TWO retired church ministers are sharing their hobbies of painting and poetry – as well as pancakes – at a special event in Haddington next week.

Margaret Stein, a trained artist, will be showing off a selection of her work at the town’s John Gray Centre, while husband Jock will be giving readings from his latest collection of poetry.

The Haddington duo were previously joint locum ministers at Cockenzie Old Parish Church before stepping down in 2014.

Margaret first discovered her love of painting at the age of nine. She said: “My father was an architect and I watched him colouring in plans and decided I wanted to paint too. My first effort was roses that were growing outside his office window.

“I took art at secondary school and went on to the Edinburgh College of Art, where I graduated with a diploma.”

Her calling to the ministry began when she became involved with Scripture Union.

She was asked to start a group at school and within a year it grew to have 26 members.

She added: “I was wondering how I might combine a career in the ministry with another in art and I was persuaded by a deaconess at Edinburgh’s Palmerston Place Church that it would be possible. I became one of the first group of women to be licensed to preach in the Church of Scotland.”

Margaret is still deeply involved in encouraging people and uses painting in small groups to help people understand their spiritual journey.

The event takes place on Shrove Tuesday, with Margaret preparing a large plateful of pancakes fresh off the griddle.

Husband Jock wrote his first serious poem at an airport after a visit to the ‘Seven Churches of the Revelation’ in Turkey.

This was then published along with poems by a friend in Two Wings to Fly.

Since retiring, Jock, who is convener of Tyne and Esk Writers, has been penning widely acclaimed verses.

Jock, who also runs small book publisher Handsel Press, will be reading excerpts from this new booklet of ‘prophetic poems’ on current issues at the 5-7pm event.

He said: “Commentary is my first solo book.

“My calling as a minister has helped me with my poetry – and the Bible is a goldmine of ideas, as it spans the whole of human life.”

Copies will be on sale, along with copies of Margaret’s two books, along with some of her paintings.