Gateshead vet appointed Church of Scotland's first veterinary minister

Credit: Church of Scotland

A Gateshead vet has become the Church of Scotland's first-ever dedicated minister for the veterinary community.

The Reverand Allan Wright was ordained at the Parish Church of St Andrew in Newcastle on Saturday.

The 33-year-old said: "I am excited and daunted about taking up this new role, a calling which enables me to combine both my passions.

"The profession needs a supportive ear, pastoral support, a wholistic approach tothe welfare of staff and a real anchor in someone.

"I understand the struggles and the pressure because I am a vet and I will be therefor all those who work in practices without judgement and agenda.

On top of his plan to visit all vet practices within 30 minutes of Newcastle, Rev Wright will also carry out pastoral support duties with the Kirk north of the border - all while keeping his own job as a vet.

The father of two is a working vet himself and has run a practice with his wife, Sharon, in Birtley, County Durham for the past 18 months.He said: "Veterinary medicine is a stressful, time consuming and mentally-draining occupation and is often an overlooked industry in society.

Rev Alistair Cumming, the Kirk's clerk to the Presbytery of England, said members appreciated vets face different pressures to other occupations, hence why Rev Wright's role was created.

He said: "The presbytery felt that there was a need for a ministry to get alongsidethat community, to offer an ear to listen and to provide spiritual support if they wanted it.

"The appointment of the pioneer ministry is very much an ecumenical one, working with vets from many different denominations."