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Minister leaves his Wick post for 'personal reasons'


By Gordon Calder

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The Rev John Nugent at a service in Wick St Fergus Church in 2019. Picture: DGS
The Rev John Nugent at a service in Wick St Fergus Church in 2019. Picture: DGS

A WICK minister has given up his post after 12 years for what he described as "personal reasons".

The Rev John Nugent, who was the first minister at Wick St Fergus following the union between Wick Old Parish and Wick Bridge Street churches, said his decision was "partly due to health issues, relating to clinical depression".

He is "exploring some possibilities" at the moment but wants to continue in the ministry in some form.

Mr Nugent came to Wick in January 2009.

He started online broadcasts around the time of the first coronavirus lockdown last March and thinks they may offer a way forward for the church. The services have attracted people of different faiths and from various parts of the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Greece and Germany.

"The broadcasts have been effective and moderately successful," he said. "People need a sense of community more than ever now and the broadcasts will continue in some form.

"One of the things that is clear from lockdown is that the old ways of doing things have gone. I think we need to take a look at this whole issue creatively and consider it more seriously."

Rev John Nugent was the minister at Wick St Fergus church for 12 years. Picture: Keith Banks
Rev John Nugent was the minister at Wick St Fergus church for 12 years. Picture: Keith Banks

Mr Nugent (58), who has worked in various parts of the UK, including Birmingham and Coventry, the Isle of Mull and Orkney, described Wickers as "some of the most fantastic people I have ever worked with in my life".

He said: "Wick is a great place and the vast majority of people in the town are incredibly good people. They take community responsibility seriously and that is really good to see.

"The volunteer culture is amazing and very encouraging. I will remember that always."

Alan Sinclair, the congregational board chairman at Wick St Fergus, said he was disappointed Mr Nugent had left his position.

Mr Sinclair said Mr Nugent was a minister not just for the church but for people in general and was held in "high esteem and respected".

Mr Sinclair said: "I would say he was unique in recent years and I found him to be one of the best ministers we have ever had. He started an online ministry and was bringing in people who would never set foot in a church.

"I do believe what he is doing is good. He gets his ministry out there and appeals to people and is respected. A lot of people will not be happy that he is leaving."

Mr Nugent demitted his charge at the end of December. He is continuing to live at the manse and will be there until at least the end of the month.

"He did an excellent job in the church and in Wick and will be sadly missed," Mr Sinclair added.



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