Rev Dave Sutherland

I’m Dave Sutherland and I’m really excited to be the minister of Hillington Park Parish Church. I firmly believe that Maureen and I have been called here by God to serve Him for this next season – however long that might be. I was stunned by the sense of peace in the sanctuary the first time I stood on the chancel. I also felt drawn to the church because of Natural Church Development with the 8 characteristics and the structure which automatically means that it is team ministry here. I look forward to journeying with you all as we seek out what God is asking of us and what we’re going to do about it.

 I want to share with you something of my own journey. I was born in Edinburgh and after a few years in Dunfermline and back to Edinburgh, we all moved to Dundee: all means Mum, Dad and my 3 sisters, 2 older and 1 younger. I was of course the favourite son!

 After school, I joined Tayside Police, first the Cadets and then as a Constable. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Police acknowledging there were some really hard bits and finished at the end of a 30 year contract as a Sergeant in Crime Policy & Community Safety. I found my niche in community policing and had some marvellous experiences. I had been involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and was for a couple of years the Police advisor for the Service/Residential section of the Award. I also served on national committees over a range of topics which enabled me to meet many different people from different parts of the country. I also played bagpipes in the police pipe band but stopped in the early 90’s. I did pick the pipes up later but time to practise is always a problem.

 I was heavily involved in Scouting, as a Scout, as a Cub Leader, as a Group Scout Leader and more recently as a Group Chairman. It was through Scouting that I met Maureen – we were both Cub leaders but in different Cub Packs – there was no rivalry – well maybe just a little friendly banter! Maureen and I married, and we have one son who now lives with his wife in Perth.

 It was at a Cub camp that I first encountered God and I joined the Church of Scotland. It’s too long a story to share here but I’m always happy to share how God moved in my life and transformed me – just ask. Not long after becoming Christian, I sensed a call to ministry and in 1997, began training as an Auxiliary Minister. I was ordained in 2001 as the Auxiliary minister for Menzieshill Parish Church in Dundee and so had about 9 years as a policeman and a minister with some amazing opportunities to witness to the goodness of God to different people.

 After police, I was a mature student at St. Andrews University and graduated in 2013 with a BD Hons. In 2012, I completed a training placement at Letham St. Mark’s Church in Perth and in 2014 Maureen and I moved to Glasgow so that I could be probationer at Balshagray Victoria Park Church with Campbell Mackinnon. I was minister at Maxwelltown West Church in Dumfries and then to Stevenston as minister at Ardeer linked with Livingstone Churches before accepting the call to Hillington Park.

 I think that one of the greatest learning experiences for me has been the Forge Pioneer Ministry course which I did in 2020. Through Forge, I have been exploring again Celtic Christianity but more intently looking at how monasticism can enable us to follow holy habits of prayer and study of the Word.

There’s obviously more to share but that might be more when we speak with each other. One thing I do need to say now is that the Church of Scotland is undergoing radical change – we all need to be able to hear our call from God and follow Him to build up His Kingdom in this place.

 I look forward to catching up with you in the coming days and months.

 May God bless you.