Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week Ally Macleod tells us about his experience as a first-year Apprentice at Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Ally Macleod

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Last year I was a Relay worker with UCCF at Heriot-Watt university. I completed my probationer year as a physics teacher before that.


What are you learning at Cornhill?
There’s been so much that we’ve covered this term. The chance to prepare and give talks, Gobbets, etc. has shown me how much goes into sermons, etc. Going deeper into Exodus and the Bible as one coherent story with the themes therein has been really illuminating and strengthening for my certainty of the truth of the gospel. The biblical themes module we’ve started has been really enjoyable, especially the theme of creation/new creation and how it’s present throughout the Old and New Testaments.


What does ministry look like day to day?
I’ve got a good variety of ages, stages and tasks day to day at Chalmers. 

  • I’m involved in our postgraduate and young workers small group network, where I do the admin work for it (weekly email and organisation of the weekend away) and help lead one of the groups itself when we meet to study the Bible together.
  • I coordinate the SU group at James Gillespie’s High School. We meet together and go through various parts of Scripture, this term going right through Mark.
  • On Sunday mornings, I’m part of our Sunday Club team, which caters for 5-11- year olds. The class I am with every week is made up of 9-11 year olds and taking them through Elijah and the Christmas story this term has been a challenge but a joy.


What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
How much I have to learn and how much we all need to rely on the Lord’s strength in ministry work of any type, full time or not.

The team ethos at Chalmers and the genuine sense of care for us and focus on our relationship with God.

Being given the chance to invest in people and reading the word with them.

Seeing school pupils at the SU group standing firm in their faith, asking and formulating their own answers for important questions.

Seeing God’s hand through all of the situations in which I’ve found myself.


What are you learning through mentoring?

Scott Hamilton (Minister in Training at Chalmers) is mentoring me this year. He’s been in my position before, and also mentored me last year when I worked with UCCF so he knows me well. This means mentoring has been really helpful and encouraging in terms of learning from Scott’s past experiences to learn what he feels I’m doing well and what I should be looking to improve. As with the rest of the programme, I’ve learned just how varied and difficult ministry and the day to day of it can be. 


What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?

At the moment I am uncertain. I feel like I’ll be doing teaching of some kind, either back in schools while serving at a local church or in further ministry work.


If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Ally, you can find all the information here.

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