Ministry Team

Rev Dr Roderick Grahame – Lead Minister at CALM

I was born and brought up in Monifieth, just outside Dundee, and was the first year through Monifieth High School.
I then went to Dundee University to begin an astrophysics degree and during that time felt called to Ministry. I completed an honours BD at St. Andrew’s University in 1987. The following year, after all that studying, I had a year out (long before they were fashionable!) working in the Old Bank Bar in Dundee, travelling Europe by inter-rail, working in Iona Abbey as a volunteer and then working on a kibbutz in Israel.
Returning to the University of Aberdeen in autumn 1988, I completed my Certificate in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on mental health issues. Having worked for the Samaritans this was of particular interest. I then did a probationary period as an “apprentice” minister in Bellshill West Church with Rev. Jim McLeod who taught me a great deal about the skill of preaching.

I have served in three parishes:
Kilbowie St.Andrew’s in Clydebank (1991 – 2002)
Largs: St. Columba’s (2002 – 2010)
Brechin Cathedral (2010 – 2018)
and since 2018 have been lead Minister in the Ministry Team of CALM.

During my time in Brechin I completed my Doctor of Ministry degree (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in conjunction with Aberdeen University) and this gave me the wonderful opportunity to study under one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars, Tom Wright, who was then Research Professor at St.Andrew’s. As a result of my own research, I won the Rapp Memorial Prize in 2015 and went on to publish a book on the history of Brechin Cathedral Writ in the Stones – a new history of Brechin Cathedral.

I have been heavily involved in ecumenism during my career, having served for a time on WCC. One of my most enjoyable moments was being invited to a Millennium breakfast event as Scotland’s Church representatives that was hosted by the wonderful Betty Boothroyd, then Speaker of the House of Commons.

Outside of Church life, I enjoy gardening, theatre, cinema, walking my Labradors (Smokey and Alfie) and watching Scotland play international rugby. I have recently taught myself music and have been improving my repertoire on my new keyboard!

I have an “adopted” niece and nephew in Aberdeen: Emily and David, who are the grandchildren of my former landlady.

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.

Matthew McKenzie – Youth & Family Worker at CALM

I was born in Glasgow and am currently the youngest serving member of the CALM team as I am a 90’s child!
Growing up in Maryhill, North Glasgow I have seen and experienced first hand the issues of living in poverty and in such a deprived area very similar to Lochee and Charleston. I started attending Maryhill Parish Church through the local Boys’ Brigade company, 152nd Glasgow. I have grown up attending holiday clubs and youth groups and then progressing to volunteer and even lead these groups.

Since starting work in Dundee, I have developed a very busy Messy Church which has been running for over 2 years now.

I have also helped strengthen our relationships with Ancrum Road Primary School and Camperdown Primary School by hosting assemblies, assisting in end of term services and running lunch time clubs for young people wanting to explore Christianity. During the COVID19 pandemic I have also helped the church develop it’s online presence, including this very website!

I see myself as a contact for families who need support in the community but don’t know who to go to, if I can help in anyway I can or I will be able to signpost you to the right help that you need. Please do not hesitate to get in touch using the church contact page or through our Facebook pages.