Rev. Sally Russell B.Th. M.Th (2006- 2020 )
Sally was born July 23rd, 1960 in Sidcup Kent and christened Sally Frew Denham. Her father and Mother, Tom and Peggy were in the Army. On leaving the army Tom was ordained a Church of England priest.
She excelled in the Girl Guides and was an accomplished horsewoman. After school she trained as a nurse in St. Mary’s Sidcup. She married the Rev, Simon Marsh with whom she had three children.
Her Church career began at this time and she was ordained a lay reader, gaining a part time degree at Oxford university.
Following her divorce she and her children joined her father who had retired to Scotland, living in Castle-Douglas. She worked then in Castle-Douglas hospital before finally working in DGRI operating theatres
After 25 years in her nursing career she felt called to the ministry. Following her Theology degree at Edinburgh University, she trained in the Dumfries Presbytery, spending her probationary period at St George’s in Dumfries.
She was ordained on 16th January 2006 into Corsock and Kirkpatrick-Durham, linked with Crossmichael, Parton and later Balmaghie. Sally served on National Councils and Committees and was a member of the Ecumenical Relations Committee. She also joined ‘A Place for Hope’ as an advisor in reconciliation and mediation. Sally was a National Assessor, Mentor and Student Supervisor.
She served in Presbytery as Convener of various committees and was an interim Moderator. Representing the Church on a trip to Nigeria and the Presbytery on a trip to Hungary building on relationships with Presbytery’s Twinning with the Presbytery of Debrecen were highlights in her time with us
Young people were a priority in her Ministry, so the SUPA [Scripture Union Primary Age.] club at Springholm School was founded, supported by a group of church members. They met weekly and for a week of fellowship and fun in the summer holidays
Of course she had her critics, most, possibly unaware of the real difficulty of serving two linked congregations, themselves the products of uniting other churches. Latterly her work was further complicated by her additional duties at Maxwelltown West.
She was a talented amateur musician: the proud owner of a grand piano on which she was practising and perfecting a Mozart Sonata. She played the guitar and used to sing and play at church Baptisms. As an oboeist she played with the Stewartry Wind band at home and toured abroad. She was a highly regarded player with the Vintage Ensemble and was looking forward to performing in Bach’s Oboe and Violin concerto in C minor at Kelton Church. This was cancelled because of lockdown. Meeting at rehearsals weekly in her church at KPD during their coffee breaks she could happily join any discussion on a wide range of issues in a light-hearted or serious way, often provoking much laughter. For relaxation she followed Formula 1 racing and read and watched the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Her marriage to Allister in 2011 brought her much happiness and she shared his interests in rearing sheep and country pursuits.
Sally is also survived by her children David, Rachel, and Ruth from her former marriage. 8 grandchildren and elder brother Simon.
We will all have our many memories of her: a calm and reassuring presence in the operating theatre; playing energetically in the mixed Hockey team match at the 50th anniversary of the NHS: appearing memorably as Lulu in a St. Georges Church Concert and giving a moving performance of Gabriel’s Oboe by Morricone at her first Kirkpatrick-Durham Vintage Ensemble Concert.
Her favourite hymn was “Breathe on me breath of God” to the tune Trentham,
The final verse seems apt
Breathe on me breath of God
So shall I never die
But live with thee the perfect life
Through all eternity.