A NEWLY formed Port Glasgow church is searching for a minister.

Port Glasgow New Parish Church, which was established in November last year as a union between the former St Andrew's and St Martin's, is looking for a minister to 'enthuse and be enthused' by the congregation.

Applications for the appointment, which will be based in the former St Andrew's building in Princes Street, opened this week.

Jack McHugh, who is the church's interim moderator and locum, said: "It's an exciting time with the new congregation coming together from St Andrew's and St Martin's.

"With regards to the new minister, it's quite an open book.

"A nomination committee has been set up with members of the congregation and the vacancy has been advertised this week.

"We have no preconceived ideas about the kind of minister we're looking for, other than someone who can lead the congregation going forward.

"Also someone who is a team player and who hopefully will be enthused by the congregation and will enthuse the congregation."

Mr McHugh was keen to highlight that the new minister will be chosen by the congregation.

He added: "The nomination committee is made up of members of the congregation who actively pursue the matter.

"So let's say a number of applications are received and a shortlist is drawn up.

"The committee would make arrangements to hear them preach and interview them.

"After that process, the person they feel is right would be nominated.

"That would go to the congregation as a whole and the congregation would hear the person preach and would choose whether to elect the person as the new minister.

"It's important that the congregation elect their minister.

"It's the cornerstone in the Church of Scotland, that the congregation is involved in electing their minister."

Mr McHugh said the amalgamation of the two churches has gone very smoothly.

He said: "It went very well.

"It's an exciting time for the new congregation."