A HILLFOOTS church is looking to reach out to the community by creating an approachable and welcoming environment.

Alva Parish Church has just launched a community café for people to drop-in, have a cuppa and a blether each week.

The café will be open each Tuesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Alva Parish Church Hall while people are also able to access services online.

The church is also introducing Michelle McAdoo as its probationary minister.

Hailing from Alloa, mother-of-three Michelle and family were members at Stirling North Parish Church, not long after she became Christian.

More recently, the family joined St Mungo's Parish Church in Alloa and she and husband Roger – a teacher at Alloa Academy – served as elders until she commenced her journey to ministry.

Michelle, whose family have again become members at the Stirling church while she completed her studies and placements, graduated at Edinburgh Castle at the end of this summer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree from New College in what was an "amazing way" to mark the end of her studies.

She said: "I spent my last placement with the joy filled Rev David Cameron at South Queensferry with Dalmeny and a fresh expression of church called Sanctuary which was online.

"I joined the church when worship was live recorded in church with just the tech crew and finished just as worship was re-opening for them.

"It has been such a challenging time to learn new skills of ministry in such changing circumstances but there have also been lots of opportunities to learn new ways of reaching out to people.

"We spent this summer in the Highlands again on work experience with the Kyle of Sutherland churches and the highlight was re-opening Croik church for worship again.

"We have been richly blessed by all our experiences in my training churches and are very much enjoying becoming part of the Alva Parish Church family too."

Indeed, Michelle has completed successful placements across Scotland, including in Callander and at Lochinver Parish Church, where she was the first woman to be allowed to preach, lead prayer and bible study.

After the pandemic struck, Michelle started to learn all things online whilst at placement at The Steeple in what was a challenging but fun period.

Highlights from Michelle's studies also include trips to learn about Luther in Wittenberg, Germany, and a trip to Rome.

Still to hopefully come is a postponed trip to Jerusalem in February.

Speaking on behalf of the family, including 20-year-old Lewis, 17-year-old Peter and eight-year-old Orla, Michelle added: "We welcome your ongoing prayers for us all as a family during my probationary period serving the parish of Alva."

Sunday service is on at 10.30am each week in Alva along with private prayer available each Tuesday and Thursday between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Visit alvaparishchurch.org for online services or call 01259 606 303 to listen to the week's sermon.