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Kirk Session

The kirk session oversees the local congregation and its parish, and consist of elders presided over by a minister. At the moment we are in an interregnum. The elders are:

  • Elsie Dennison (Session Clerk)
  • Ian Cooper  (Treasurer)
  • Arna Cooper
  • Jim Cooper
  • Raymond Dennison (Church Officer)
  • Viv Erdman
  • Shirley Whiteman

Here are details of some of our elders

Ian Cooper
I’ve lived all my life on Stronsay, spending my first sixty plus years in the house where I was born. I like to tell folk that I then got itchy feet so moved into a new house 100 yards up the road!  I’m married to Arna and have two daughters, two sons-in-law and 4 grandchildren all living in the Glasgow area. I’ve been a farmer (beef cattle) all my life until retiring from the farm recently. My hobbies include DIY, photography, reading or watching a good film or drama on TV. I’m the Church Treasurer and quite enjoy doing this as I’m one of those sad people who actually likes working with figures.

Arna Cooper
I’m a lifelong Stronsay lass, married to Ian (church treasurer) and by a strange coincidence I also have two daughters, two sons-in-law and 4 grandchildren living in the Glasgow area! I’ve been cook at the local school for the past 23 years and am
due to retire on 4th July (yes – Independence Day!) I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with family and hobbies, which include quilting, sewing, gardening or relaxing with a good book. I’m also a member of the island’s Community Association and like to help out with their activities and other local events. 

Elsie Dennison
I was born in Stronsay and, apart from having to move away for further education, have lived here all my life. I'm married to Pato and we have a son, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law and 3 grandchildren. My working life was spent as a primary teacher at the local school. As well as being Session Clerk I'm involved in various committees on the island. For relaxation I like to read, watch TV or listen to (mainly country) music.

Raymond Dennison
I have lived all my life in Stronsay have a family of four who live in Stronsay, Shetland, and Aberdeen. I also have eight grandchildren, 3 great-grandaughters and 1 great-grandson. I am an Elder, the Church officer and ring the church bell on Sunday mornings. My hobbies since retiring are gardening and fishing.

Viv Erdman
My name is Viv, I am married to Mike and we have eight children. Beth, Barnaby, Isaac and Amos live and work in Norwich. Jacob is in Cornwall, Abigail and Verity live in Edinburgh. The youngest, Jude, is still at school. We have one grandson, Asher.
We moved to Stronsay from Cornwall several years ago and bought the village shop. I love the island, the job and the lifestyle and most of all I love the people. I don’t have a special role in the church, but I know that God has called me to love and care for the people that I meet every day in the shop.
In my spare time I love to get outside. I keep chickens and have a polytunnel and small veggie garden, where I escape to whenever I can.My name is Viv Erdman.

Jim Cooper
I am a retired farmer and I am married to Geira. I have lived on Stronsay all my life. We have a grown-up daughter who lives on Westray & a son who farms on Stronsay. We also have 3 grand-children and 2 great-children. My main hobby is gardening.

Shirley Whiteman
I moved to Stronsay in 2012 with my partner, Andy, and two small children. I also have 2 grown-up sons living in England. I am the senior nurse on the island and Andy is one of the posties. Our children attend the island school. I was an elder in the URC in England and my membership & eldership was transferred to here. My hobbies are keeping chickens, knitting, cross-stitch, reading & puzzles. 

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