FIVE years of study and work paid off for a county maths teacher as he was ordained as a Catholic deacon.

Eddie White, who has taught maths at Ross High School in Tranent since 2011, underwent years of study and exams to reach this point.

He told the Courier: “You first go to a vocations director who puts you forward for one year of study to make sure you are suitable – you need to be able to preach and you need to be approachable.

“After this there is a four-year course that you have to complete. You learn lots of interesting stuff, but it is definitely full on.

“I definitely understand my pupils more when they leave things to the last minute now!

“The ‘night before hand-in day’ fear when you’re writing an essay really gives you an edge, and I’m a maths teacher, I’d never written an essay before in my life, so it wasn’t easy!”

Eddie, 42, lives in Prestonpans with his wife and three children and will continue to teach maths at Ross High.

He said: “A lot of my colleagues have had bit of fun with it – they called me Bishop White a lot, but in a nice and supportive way. A few of them came to see me get ordained, which was really great.”

The role of deacon in the church allows Eddie to conduct baptisms, weddings and funerals, as well as supporting the priest.

His first wedding will be in May, where he will be seeing a familiar face.

Eddie said: “My first wedding is actually going to be an ex-pupil of mine, someone I taught at Holyrood High School years ago. They didn’t ask for me specifically, they wanted the priest but he’s away at that point, so it was a bit of a coincidence!”

The ordination ceremony was held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, though Eddie will be placed at St John the Evangelist in Portobello.

Paul Reynolds, Ross High headteacher, said: “I am delighted for Mr White. I would like to congratulate him on behalf of all pupils and staff at Ross High.”