THE Whiteinch-born first woman minister appointed to parish in Scotland has died.

Rev Effie Irvine made history when she was ordained to Campsie Trinity with Milton of Campsie on June 1, 1972. She passed away on February 1.

Mrs Irvine’s parents were members of Jordanvale Parish Church and she initially became a housewife for 16 years before becoming a religious studies teacher.

A year into her course at Glasgow University, the Church of Scotland decided to admit women as ministers.

After serving as an assistant at Renfield Church, she was called to her first parish, but later admitted: “I actually turned them down four times before accepting the position. I was a townie and didn’t want to go to the country.”

Mrs Irvine retired in 1988 and published her autobiography, A Journey of Faith, in 2003.

Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev Derek Browning, said: “In 1972 Effie Irvine became the first female minister ordained into a parish when she became minister of Campsie Trinity Church and Milton of Campsie Parish Church.

“She overcame in very short time the initial controversy that surrounded her appointment by going on to win people over by being an excellent minister to her community and gave tremendous support to the people in her parish. She was so well loved that Irvine Gardens in her parish was named after her.

“This year we celebrate 50 years of women being ordained to ministry in the Church of Scotland. Effie was one of the pioneers, and blazed a trail for women to serve the Church in this way.”