When the Rev John Lincoln retired on 31st May it was a bittersweet moment for Killin and Ardeonaig Parish Church of Scotland. John had ministered to us for seventeen years and served beyond what would have been his normal retirement age and we will miss him, but we also know that all good things come to an end and John deserves his retirement as much as anybody. John served Balquhidder church as well as Killin & Ardeonaig. This led to a change in expectations all round – the churches did not have their own full time minister and the minister wondered whether he would be able to do all that he might like to in either of the parishes. He did well though, again going beyond the call of duty, by working hard and being magnanimous with his time, it did not feel as though he was somewhere else half of the time.
Many in the village and surrounding area have been glad of the services of the church offered by John. He often went beyond the call of duty to make sure he was available to conduct weddings or funerals, cutting short holidays and giving more of himself than any of us should have expected. High on his list of priorities was visiting folk in hospital and he diligently trekked back and forward to Stirling and later Larbert to make sure families were supported and care and hope offered to those who were unwell. Being a minister does not mean being straightjacketed in particular ways. John brought his own talents and abilities to his ministry. Arising from interest and fluency in Gaelic, he played a key role in the Gaelic class and became part of a group translating the New Testament into Gaelic on behalf of the Scottish Bible Society. John was also a man of some musical ability and successfully coached a Gaelic choir in the school, taking them to the Mod and enriching their lives. But it is for the basics of ministerial life that John will be remembered as much as anything. He preached faithfully every week from the Bible about Jesus Christ, somebody he obviously knew well and urged his flock to get to know better.
The congregation held a social evening to show their appreciation of John’s sterling service in Killin and to make a presentation to mark his retirement. We wish him and Julie well for a long and happy retirement in Alness.