A MOTORCYCLING minister is revving up for a prestigious new role.

The Reverend Jim Cowan, who has been minister at St Andrew’s Church, in Barrhead, since 2013, has been appointed Moderator of the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley for the coming year.

Originally from Kilmarnock, Mr Cowan said he is looking forward to his new challenge, even if he is starting office a little later than intended.

He explained: “I was asked to become Moderator around April time. I was delighted and honoured to be asked and said yes.

“It wasn’t until a little later that I realised I was supposed to take over the role in September and that clashed with a big biking trip I had planned.

“I had to go back and say ‘oops,’ essentially.

“Luckily, the Presbytery was very understanding and Anne McCool, whom I was taking over from, kindly agreed to stay on a little longer so I could start in October.”

Mr Cowan’s two-week break in America saw him travel to Las Vegas – also known as ‘Sin City’ – before tackling Death Valley, cruising along the stunning Pacific Coast and experiencing the sights of Joshua Tree National Park, in southern California.

It might not be the sort of holiday you would expect a minister to enjoy – but this revved-up reverend said it was a great trip.

He added: “That was the third trip my friends and I have taken in the US. We’ve also had a couple of trips across Europe, as well as several within the UK.

“We spent twelve days biking. I’m a seasoned rider though, so it didn’t take me too long to be able to recover and get back to work.”

Throughout his motorcycling adventures, Mr Cowan has been lucky enough to avoid any injuries but admits there were a couple of breakdowns in the desert, which he described as “an experience.”

Mr Cowan, who has two daughters and two granddaughters, with a third due around Christmas time, is expecting to meet a few familiar faces in his new role, having previously spent six years in Greenock.

He said: “In my role, I will be representing the Presbytery at various civic functions, including the upcoming remembrance services.

“I know these congregations to be very supportive and I look forward to spending the next year as Moderator.”