OBITUARY: Rev Catriona Anne Hood – ‘Gracious and gentle, funny and faithful’

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By Marilyn Shedden

Occasionally in life, if we are fortunate, we meet someone who makes a difference.

Catriona Hood made a difference in hundreds of lives, well more than 800, if the numbers at her funeral alone are anything to go by.

She touched people wherever she went and left a mark, making people feel valued.

Catriona was born in Campbeltown on September 4 1966, the second child to Cath and James Hood.

Educated at Castlehill Primary and Campbeltown Grammar School, she studied English and religious education at Aberdeen University, qualifying as a teacher in both subjects.

Her first school was Invergordon Academy after which she worked in Plockton High School.

Argyll called her home and she became head of English at Lochgilphead High School and subsequently depute head.

Catriona became head teacher at Tarbert Academy, and came full circle from one-time pupil to becoming the first female rector of Campbeltown Grammar School.

Catriona had a special gift when it came to dealing with young people. She respected them, cared for them and about them, and they knew this.

She had an outrageous sense of humour and enchanted many of us with her stories.

Gracious and gentle, kind and considerate, funny and faithful, enabler and encourager, Catriona made a difference.

She had a unique style of teaching, using her people skills to transform potentially difficult situations with reasoning and love.

Her other calling was to ministry in the kirk.

Catriona’s father was a Church of Scotland minister in Campbeltown, and she grew up in a Christian home.

In 2006, she was ordained as an auxiliary minister and devoted most of her spare time to pastoring and ministering in Kintyre.

People loved her and loved her gentle, unique ways.

She didn’t just guide people, she walked beside them on their journey.

Catriona responded to that call, that whisper of God that persisted in her life, and she became the first hub minister in Scotland, with six congregations in Kintyre and six on Islay and Jura.

She thrived on this opportunity and challenge and had a vision and a commitment that made this pioneering form of ministry work.

She was a real God spark. She ignited enthusiasm and challenge to lead people forward to embrace new ways to take the gospel into the community, while retaining with respect and affection the old ways that are precious to so many.

She fostered a genuine feeling of family in the kirk and people loved her for it.

She was there when people needed someone and was a God-send in so many ways.

Catriona was also a very gifted musician and doubled up as organist and preacher when there was a shortage of both.

Her last nine months as full-time hub minister brought Catriona great joy, especially when she saw her folk grow in faith and unity.

It was a dreadful shock when after a sudden and short illness Catriona’s health failed and she died in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on September 19.

She leaves behind so many who will miss her immensely along with her sister Mairi and family.

Occasionally in life, if we are fortunate, we meet someone who makes a difference.

We were indeed fortunate to have known and loved Catriona Hood.

Rev Catriona Hood. NO_c40catrionahood01