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A Netherlorn minister who inspired a charity feeding and educating school children in Malawi is returning to work in Africa.
So far more than £16,000 has been raised and spent by the Seil-based Seed for Life – Feed For life project that is part of an ‘amazing legacy’ being left by the Reverend Dr Kenneth Ross.
Dr Ross leaves later this month to return to Africa where he was a missionary for a decade before coming to lead the Netherlorn family of churches nine years ago.
On Sunday, members of all five Netherlorn congregations, from Luing, Seil, Kilninver, Kimelford and Craignish, gathered at Seil Island Hall to say farewell to the minister and his wife Hester.
Earlier in the day Dr Ross baptised one-year-old Harris Nicholson, welcoming him into the church.
Jean Alexander, Session Clerk of Church of Scotland Netherlorn Churches, told The Oban Times: ‘Kenneth Ross has been an amazing minister, who leaves a wonderful legacy behind, in that with his encouragement we set up an appeal for feeding and educating lots of children in a village called Bemvu in Malawi.
‘We are really going to miss him, but we hope there will be someone out there who will love to come to this part of the world and lead the charge of Netherlorn.’
Dr Ross will be based in Zomba, Malawi, as part of a four-year roving role contract, working with the Church of Scotland in colleges and universities across Eastern Africa, helping train future ministers and developing theological education.
His wife Hestor will be based in Edinburgh, but Dr Ross will be returning to Scotland a few times a year, hoping to visit Argyll again.
‘Argyll never lets you go. I’m not going to disappear altogether,’ he said.
He said an appeal to help people in Bemvu in Malawi in 2011 started ‘as a small thing’, adding: ‘It has grown all credit to the people of Netherlorn who took it to their heart and have developed it more than I could ever have imagined.’
Seed For Life is now a self-help feeding project, supporting small-hold farmers and making sure 1,200 primary school children get daily meals in term-time.
Church member Phil Moss said: ‘Ken has been a great mover on our links with Bemvu. On top of this he has been a parish priest with five churches and four services to oversee most Sundays, taking two himself. He has also had all the usual duties a parish brings, so has been a busy man these past nine years.’
The charity has a fundraising night tomorrow, March 22, at Seil Island Hall from 7.45pm. The event, entitled How did I get here?, will have several people talking about why they came to Seil and the charity’s DVD about its work in Bemvu will also be shown.