycling or just relaxing with my family. I have two grown-up independent daughters but strangely they still need me to do stuff for them, so there’s seldom a dull moment in the Berry house for dad.
When life is tough, and it often is for all of God’s children, I like to recall these comforting and reassuring words from the Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 41, verse 10:
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I look forward to being your Parish Assistant for some time to come and can always make time to visit you in your own home for a blether and a prayer, just give me a call or speak to me in church.