Churchgoer recognised for 100 years of service
Published 18/03/2016 | 12:56
A woman who first attended a church Sunday school at the age of three in 1916 has been recognised for 100 years of service.
Lizzie Hamilton has been closely associated with the same church family in East Ayrshire ever since being taken as a youngster by her parents.
The 103-year-old was described as "remarkable" for dedicating her time over a century as she was presented with a special long service award.
She said she was "thrilled to bits" when the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland gave her a certificate during a service to mark the 150th anniversary of Old Cumnock Old Church where she is a member.
The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison said it was an "absolute delight" to meet Mrs Hamilton as she was introduced to the youngest member of the congregation Beth Cowan - who is a century younger than her.
Dr Morrison said: "Lizzie has a warm smile and is still deeply interested in and fully engaged with the life of the church.
"I found this remarkable lady quite inspirational and thank God for all the devoted service she has rendered across a century."
Affectionately nicknamed "Mrs Kirk" by her late husband Tommy, Mrs Hamilton still attends services every Sunday with her daughter Davina Dury.
"I was thrilled to bits when the Moderator presented me with my long service certificate - it was so unexpected," she said.
"I am so used to giving out to people, not accepting things.
"I am from an ordinary family and we have always been Church of Scotland. It is just what you did in those days but it has been very good for my life and enabled me to help people."
Mrs Hamilton, who worked as a cook at Barony power station until she retired at 60, was first taken to the local Kirk in the nearby village of Lugar by her parents David and Agnes, and later moved to her current church in 1936.
The two congregations have been officially linked since 1989.
She started up a local branch of The Women's Guild in 1945 with her mother - an organisation the centenarian was heavily involved in until 1972, serving as secretary and president.
The Rev John Paterson, who has been minister since 1994, said: "Having Lizzie and Beth together today indicates that the Church is still reaching out, informing and supporting people of all ages and there is place for every person.
"Lizzie is a marvellous woman and an inspiration that her faith, not just church attendance, has enabled her to do what she has done within the wider community."