Our Church Officer Revealed!

Meet Tommy Jardine – you need to be in the church early in the day to catch a glimpse of him!  He’s more than just someone with a box of tools and a repair kit by his side…

When asked to do a “short piece” for MaxWest Contact magazine I wasn’t quite sure what to write, but I thought it could be interesting to give an insight into my background, before revealing the inner secrets of the job of Church Officer!  I am an Auctioneer to trade, having run my own local business and before becoming involved with West Sound Radio for over 20 years.  As well as presenting the Breakfast Show, (with a 4.15 am rise), I was also the Charity Manager for “Cash for Kids”, raising money for under-privileged children across the region, and helping them raise £1million in the twenty years I was involved.  Oh… and I was also a qualified Estate Agent and President of the Institute of Advanced Motorists & Motor Cyclists in Dumfries & Galloway!

I live within a mile of the Church with my wife, Margaret and our two wee Westies, Hamish and Bonnie.  I’m a keen supporter of Guid Nychburris and I was honoured to be a Lynor to Cornet Maxwell in 1996 and Pursuivant in the Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright in 2006.  This did involve me buying a horse – a beautiful 16/2 Chestnut mare named Roxy!  And so, to the job!

On my first day it was an absolute delight to listen to the vast experience and knowledge of my mentor Bob Wilson – I very quickly realised that there is nothing that Bob doesn’t know about this wonderful Church.

I did notice though that nothing was written down – Bob kept a mental note of everything, including all the requirements of Groups attending the Church Halls!  I therefore set about compiling a comprehensive document detailing all the requirements, with everything from position of tables and chairs down to cups required for “Good Companions”.

The next job was to note all the “Operational” details from boilers down in the cellar to position of electric switch boxes etc.  This has now been incorporated into a “Church Officer’s Manual” and backed up digitally of course thus, should anything happen to me, the information can be easily referred to.

There is so much going on behind the scenes in the Church, involving a very dedicated group of people!  I am very passionate about the small part that I play in the day-to-day running of the place. This can be everything from my daily internal and external checks to make sure everything is safe and secure, to setting up for the growing number of Groups we now have.

As Covid tightened its grip over 18 months ago, I remember sadly, having to post the cancellations on the white board in the Main Hall.  But now, it is a delight to see a full board listing Badminton (Mon), Brownies (Tues), Guides & Rangers (Wed) and National Youth Choir of Scotland (Thu).  With additional Film Nights, Guild Meetings and the Loreburn Retirement Group, things are getting busier!

As previously mentioned, I’m a bit of an early riser, having been accustomed to that 4:15am rise, so you’ll find me in Church (Mon-Fri) usually from 7:30 – 9:30am.  If you’re passing, pop in and say, a socially distanced, “Hello!”

MaxWest Contact is published four times a year by the congregation of Maxwelltown West Church of Scotland, 5 Laurieknowe, Dumfries DG2 7AH – Issue No 44 – December 2021