Announcement of Sole Nominee - The Reverend Dr Alexander (Sandy) Forsyth


At a meeting held at Edinburgh on 8 September 2020, the Nominating Committee chose the person who they wish to propose to this congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church to be our new minister. The name of the person proposed is The Reverend Dr Alexander (Sandy) Forsyth.  

Arrangements have been made for Sandy Forsyth to conduct public worship in Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church on Sunday the fourth day of October 2020 at 10:00 hours.

The Presbytery of Edinburgh have approved that:

As current Covid-19 restrictions place a strict limit on the number of people who may attend, a recording of Sandy Forsyth conducting public worship will be available on Sunday the fourth day of October 2020 from 15:00 online at and by dialling 0131 546 4337 for an audio only stream.

Should any member or adherent of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church not have access to the internet and wishes an audio cassette of the service to allow them to listen they should contact the Session Clerk, not later than 18:00 hours on Tuesday the sixth day of October.  Charles Garland may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0131 241 2754 or 07762 908343.

Immediately after that service, a vote on whether or not Sandy Forsyth sh ould be appointed as the new minister of this congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church will be opened. Anyone whose name appears on the Electoral Register of this congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church shall be entitled to vote. No-one else shall be entitled to vote. Those who are entitled to a vote shall receive before 4 October a letter with a voting paper and details of how to cast their vote. Every vote returned must have a unique number written on it. Each person eligible to vote will receive their unique number in the letter. Votes returned without a unique number will not be counted. The unique numbers will not be linked to how votes are cast. All votes must be cast or returned not later than noon on Tuesday the thirteenth day of October.

Anyone who wishes can update their contact address by emailing the Session Clerk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. not later than the first day of October 2020 - 18:00 hours.

Neil Gardner Interim Moderator - 18 September 2020



Sandy is aged 52, married to Joy, and they have two adult daughters. He feels strongly called to Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, believing that his gifts and skills would resonate with the Church’s focus in its theology, worship and action on inclusivity and welcome, lifelong spiritual development, and engagement with the community and world. He foresees an empowering and enabling ministry whereby the Church might develop its core strengths and expand in dynamic and purposeful ways, serving God’s mission in the world.

He would bring the following key attributes:

  • Minister in the Church of Scotland (ordained 2009, Associate Minister in two parishes), with experience of all aspects of ministry; in city, suburban and rural contexts in Scotland and in the USA; and amongst the Councils and courts of the Church.
  • Academic theologian in practical theology with a specialism in mission theology and ministry practice, including ‘fresh expressions of church’; having a strong record in publication, research, teaching and supervision; and working in close collaboration with the Church of Scotland in areas of lay and ministerial education and training.
  • Twenty years of prior expertise in high-level legal practice as a court lawyer, primarily as an advocate at the Scottish Bar.

Sandy is presently T.F. Torrance Lecturer in Mission and Theology at New College, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. For a fuller academic profile with details of publications, lectures and conference papers, please see

His post involves teaching, public engagement and supervision of students in Practical Theology, with a particular emphasis on mission and on ministry in the contemporary world. This has involved developing subject areas, including a public course for church members and ministers on ‘fresh expressions of church’ through ‘pioneer ministry’ and ‘church planting’, which followed from a report on those areas to the General Assembly of 2019 - please see, at pp 387-429. A key component has also been working with the Church of Scotland to re- design the framework and curriculum of Initial Ministerial Education for those training for ministry. He previously taught at the University of Glasgow.

In ministry, his probation was served in Glasgow city centre at Renfield St Stephens, preceded by three church placements in urban, rural and suburban settings. Since his ordination in 2009, Sandy has been Associate Minister at St David’s Memorial Park Church, Kirkintilloch and then Bearsden Cross Parish Church. He also spent a summer ‘pulpit-swap’ in a PC (USA) church in Savannah, Georgia. Since he began lecturing full-time from September 2017, his ministry has been in pulpit supply, weddings and funerals, including preaching at Crathie Kirk before the Royal Family in August 2018. He has served the Church nationally in different ways, at present as a member of a Special Commission of the General Assembly looking at the future of the Presbyterian system of decision making within the Church, and also regionally within Glasgow Presbytery.

As for his education, Sandy completed his PhD in Theology at the University of Edinburgh in 2014, on Christian mission in Scotland, with a particular focus towards the life and work of Tom Allan - it was published in 2017 as the book Mission by the People. His other qualifications are as follows:

  • Master of Theology, MTh with Distinction, University of Edinburgh, 2010
  • Bachelor of Divinity, BD (Min) (Hons), First Class with prizes, University of Glasgow, 2008
  • Advocate at the Scottish Bar, ‘called’ in 1999 following Bar Exams
  • Solicitor, 1990-98, qualified 1992 following traineeship
  • Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip. L.P.), University of Glasgow, 1990
  • LLB (Hons), 2:1, University of Aberdeen, 1989
  • Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow: 8 ‘O’ Grades, 5 Highers.

Sandy was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire and brought up in the West of Scotland in Bishopton and Bearsden. He has lived in Kirkintilloch for the past two decades, where his daughters have grown up. His hobbies are music, particularly singing; being in the great outdoors in the West Highlands where the family have a cottage; football; and reading history and fiction.