A MUSSELBURGH minister has said a fond farewell to her congregation after 11 years’ service in the Honest Toun.

The Rev Janice Andrews, of Musselburgh Congregational Church, is set to begin a new part-time ministry with Ardrossan Congregational Church this Sunday.

She said a “big thank you” to local people as she was given a “great send-off” by members of the church, friends and the wider community on Sunday.

The church was packed to capacity for the service, which featured performances from the Clark Community Choir and soloists Alison Goulding and Lindsay Ritchie.

Angus Edmonds, from Newtongrange Silver Band, played a tribute especially for Ms Andrews. The service was led by the church organist Keith Mack.

Ciaran Walker, a music student at the University of Edinburgh and organist and director of music at St Michael’s Church, Inveresk, who has close connections with Musselburgh Congregation Church, paid tribute to Ms Andrews.

He thanked her for supporting him as he pursued his musical career after she gifted him a keyboard and gave him access to play the church pipe organ from the age of 11.

Ms Andrews received gifts from the church, outreach group and Sunday School.

She told the Courier that she was now “embarking on a new chapter of her life” as she moved back to Ayrshire, where she spent most of her life.

She said: “I’ve been very happy in Musselburgh and I leave with fantastic memories of a close-knit community who have made me so welcome, and a wonderful ministry with the Musselburgh Congregational.

“Ministry is such a privilege – I have been invited into hearts and homes of families during very difficult and private times in my 11 years here. I have conducted 200 funerals.

“It’s been an honour to serve the community and I express my sincere thanks to all.”

Ms Andrews said that the church would now “look forward to a new chapter beginning” once a new minister had been appointed.