Tributes have been paid to Gordon Steven, who has retired as deacon at St Clement’s and St Ninian’s Parish Church in Wallyford after many years of service.

He was also a regular visitor to Drummohr Care Home and Wallyford Primary School.

Mr Steven, who lives in the Craigentinny area of Edinburgh, was also the founder member of the St Clement’s and St Ninian’s Men’s Club.

The group enjoyed regular monthly meetings during the winter, featuring speakers giving talks on a variety of subjects, visits to places of interest, as well as Easter and Christmas dinners for members and guests.

Mr Steven took part in the Armistice Day service at the Crookston War Memorial at Inveresk Cemetery in remembrance of soldiers from Wallyford, Whitecraig and Smeaton who were killed in the First World War.

He also played a major role in Wallyford’s Christmas parade and the switching-on of the festival lights each year.

Congregation members wished Mr Steven a “very happy” retirement.

They also welcomed their new locum minister and Church of Scotland interim moderator, the Rev Peter Wood, to his first service at the church.

A service of remembrance and thanksgiving was held on September 11 following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Wood said: “I was working with Penicuik South and Howgate and the Penicuik churches before being appointed to Wallyford.

“As well as working part-time in Wallyford, I also work for Lothian Presbytery as pioneer and new housing co-ordinator.”

A Church of Scotland spokesperson said: “The majority of churches are also unable to call new ministers at present whilst the Lothian Presbytery reform process is ongoing, so Rev Peter Wood is there for the immediate future as a locum minister and interim moderator.

“There is no way of telling, long term, if any future postholder would be either a minister or a deacon.”