Thanks to Mrs Cheryl Brankin and Dr Sundari Joseph

At the opening meeting of the new Presbytery of the North East and the Northern Isles, two staff members of the former Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland were thanked for their work.

Mrs Cheryl Brankin

Mrs Cheryl Brankin worked for the Presbytery of Aberdeen and then Aberdeen and Shetland for eight years in an administrative role and latterly as Depute Clerk. Speaking at the meeting, Rev Kenneth Petrie of Craigiebuckler Parish Church, said:

"I know how much our Presbytery Clerk, John Ferguson, appreciated the work Cheryl did. She really was the lynch pin which held the work of Presbytery together. Cheryl dealt with all of us with graciousness and good humour when I am sure that on occasion she could see us far enough. Her 'gentle reminders' were enough for us to do whatever it was that we ought to have done but had forgotten!

"For meetings at the Presbytery Office the kettle was always on and there was often a ready supply of home bakes to sustain us. At Presbytery meetings Cheryl was always bustling about making sure everyone knew what they were doing and had what they needed. The preparation ahead of meetings was no mean feat.

"For all Cheryl did in her time as Administrator and Depute Clerk for the Presbytery, I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues when I offer my sincere thanks and wish Cheryl every blessing in the future."

Dr Sundari Joseph

Dr Sundari Joseph served as the Communications Officer for the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland for the past two years. Speaking at the meeting, Rev Peter Johnston of Ferryhill Parish Church, said:

"Over the last two years the Presbytery greatly benefitted from the time Sundari committed to this post, with regular issues of an Ezine, many press releases, guidance to congregations, working with the national Comms team, and the creation of a Communications Team to pool experience and expertise on communications matters.

"Sundari has gone about her work with both warmth and professionalism, with a desire to tell the good news, and with a commitment to creating the relationships that are necessary in such a role.

"I have no doubt that Sundari would wish us as a new Presbytery to take very seriously the importance of communication. Within a much bigger Presbytery it takes on even greater importance, and is a part of our witness to society for the love of God at work in the world.

"I wish Dr Joseph well for the future in her work with the NHS that she is continuing and thank her greatly both for the work she has done but also for helping many of us appreciate better that Comms role within a church context."

In response, Dr Joseph, offered her thanks to Presbytery for the support she had received in this role and commented on the visionary decision to create such a post at the time of the creation of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland.

Sundari said: "It has been such a privilege to work in the role of Communications Officer for the Presbytery. There were no other such salaried posts across any of the other Presbyteries. The remit, including internal and external communication, was quite a responsibility and started with the task of creating a Communications Strategy. This involved starting from scratch.

"The feedback from congregations on internal communication through the E-zine was very positive. The external communication involved engaging with local media and I found that journalists started to communicate more as time went by."

Sundari offered this encouragement to the new Presbytery:

"I can only wish the new Presbytery every blessing, especially as you think about communicating across this huge geographical area. And may we follow in the footsteps of our greatest communicator: our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."

The Moderator of the Presbytery, Rev Stella Campbell, offered her thanks on behalf of the Presbytery to Mrs Brankin, Dr Joseph, and to all those who have served in the former Presbyteries over the past years.


Image (from left to right): Rev Stella Campbell (moderator of Presbytery, minister of Skene Parish Church), Dr Sundari Joseph, and Rev Peter Johnston (minister of Ferryhill Parish Church, formerly Convener of the Business and Finance Committee of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland).

For further information please contact:

Rev Peter Johnston
0783 428 1176


James Buckingham-Hyman
Administration Officer
01224 662560