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Andrew O'Brien/The Church of Scotland/PA
UK News

109 year old church member given award

Alfred Smith, 109, has been a member of the Church of Scotland since 1945 and an elder since 1967.

Rt Rev Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly, went to see Mr Smith at home to present his award.

He said: "Of all the many people I have met during my year as Moderator, Alfred Smith is one of the most remarkable.

"At 109 years old he retains a lively sense of humour, a continuing interest in life, including the life of the church, and he is a great story teller.

"It was a privilege to meet him and some of his family and to offer him my warmest congratulations."

Mr Smith was a member of the Free Church in Invergowrie until 1945 and then became a member of the Church of Scotland, attending Kinfauns Parish Church which later joined with Kilspindie and St Madoes.

He said: "It is just wonderful to have a visit from the Moderator. How he finds time to see me is quite something. I have always loved the church as it has given me so much over the years."

The former farmer was asked for his secret to a long and happy life. He replied: "Porridge is helpful and having a job you enjoy."

Minister of St  Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church Marc Bircham said: "It has been a great joy and privilege to be Alf's minister and friend. He is a blessing to our congregation and community and on a personal level he has been a great encourager to myself, not least by referring to me as 'young man'."

His daughter Irene said he "took his responsibilities as an elder very seriously, visiting all his allocated members frequently, particularly those who were unable to attend church".

She added: "He did a lot of the organising for services, collection and distribution of Harvest offerings. He brought the organist to and from the church from Perth, and along with his son, did a lot of day-to-day maintenance of the church building."

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