THE first ever female elder to become Moderator of the Presbytery of Melrose and Peebles has been appointed.

Dr Fiona Burnett took up her position within the Church of Scotland this week.

Fiona, who hails from Banff, came to live in Broughton when she was seven.

With an academic background in agricultural science, she has travelled around the world for both work and her faith.

Fiona spent nine years in Zambia which gave her invaluable experience in both her academic field and also in the life of the Church, regularly taking services in rural communities.

She also met her future husband in Africa, Neil Robinson.

And the couple have lived happily back in Scotland since 1997.

For 20 years they ran a computer training centre and guest house in Broughton.

Within the Church, Fiona became involved with the World Mission Council, becoming one of two Vice Convenors and chairing the Africa Committee.

She then joined the local Worship Workshop at Broughton and has led worship regularly within the charge of Upper Tweeddale.

In 2016, she became Convenor of Presbytery’s World Mission Committee.

Over the last year Fiona has been heavily involved in organising the visits of young persons from Malawi and Lebanon to the Presbytery and took part in the recent visit organised by Earlston Church to Lebanon.

The Rev Marion Dodd told us: "Refreshingly open, and with a positive attitude regarding the Church, Fiona hopes in her year in office as Moderator of Presbytery to be able to encourage congregations, and get further down the road with a Presbytery plan that people can buy into."