After a long and illustrious career, a church minister is hanging up his dog collar and retiring.

The Rev David D Scott, minister of the Parish of Traprain, has been with the Church of Scotland for 40 years and will be spending his retirement in St Andrews with his wife Mary Catherine.

Mr Scott was commissioned by the Church of Scotland in 1976 to teach maths to children in Ghana as a missionary.

He has described this experience as his most formative years, adding: “I returned to train as a minister and got my first assistant minister position in Easterhouse, East Glasgow, a very impoverish area, then as a fully trained minister I moved to a town call Forth in South Lanarkshire.

“I was leading the congregation there during the miners’ strike and found the community to be one of the most generous I ever encountered.”

Throughout the next 20 years, Mr Scott moved to Logie Kirk in Stirling and Bearsden in East Dunbartonshire before coming to the Parish of Traprain in 2010.

He said: “Within that time I also helped out with work done by Strathclyde University, who filmed me doing a sermon which was then used to teach teachers who were looking to teach religion in schools. Apparently, the sermon they filmed was deconstructed by students in their lessons many times over the next 10 years.”

The Parish of Traprain presented its own challenges for the minister, leading him to start thinking out of the box.

He said: “The traditional Church of Scotland does tend to break down in smaller communities like this one, so I had to get a bit more creative. For example, one of our Sunday schools wasn’t very successful, so we moved it to a Wednesday afternoon. We found that two thirds of the local school started coming along.

“Sunday mornings are a difficult time for families as they are also a popular time for sport clubs which many children participate in, so some creative thinking was necessary.”

Mr Scott now plans to spend more time with family and friends. He said: “My wife was a social worker and she retired at the end of May.

“We will spend our time seeing our four children and catching up with friends.

“I am hoping to continue my studies on theology and mathematics, as well as pursuing my love of singing and music.

“I of course would like to keep preaching, but that has to be done by invitation, so I suppose we’ll wait and see!”.

At a reception at Prestonkirk Parish Church, Mr Scott received a painting of Preston Mill as a token of gratitude from the congregation.