New minister for Duns Parish Church

New Duns MinisterRev Stephen Blakey
New Duns MinisterRev Stephen Blakey

HE’s only given one service so far as new minister of Duns, but Reverend Steven Blakey is already full of praise for the people of the town, telling ‘The Berwickshire’ he “couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome.”

Reverand Blakey has finally filled the position of Duns minister after it was vacated in 2009.

Duns current Citizen of the Year Donald Gaddes has served the town well as locum minister in the absence of a permanent replacement and now Rev Blakey is keen to carry on the high standards set.

The Reverend arrives in Berwickshire from Glasgow where he was minister at Shawlands Kirk but it didn’t take too much for him to be tempted back to a region he has a great affinity with.

“I’ve always had connections with the Borders,” he explained.

“I played rugby a lot in my younger days and I came down here and lost a lot of matches.

“The Borders is a lovely place and I’m looking forward to being here on a more permanent basis.”

Reverend Blakey had an interesting start to life, being born in the house Robert Burns died in in Dumfries. From there he went to school in St Andrews and took up his first ministerial role in 1977.

He then served 16 years as an army chaplin and was a minister in Buchan for five years before becoming a life coach.

He has four children and a step-child and five grand children and has moved to Duns with his Austrian wife who will be dividing her time between the town and Vienna.

Reverend Blakey was officially inducted into his new role at a ceremony last Friday and first addressed his congregation on Sunday and although he admits he had a few butterflies, he was pleased with how it went.

“There’s always a few nerves when you address a new congregation for the first time,” he continued.

“There’s the inevitable panic about the sound and if you’ve got the right hymn books out but the people here are very friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome.

“A group of people made sure that the Manse was looking wonderful in time for me moving in and baked me the best shortbread in the world!”