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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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