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About Us

Our Minister

Hi there! My name is Jonanda Groenewald, better known as Nanda. I was inducted as your minister here at West Kirk and Polbeth Harwood on 18th June 2014.

Jonanda and Family

I was born and brought up in South Africa, in and around Johannesburg. My family and I immigrated to Scotland in 2008, and although we miss our friends and family who are still in South Africa very much, Scotland is our home now. And what an amazing home it is! It is such a beautiful country, green, safe, and clean. And I think it is because the people are so warm and friendly that we have settled here so quickly!

My dad and brother still live in South Africa, but my mum sadly died of cancer in 2005.

I started studying theology at the University of Pretoria in 1993, and never stopped until I completed my doctoral dissertation in New Testament Studies in 2005. From 2000 onwards I worked as chaplain at the University of Johannesburg and later at the University of Pretoria. I also worked at the Dutch Speaking congregation in Johannesburg and taught part time at the Universities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as at the Institute for Missiology in Hammanskraal. The subjects I taught were Greek and New Testament Studies.

When we first moved to Scotland I had to work with a minister of the Church of Scotland, to familiarise myself with the ways of the Church. I did my familiarisation placement in Carrick Knowe Church, Edinburgh.

I am married to the Rev Dr André Groenewald, who is the minister of Balerno Parish Church and previously served at Kirknewton and East Calder Parish Church. We have two boys: Henro, who is 10 years old and in P5 at Dean Park Primary School; and Nehan, who is 7 and and also attends at Dean Park.

If you would like to see me, talk to me about anything, or if you know about somebody who might enjoy a visit form me, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0131 261 7977 or at minister@west-kirk-polbeth-harwood.co.uk.

I strongly feel that God called me to Polbeth Harwood and the West Kirk of Calder – a huge big thank you to each and everyone for making me feel so welcome!

Nanda

Our Ordained Local Minister

Ordained Local Ministry is a non-stipendiary form of the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, aimed at people with an appropriaterly tested sense of Call towards ordination and who wish to serve primarily in the localised ministry. Appointment to a post is the prerogative of Presbytery to a particular locality or a specific role.

An OLM will be in support of those working in leadership roles as Parish Ministers (whether full time or part time).

My name is Alison Quilter, and as I begin my time with you following my induction on 11th February 2018, I thought i would share a little information about myself with you.

My home congregation is Whitburn South Parish Church and I have served the Church in various roles. I was a BB officer for 26 years, 10 years as captain; served on the Congregational Board for 20 years; a member of the Kirk Choir for over 33 years; served as Ed.Comm co-ordinator for 8 years and served as an Elder for the last 16 years. I also served the Church as Session Clerk for a few years and now my faith journey has taken me to serve as an Ordained Local Minister.  

Church has always been an important part of my family’s life going back generations. My papa was church organist and choir master for well over 40 years and therefore we were always involved in music at home.

I am married to William and we have lots of nephews and nieces. Family life is very important to me and keeps me grounded.  As a family, my sisters and brother and their families, come together and meet at mum and dad’s every second Sunday to spend time with each other and to share a family meal together, (all 14 of us!).

My day job takes me on a daily commute to Edinburgh in my role as Head of IT for a financial institution where I manage a team of technical and business specialists as well as being responsible for business analysis and project management, amongst other things. My role provides many interesting challenges!  

In my spare time, apart from singing, I enjoy walking with friends and look forward to the reward of tea and cake afterwards! I also like visiting museums and enjoy reading poetry. Giving up golf was the sacrifice I made in order to get through my studies at Aberdeen University and one day I will go back to playing golf – but that may need to wait until I retire!

I am delighted to be given the opportunity to join the ministry team at Polbeth Harwood and West Kirk of Calder and have the privilege of sharing in your faith journey.

The Linked Charge

Early in the millennium, Polbeth Harwood Church became vacant following the translation of Rev William McLaren, then in June 2002 Rev Mary Dilbey retired from the West Kirk. From then, meetings took place in the respective churches and it was agreed that the two charges should be linked.

A number of factors influenced this decision

  • both charges were vacant at the same time
  • the two sets of church buildings are only about a mile apart
  • the two communities served by the respective churches have a history of sharing a number of facilities and amenities.

Following negotiations and ratification by Church of Scotland, the Act of Linkage formally took place in the summer of 2003