TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-respected church minister who has died.

The Rev David Torrance led the congregations at Ormiston and Pencaitland Parish Churches for 14 years.

On Friday evening, the churches said in an online statement: “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Rev David Torrance, minister of Ormiston and Pencaitland churches.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and all those who mourn his loss.

“Details of a thanksgiving service for David will soon be available on the church website.”

Mr Torrance, married to Ann, was ordained by the Presbytery of Glasgow into the parish of Campsie 30 years ago.

'Sadly missed'

The Rev Norman Smith, Presbytery Clerk of Lothian and Borders, said: “Ordained in 1993, Rev David Torrance became the minister of Ormiston and Pencaitland in October 2009, faithfully serving the people there as he lived out his calling.

“We hold before God all those who mourn his passing, especially his family at this time. Please keep them in your prayers, as well as the congregation.”

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, depute leader of East Lothian Council and ward member for Haddington and Lammermuir, said: “This is such sad news and my thoughts are with his family. I know that he supported many members of the local community in which he served as minister for Pencaitland and Ormiston and to them all he will be a great loss.”

Scott Gillies, chairman of Ormiston Community Council, described the news as “very, very sad”.

“He will be sadly missed amongst the community,” he said.

“He was a really nice man, a really nice guy.”

'A unique character'

Ralph Averbuch, previously chairman of Pencaitland Community Council, was among those paying tribute to Mr Torrance.

He said: “I knew David ever since his kids were the same age as mine and it is a terrible loss.

“He was at the core of a lot of community life for many, many people, not just in Pencaitland but in Ormiston.

“He was a very unique character and, whatever your religious inclinations, he was a lovely guy.

“It is terrible for his family and a tragic loss for all those who knew him.”

A private funeral takes place on Monday, which can be watched online via a livestream. The service starts at 1.30pm.

The online link to watch the service will be available at on the day.