A NEW church that was praised by politicians for strengthening community spirit in a deprived area of Glasgow has united its first couple.

George Hay and Linda Robertson tied the knot at Castlemilk Parish Church in front of friends and family.

And the wedding was made all the more poignant for the pair because Linda’s son Kevin, officially opened the new church in September last year.

The 12-year-old cut the ribbon for the merged congregations of Castlemilk East and West churches.

Kevin also played an important role at the wedding, giving his mother away at the alter. The community rallied round to make sure the couple’s day went without a hitch.

Church staff, led by Sharon Murphy, put together the buffet for guests and members of the congregation helped prepare the building and outfits for the wedding.

Finally, church elder Irene Gibson had one of the most important tasks, baking a spectacular wedding cake adorned with love hearts and pink roses.

Mrs Hay, said: “It was a fantastic, breathtaking day.

“The effort people put into making our day special meant the world to us.”

The happy couple were married by Castlemilk Parish Church minister, Rev Sarah Brown.

She said: “It was a wonderful privilege to celebrate Linda and Geo’s commitment to one another.

“Their wedding was a great excuse for the community to come together and be part of something beautiful.

“I am inspired by the love and generosity that everyone has for the newly married couple and their family – a day I will never forget because everyone made it so special.”

Castlemilk Parish Church was praised by Scottish Government Secretary for Communities, Angela Constance, who visited in January.

She said the church’s Community Meals Project was a great example of how locals can come together and make the lives of the those less fortunate better.

The initiative provides a local response through community meals and social activities twice a month for local people to help address food poverty and alleviate social isolation.

People are allowed to pay what they can afford by donation or giving of their own time and talent as their method of payment.

Mrs Brown was assisted at the wedding by Isabella Fagiani who is spending a year in Castlemilk as a Young Adult Volunteer – a joint initiative between the Priority Areas Committee and Presbyterian Church USA.