Why the Kirk Wants a Wise Man to Travel East
Byline: Mike Merritt
FOR many Church of Scotland ministers, it could well represent the best job in Christendom.
As Christmas approaches, a minister is wanted for one of the Kirk's furthest flung parishes - and it's at the very heart of the Christian story.
Applications are being sought for a minister for St Andrew's Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem, linked with St Andrew's Church of Scotland, Galilee.
An understanding of 'the complexities of the ancient churches of the Middle East' and 'experience of working with people of other faiths and cultures,' would be 'an advantage,' says the job description.
The salary, which is tax-free, is [pounds sterling]26,716 and accommodation and transport are provided for the five-year, fixed-term post, which has 30 days' paid leave, plus public holidays.
Built beside the ancient tombs on the original road to Bethlehem, St Andrew's Scots Memorial Church looks across a valley to the golden walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
It was constructed as a memorial to Scottish soldiers who died in the Middle East during the First World War, and was dedicated in 1930.
The minister's job, part of the Church of Scotland's World Mission Council, involves 'building ecumenical relationships with other church leaders, in Jerusalem and Bethlehem in particular, but also further afield where appropriate'.
The job advert says: 'In this key role you will be responsible for the life and witness of St Andrew's con-gregations in Jerusalem and Tiberias.
You will work closely with the Middle East secretary and the associate minister in Galilee to ensure unity of work and vision within the parish grouping and for all the Church of Scotland's work.
'A Church of Scotland minister, you will be in sympathy with our aims in Israel and Palestine.
'An understanding of the complexities of the ancient churches of the Middle East would be an advantage, along with experience of working with people of other faiths and cultures. …