Grant Bell called home
Following a very short illness Rev. Grant Bell, a much-loved minister who served in both the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland died recently in Inverness. His funeral service was held in Dornoch last Saturday.
Rev. Grant Bell at Culbokie send off
Many have paid their tributes to a popular Highland minister who died a week ago following a very short illness.
The Rev Grant Bell retired last year from the parishes of Resolis and Urquhart (Culbokie and area) but remained active up until very recently when he did a locum stint at Wick's Pulteneytown Parish Church.
Grant (67) who retired last year from the parishes of Resolis and Urquhart (Culbokie and area), passed away in the Highland Hospice in Inverness. Born and bred in Dornoch, he was ordained into the Free Church in 1983 after a long spell working on Christian mission work overseas with Operation Mobilisation. It was while working on the OM ship Logos that Grant met his wife Trish.
He was minister in Castletown and Killearnan, on the Black Isle, before leaving to join the Church of Scotland in 1998 and moving then to the parishes of Bower and Watten in Caithness. He returned to the Black Isle in 2002 to take up his last charge in the parishes around Culbokie where he had worked alongside his congregation in the purchase of the old primary school in Culbokie. The building is now being made ready for its new use as a church.
During his time at Culbokie Grant, along with Tommie Mackay (CYC/YMCA) was instrumental in extending an invitation to Luis Palua and his team to run an outreach in the Highlands. The 'Highland Festival' ran over the summer of 2009.
Grant Bell (5th from right) with others involved in the invitation to Luis Palau
Grant retired in October 2010 to live in Muir of Ord with his wife Trish; and the couple and their family enjoyed a very happy 'send off' in the Culbokie village hall last November.
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Following his retiral the popular minister responded to a call to serve a six-month spell as locum minister at Pulteneytown. The congregation and his many friends were shocked ot learn of his terminal illness and death.
Church treasurer Kenny Sinclair said: "He seemed to really enjoy his time with us and told me that it was the best ministry he had had. Grant was very popular, had a great way with the kids and had a rare sense of humour.”
His funeral was held in a packed Dornoch Free Church followed by an interment at Proncynain cemetery. It was according to Peter Whiles, one of the Culbokie congregation one of great uplift amidst the time of sorrow.
Grant is survived by his wife Trish, daughters Sarah and Alison, son David and three grandchildren, as well as his mother, Jessie, and brother David.