New Canon Elected to the Cathedral Chapter

Congratulations to the Rev Paul Watson, Rector of St James the Less, Bishopbriggs, who has been elected by the Diocesan House of Clergy to be a Canon of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow.

We pray for Paul as he joins the Cathedral Chapter. May the members of the Chapter together offer their gifts and talents to support and enrich the life of our Diocese.

We lift up in prayer all who discerned a call to this ministry and all the clergy in our Diocese.

Paul writes: “I’ve been at St James the Less, Bishopbriggs since August 2017. Our community focus has been re-connecting with young families and offering support for older people. Within the congregation, the emphasis has been on spiritual formation and Christian discipleship. With the help of the Diocese and the Province, we have invested in new technology to build a blended ministry and online presence to include those unable or reluctant to attend church in person. We recently hosted the Diocesan Synod.

“I am a Diocesan member of the Faith and Order Board, was a member of General Synod and a Vocational Advisor. I’ve been on the SEI Council for six years. I took over as Convenor of the NE Regional Council just before the first lockdown and with Andrea Hagenbuch, Convenor of the NW Region, organised joint meetings. I convened several Clergy Chat sessions during lockdown and started the Pastors in a Secular Age network across denominations.

“I was in Aberdeen 2009-2017 as Rector of St Devenick’s, Bieldside. I was on the Mission subgroup, Chaplain to the Mothers Union, a training Incumbent, a member of General Synod and a Canon of the Cathedral. We were in Sri Lanka with CMS from 2004-2009 and privileged to serve alongside clergy and lay people in mission at a time of national crisis due to the 2004 Tsunami and Civil War. Latterly, I was Rural Dean. My curacy was served with Bishop Gregor Duncan (then Rector) at St Ninian’s, Pollokshields. We started a number of community initiatives, including organising and facilitating meetings between local Imams and Christian clergy.

“For nine years during the 1990’s, I started and led a ministry amongst International Students in Glasgow supported by local churches. During that time I completed a BD and MTh at Glasgow University and underwent pre-ordination training with TISEC. I worked as a Racial Equality officer in Edinburgh and completed an MA in Geography with Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews. I spent a large part of my growing years in the Indian subcontinent. I am married to Ina, a psychotherapist and have two adult daughters. I enjoy hill walking, reading widely and deeply and keeping up with a wide network of friends.

“I see the diversity of the SEC as a great advantage and have grown to appreciate this richness and the generous space that we offer for people with different spiritual, theological, liturgical and ethical perspectives and experiences to journey with one another. I am committed to getting clergy together wherever I have gone, as we support one another in our uniquely challenging and enriching vocation.

“I am also committed to taking seriously the missional context of our day and have always sought to bring added value to the communities I have ministered in. I seek to replace a narrative of institutional decline with a compelling vision of abundant life in Christ and sacrificial service to others. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best hope for our world.”