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Rev breaks tattoo taboo with new arm ink

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale
Rev breaks tattoo taboo with new arm ink

A LARGE tattoo now sits on the arm of an Annan minister — having fulfilled a fundraising pledge for his church.

Rev Alan McGougan, 54, had vowed he would get his first ever tattoo if £1000 was raised towards a kitchen overhaul and new sound system in his Annan United Reformed Church (URC) on Station Road, as part of a much bigger revamp.
And with that target easily reached, Rev McGougan said: “It was absolutely fine; I didn’t find it hurt at all.
“It was quite an enjoyable experience, actually.”
With the help of Annan tattooist Steve Irving, who donated his services free of charge to the church, Rev McGougan had a tattoo of the URC badge on his right arm.
The minister said: “I was quite nervous, to be honest.
“You hear stories that it’s painful. But I was assured when I got there that it wouldn’t be that painful, and I sat and chatted all the way through it.”
And noting the location of the tattoo can determine the amount of discomfort, with a laugh he added: “There’s enough padding for me on that part of my arm.”
Rev McGougan acknowledges that not everyone approves of tattoos.
But unveiling it for his congregation to show his pledge was complete, he said: “When I showed them on the Sunday I got a round of applause.”
Rev McGougan notes fundraising is still required to refurbish the kitchen in the church.
And as part of that a Scottish Night is being held in the church on Saturday February 6 from 7 pm— featuring the Borderers Strathspey Reel Society.
Also on the musical line-up are Rainbow Tribe and Spectrum, with tickets £5 in advance and on the door.
Ahead of the concert a Scottish meal featuring haggis will be available in the hall beforehand at 5 pm, also costing £5 and with tickets to be purchased from the church in advance.
Asked about the possibility of second tattoo, Rev McGougan said: “I’ll say at the moment it’s the one and only.
“You never know — one or two people have told me getting tattoos is addictive, and I can see why people would say that.”

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