We are delighted to welcome Chris Barlas to the new post of Pastoral Assistant, commencing January 2019. Chris will be working with Archie three days a week and we look forward to his involvement in the Church and wider community, both here and at Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay Church. The following is an outline from Chris of his past experience and hopes for the future.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in Adult Nursing, having graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2004. I nursed in medical and care of the elderly wards before moving on to work with young people throughout Inverclyde. Working for Inverclyde Peace Initiative, I delivered many workshops and one to one sessions in conflict resolution, anger management and assertiveness. In my other role I worked for Faith in Community Scotland as the Local Co-ordinator for Faith in Throughcare in Inverclyde. I worked directly with prison staff and other local agencies to support short term prisoners to make a successful return to the local community. I co-ordinated a fantastic team of volunteers to provide the best support to our participants.

I am an outgoing individual who thrives on helping people realise their full potential. I have a real passion for working closely with people and allowing them the time and space to make positive choices in their lives.  My work and life experience have allowed me to develop the skills and qualities to influence and encourage others to make meaningful community and personal connections.  I am a committed Christian who has experienced the life changing power of the Holy Spirit in my own life and look for opportunities to share my experiences with others to encourage them to seek a personal relationship with God.  It is important for me to be able to use my faith in both my personal and work life in order to demonstrate God’s love for all.   

I am a devoted father to my two sons whom I love spending time with and supporting them with their various activities.  I am also a keen athlete and previously represented Scotland at cross country running and recently returned to the sport and in 2018 won three national medals at the Scottish Veteran Championships. I enjoy an active and abundant life and am extremely blessed to have many supportive friends whom I enjoy spending time with. 

I feel so blessed that God has given me this opportunity to work closely with our minister, Archie, and both congregations of Inverkip linked with Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay with their existing work and look forward to the exciting challenge of developing a new fresh expression of Church in the community. I feel extremely humbled and privileged to be able to play a part of what God would do in the lives of the people in this area."