A POPULAR minister has waved goodbye to a Dunbar church.

The Rev Andrew Bain conducted his farewell service for St Anne’s congregation in Dunbar last month.

The 61-year-old became minister at the church, on the town’s Westgate, more than four years ago and will continue as chaplain to Emmaus House in Edinburgh.

Mr Bain told the Courier he had thoroughly enjoyed his time in East Lothian, ahead of the Rev Diana Hall being instituted at the church this weekend.

He said: “It has been a real joy to be part of such a welcoming and very caring community through a time of exciting change and development.

“The coming together of the Episcopal and Methodist congregations has greatly enriched their shared life and everyone is now looking forward to returning to the St Anne’s building following the completion of renovations after a very happy year spent together at the Methodist Chapel.

“The united congregation will soon be joined by the Rev Diana Hall as their new rector and I know Diana is excited at the prospect of being part of Dunbar’s vibrant community life.

“For me, these have been four very happy years and I’m sure St Anne’s is going to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.”

He was instituted at St Anne’s Episcopal Church in August 2013, having joined in February that year to fill the gap left by the departure of Sheila Cameron.

However, he was no stranger to the county, having spent eight years as rector at Holy Trinity Church in Haddington between 1998 and 2006.

His final service took place at Methodist church, on Dunbar’s Castle Street, on June 25, when Gill Wilson, a member of the vestry, made a presentation and a farewell speech thanking Mr Bain for his leadership and ministry since 2013.

Mrs Wilson paid tribute to his pastoral concern for members in need and the development of spirituality which resulted from discussions and retreats led by Andrew.

On Advent Sunday 2015, a link was made with the Dunbar Methodist congregation and the congregations joined and now worship as one.

Soon after his arrival, Mr Bain launched a campaign to carry out restoration works to make the church able to meet the changing needs of life in the 21st century.

The present phase has now been completed.

Work on the memorial chapel and the peace garden will continue, with the aim for it to be completed in time for the formal re-dedication in October.

The congregation moved back into the church for worship on Sunday.

Before that, the congregations had worshipped in the Methodist church.