Rev. Prof. Duncan B. Forrester (10 November 1933 – 29 November 2016)
Forrester died on 29th November 2016. Born Duncan Baillie Forrester, he grew
up in St Andrews, the youngest of five siblings, where his father, Professor
William Forrester held the chair of practical theology and Christian ethics.
His mother, Isobel McColl, was a noted ecumenist within the national Kirk.
Educated in politics and theology in St Andrews, Chicago, and Edinburgh, Duncan proceeded to chart his own course, by combining a commitment to social justice with a strong ecumenical theology. These influences endured through a distinguished career in India, Sussex and Edinburgh.
At Madras Christian College from 1962, he taught politics and was ordained in the Church of South India. During this time, he married Margaret McDonald, who shared his lifelong concern for the local and international church. They returned to this country in 1970 when he served as chaplain and lecturer in the School of African and Asian Studies at Sussex University.
There followed a most distinguished career in New College Edinburgh and the national church, which is well documented elsewhere:
C of S Obituary
Life & Work Tribute
Mrs Marjorie McVicar (23 Feb.1938 - 3 Feb.2015)
McVicar died on 14 December 2014. Marjorie and her husband Neil served in India
from 1954-1970 and Bangladesh from 1982-1989 when Neil served as Regional Secretary
for Asia. Neil died in 2004.
Marjorie was the daughter of Cecil and Violet Woodyatt, who served with BMS in Jamaica from 1947-1963. She was appointed in 1954 to work overseas with BMS, whilst engaged to Neil. They were married in July 1955 and then travelled to Calcutta, where Neil worked as Finance Secretary and Administration Secretary. During these years Iain was born in India and Fiona in Scotland when on their first home assignment. The family returned to the UK in 1969 and Neil served as minister of Dronfield Baptist Church near Sheffield. In 1982 Neil was appointed as regional representative for Asia and he and Marjorie travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh where they worked until 1988 when they returned to the UK for their retirement. During the following years Marjorie worked with various BMS Women's groups, Mission Matters Teams and Ministers' Wives' Fellowship, including being president of the Scottish Baptist Women's Fellowship for a year. In 1991 Neil set up the Former Missionaries Association (FMA) and in 2008 Marjorie became correspondent to the FMA up until a couple of years ago when she became unwell. In late September this year Marjorie moved away from Lesmahagow to live in a care home near Iain and Helen in Nottingham. Although she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's 18 months before, her sudden and rapid deterioration in health over the last couple of months was due to cancer.
The cremation service was at the Newstead Chapel, Mansfield Crematorium, Derby Road, Mansfield on Monday 5th January 2015.. A thanksgiving service was held at Auchlochan Garden Village, Lesmahagow on Friday 10 April 2015.
We give thanks to God for Marjorie's life and pray that the Lord will comfort Iain and his wife Helen, Fiona and her husband Stuart and their families.
Rev Murdoch MacKenzie (23 Feb.1938 - 3 Feb.2015)
who has died in Edinburgh from leukaemia aged 76, was a global person, at home
in many different cultures. An ordained minister in the United Reformed Church,
his was a prophetic and wise voice within the British ecumenical movement, and
in the Church of South India where he worked for several years.
Throughout his life he worked alongside those who knew poverty and oppression first-hand. Both in church and society here and overseas, he championed global justice, nuclear disarmament, and for an understanding of the Christian faith which took seriously the modern world in its plurality and uncertainty.
From a young age he sought to follow Christ, but it was not some comfortable Christianity that he embraced. It was a faith in God which actually involves sacrificial living on a daily basis and which is grounded in a disciplined prayer life.
This hinterland of a deep personal faith propelled him to fight for a fairer world at many levels and to fearlessly confront situations where truth was absent. He valued the technological age but also spoke out about the bland options that are markers of affluent societies.
He understood human frailty and the fears which confront us, while at the same time tenderly reminding people that in reaching out to others we discover new depths in ourselves. He believed passionately that God matters, that the world matters and that we matter to God, and that we all share a common heartbeat.
Murdoch MacKenzie was born in Glasgow in 1938 and ten years later the family moved to Birkenhead. Along with his younger brother Kenneth, who later had a distinguished career in the ?Scottish Office, he cherished his Highland roots in Skye and Torridon. Following national service with the RAF he went up to Oxford and later studied divinity at Edinburgh, after which he took a course in Marxism at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Shortly after leaving Edinburgh University in 1965 he became a member of the Iona Community and retained this membership until the time of his death.
In 1966, along with Anne whom he had married two years previously, he went as a missionary of the Church of Scotland to the diocese of Madras (now Chennai) in the united Church of South India. The MacKenzies remained in Madras for the next 12 years, working alongside Bishop Lesslie Newbigin – the last British bishop in that large diocese and a leading figure in the world church.
With his fluent Tamil and boundless energy Murdoch became a major figure within the CSI, always recognising that it was the poor and the marginalised who could teach him much about God and life in general. His ministry in India, supported by Anne, was in many ways unique.
With Indian colleagues he established a range of innovative projects alongside the poor in Madras and in rural Tamil Nadu. Some of these have today developed into important non-governmental organisations.
His preaching was valued in both poor and richer parishes, and at St Andrew’s Church in central Madras his ministry which connected vibrant worship with commitment to society, influenced all of the church in South India.
The years in India were followed by ministries in a Church of Scotland parish in Glenrothes, and in a local ecumenical parish in Runcorn. In Runcorn he valued working ecumenically and also the challenges of a new town in which people often felt rootless.
With his colleagues he enabled the church to become a focus of community for folk of all ages. In 1988 he was called to Carrs Lane Church in central Birmingham. There, in a multi-cultural situation, he was able to exercise a far-reaching ecumenical ministry. This led to important links with those of other faiths, especially with the worshippers at the Central Mosque during the break-up of Yugoslavia. Within the church he encouraged those who were exploring issues of belief to share their questions and doubts.
By this time Murdoch was widely recognised as a visionary leader in the United Reformed Church and within the British ecumenical movement; eight years after going to Birmingham he was appointed Ecumenical Moderator in Milton Keynes.
As Moderator from 1996-2003 he was responsible for the pastoral care of the clergy of all denominations, embracing a hundred churches, some of which dated from the 13th century and others brand new.
His creative leadership brought new dimensions to the partnership between Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, URC and Independent churches. Alongside this was his passionate commitment to interfaith relationships and in networking with civic and political leaders. Given the conflicts of our time he recognised that such bridge-building was essential for a healthy community.
After retiral from Milton Keynes, the MacKenzies moved to Connel in Argyll. This enabled Murdoch to be much more involved with the extensive work of the Iona Community on the island of Iona, with the ministry of local churches, and with strengthening the outreach of Fairtrade in the area.
His international and ecumenical commitments and connections continued unabated, and almost until the day of his death his advice and deep compassion for others was a source of inspiration to people across the world.
Eighteen months ago Murdoch and Anne moved to Edinburgh to be nearer their family. Soon he was facing major health problems and in time knew his illness was terminal. The way in which he faced up to this situation was truly inspiring, and the many people who visited him during this time were delighted that his mind was as engaged as ever.
Right to the end he was global in his outlook and concerned for those on the margins. In his death the British churches have lost both a wise and a visionary leader and a humble, loving man of God.
Murdoch is survived by Anne, daughters Ruth and Catriona, son Iain, two grandchildren and his brother Kenneth.
( Reproduced from Rev. Dr. Peter Millar's Obituary in 'The Scotsman' with permission)
.You can also access a sound recording of the Memorial Service at http://www.murdochmackenzieofargyll.com/
Bishop Kenneth GILL (died Feb.16 2013, aged 80 yrs.)
born and brought up in Yorkshire, and he worked in Newcastle and retired to
Scotland but his heart was in India.
In the better years of his retirement he would sit in his favourite chair in the conservatory, pipe in hand but in his mind he was miles away and you only had to mention India to see him become animated.
He went to South India as a Methodist minister, together with Edna in 1957 and began life in Bangalore, the capital of what was then the state of Mysore, later to be known as Karnataka. He was ordained into the Church of South India which is a united Church comprising Anglican, Methodist, Reformed and Presbyterian traditions. It was significant that on arrival he was ordained deacon at St Marks Cathedral, Anglican, and Presbyter at St Andrews Church of a Church of Scotland tradition.
Their first task was to learn the main local language which was Kanarese and this they did and before too long he could converse with local people and lead services in the language.
After four months they were then transferred to Hassan, 120 miles west of Bangalore where he had responsibility not only for the town but also for a wide, very pleasant rural area bordering the coffee plantations of Coorg. There they lived in a large but antiquated bungalow with few modern amenities, bath water had to be heated over a wood fire outside the house and then carried inside in containers, and cooking was largely done over a kerosene stove. During their time in Hassan Paul, Kathryn and Lynda were all born.
In 1957 they were transferred from Hassan to Tumkur, a district headquarters town some 40 miles north of Bangalore and here Kenneth assumed responsibility for not only churches but also a boys boarding home, a farm, and a workshop which produced quality furniture. It also had its own small theological college. I always think that for Kenneth this was his ideal life and I think that much of him would have liked to have spent his retirement years there.
In 1972 the very large Mysore Diocese was split into three and Kenneth was elected to be the Bishop of what was then known as the Karnataka Central diocese based on Bangalore. Being convinced that it was important that Indian nationals provide leadership for the church, he announced that he would only serve for a five year term, but at the end of the five years by popular acclaim he was asked to stay on for a further two and a half years.
During his time as Bishop the church grew in numbers, new churches were built, many new social institutions came into being and the city of Bangalore experienced enormous population growth and rapid expansion including the massive new cricket stadium across the road from St Marks Cathedral where I remember sitting with Kenneth to watch India beat England, captained by Tony Greig, in 1977.
When Kenneth became Bishop the diocese had not only many churches but also large schools, hospitals, boarding homes, clinics and evangelistic and social outreach programmes, and also the United Theological College, the largest of its kind in Asia. Kenneth was the right person to have this responsibility as he had the practical organisational skills needed to manage what were often very complex and difficult situations.
Looking back over his years as Bishop I can see the following qualities. He was a fine organiser, he knew the constitution inside out and he knew how to chair a meeting well. He always said that he was reluctant to take votes but instead always tried to look for a consensus. His colleagues have said he administered with a human touch. He encouraged his presbyters, especially the younger ones and several eventually reached key senior positions in the Church of South India. On Tuesday I received an email from Bishop Vasantha Kumar and Bishop P J Lawrence and their families and they speak of his care and support in their ministry and the way in which he inspired them to see their ministries in terms of evangelism and social justice. He pioneered women's ministry in the diocese, often against opposition from traditionalists and he was proud of those who came forward for ordination. There was one service where a candidate for ordination had been barred because someone had taken out a legal stay order against her, and spotting her in the congregation he called her forward and gave her a blessing, and then ordained her at a later date. He worked to make provision for housing and pensions for retired presbyters who often had to end their days in impoverished circumstances. He worked to support many social outreach programmes that aimed to get alongside the poorest of the poor and one good example was the training programme for leaders of children's crèches which were situated in slums where Edna played the leading role.
Perhaps his greatest contribution was the way in which he held the diocese together in the face of much potential disharmony. All churches have their ecclesiastical politics and in India it is so often open and aggressive and very nasty with people rushing to litigation over the slightest difference. Kenneth had to deal with a diocese in which there were fundamental splits between Tamil speaking and Kanarese speaking Christians, each wanting power and there were also the subtle differences which are part of the complex and intricate Indian caste system. He suffered many unpleasant personal attacks, there were threats against him and his family; on one occasion he was prevented from coming back to England with his family for Christmas because he had to attend a court case. But somehow he managed to face all this and to remain impartial and in the end many of his enemies became friends.
Over the years in India he acquired many skills. He learned to plan and design and build new properties. He discovered how to do accounts and make the books balance. He learned a lot about farming and animal husbandry. He could take a car engine to pieces and put it together again - a valuable skill in India where breakdowns miles away from anywhere were very common. On one occasion he was called to a village where a wild panther was causing fear and disruption and with a rather antiquated shot gun he managed to dispatch it. He wrote histories of the Tumkur Institution and also the definitive history of the diocese from its earliest days and partly because of these and other publications, he was awarded a Lambeth Honorary Masters Degree and on his final visit to India an honorary degree of Doctorate of Divinity by the University of Serampore.
And so we could go on. His little autobiography was entitled "A multi-faceted ministry" and what I have said shows some of these facets. There is much more I could say but I have been strictly told not to go over 10 minutes, but let me end with one more example of the warm hospitality that Ken and Edna offered to hundreds of different people from India and other countries in the Bishops House and, if you have never experienced Ednas cooking, especially her Indian food, you don't know what you have missed. So Kenneth, the Methodist Minister, Kenneth the missionary, Kenneth the bishop but above all Kenneth the man, this is who we will remember and thank God for.
Isobel DUNCAN (1930 - 25/10/13)
who died on 25 October last year aged 83, had strong links with South Asia throughout
Isabel was born in 1930 in Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where her father worked as a scientist at the Tea Research Institute of Ceylon; and went to Adelaide in Australia for most of her secondary schooling because of the outbreak of the Second World War. After university in England, she worked as a travelling secretary for the Student Christian Movement, based in London. It was there that she met her husand-to-be, Malcolm Duncan, who was international students' secretary for SCM at the time. Malcolm had sensed a call from God to work in a Muslim context and, when they married in 1956, they new they were heading for a life as Church of Scotland missionaries.
Originally, they thought they were destined for Aden but, in the event, they ended up going to Pakistan in 1957. Malcolm was ordained as a minister of what later became the Church of Pakistan - I believe he was the first white man to be ordained by that church rather than being ordained by his sending church before coming as a missionary. This underlined Malcolm and Isabel's commitment to being servants of the Pakistani church. They worked in the Punjab, primarily in Gujrat and Sialkot. In the latter place, both lectured in the local Scots-founded Murray College, with Isabel teaching English to female students.
In 1961, Malcolm developed jaundice and fell into a coma - he narrowly escaped death but was spared though earnest prayer across the missionary community in Pakistan and abroad. Tragically, he drowned on a family holiday on his beloved Iona in 1967. Despite this trauma, she went on to lead a full and active life after Malcolm's death. She immediately returned to Pakistan for several years - in retrospect, among her happiest years despite her bereavement - working as the Boarding Administrator in a school for the children of missionaries, Murree Christian School.
In 1970, she came to Edinburgh with 3 young children - Graham, Alan and Jan - and established a life for herself and her family. She worked as a social worker, pioneering work on innovative forms of supported accommodation for older people. For a while, she was on the Board of Kirk Care Housing. It was her sense of justice and compassion which got her fighting for better standards in private hostels and care homes around Edinburgh - a cause which saw her lobbying, and working with, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (her local MP at the time) and a young backbench MP called Gordon Brown.
She was heavily involved in her local parish church in Davidson's Mains, encouraging a particular focus on prayer. She established and led a youth fellowship there, influencing many young people for good. For a period, she was also the prayer co-ordinator for the Presbytery of Edinburgh.
She developed a keen interest in hillwalking and conquered over 50 Munros, making many friends along the way. In 1997, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, ironic given her previous work with Scottish Action on Dementia. In 2001, she moved into Strachan House - a local care home - where she remained until her death.
Isabel had initially gone to Pakistan with many reservations - drawn there by her husband's strong sense of calling. But it became a very precious part of her life, resulting in some of her closest and longest-standing friendships; and she had a steady flow of visitors from Pakistan days throughout her latter decades in Edinburgh. She prayed and supported those who continued to work there; and influenced others to go to Pakistan and other parts of Asia, to work and to serve the Lord who was her centre and her rock.
Ishbel MACLELLAN (1940 - 2013)
Maclellan, known to us as Ishbel, was born 72 years ago in Glasgow on 3rd June
1940. She had her roots in both the east and west coast. Her father John belonged
to North Uist and moved to Glasgow in 1920 after the first world war where he
was a police inspector. He was very much a highlander. The family kept the croft
on North Uist and John was president on the Highlanders Institute in Glasgow.
Ishbel's east coast connection came through her grandmother on her mother's side. She was a Flett from Findochty and her mother, Isabella Henderson, was born in Findochty although she was brought up in Mallaig.
From an early age Ishbel's parents thought that she would go into Christian work because when Ishbel was 10 they bought a new piano and Ishbel scratched "Bible" on it. That piano stands in her house today, still with its inscription on it.
She was a member of St. Columba's Church of Scotland in St Vincent Street, Glasgow where she was very involved as a Sunday School teacher, Youth Fellowship president, Guide Captain, and Youth Club leader.
Ishbel attended Hillhead High School, and then the Scottish College of Commerce.
Her first job was 4 years with BBC Scotland where she attached to various departments in radio and television. She gained a wide experience in current affairs, drama, schools, light entertainment and religious broadcasting.
All this stood her in good stead for the work she subsequently did as a missionary, for that is what she really wanted to do. And so during this time she studied the Old and New Testament as a part-time student of Trinity College, Glasgow.
She then had the opportunity to study full-time and went on to Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh where she did Youth and Community Education studies, including a Christian Education course. She then did a two year course at St Colm's, Edinburgh which qualified her as a deaconess. She also studied overseas mission and India and Africa studies and did practical work in church placements.
On 20th June 1965 her hard work came to fruition and she was commissioned as a missionary by the Presbytery of Glasgow.
And so she set out for India. She spent two years studying Hindi and Urdu and working with the Christian Association for Radio and Audio-Visual Service at Jabalpur. She then moved to Madras (now Chennai) in South India, again working in radio broadcasting. Over the five years she spent there she produced and presented religious programs in English which were transmitted to the whole of India. She also trained local staff, several of whom went on to work for All India Radio.
During this time Ishbel was invited to spend some time as a guest tutor at the All Africa Council of Churches Training Centre in Nairobe, Kenya. She also held seminars for priests and nuns in Rome through contacts made with senior Jesuits whom she had met at the Hyderabad conference in 1968.
Not only was Ishbel involved in radio work, she was also involved in a social work project in the slums of Madras, in drama with university students and she organised discussion groups for young people of different faiths.
Ishbel was so good at her work of training others that in 1973 she was able to hand over to two Indian nationals. This was at a time when India was no longer allowing foreign missionaries to work there and Ishbel was the last of the foreign national staff to leave the radio work in India.
And so began a new chapter in Ishbel's life. She spent the next 3 years in Ethiopia working with Radio Voice of the Gospel in Addis Adaba. From this base programmes went out around the clock to over a third of the world's population in many languages. Ishbel worked with a team of presenters, producing a wide variety of short-wave services to Africa. Some of those programmes were "God is Among Us", a Sunday religious programme. Also "Family Magazine", "Saturday Night at Home", and "Stop and Think". She also wrote and produced drama for radio and shared in the responsibility of training staff.
While in Ethiopia Ishbel took ill with a viral infection which attacked her heart and she had to come home to the Hammersmith Hospital for treatment. It was 10 months before she was well enough to return, but by then the Marxist revolution had spread over Ethiopia, the Marxist government had taken over the radio station and she was unable to go back.
This was a disappointment to Ishbel, but it did not stop her. She spent 4 months as Deputy Warden of Iona Abbey and also undertook free-lance broadcasting work.
In 1977 she went to Geneva, Switzerland, working for the World Council of Churches as head of the Radio and TV section of the Department of Communication. Again she was producing radio programmes and in addition organized conferences in many different countries. Subjects included "Faith, Science and the Future" and "The Community of Women and Men in the Church".
In 1980 she was invited to spend a year in Holland producing and presenting programmes to combat racism. These programmes went out to several countries in Asia, the Philippines and Africa.
Ishbel returned to Scotland in 1981 and worked with Moray Firth Community Radio Association in Inverness. There she was employed as a Development Officer, responsible for setting up branches from Wick to Macduff, fundraising, the purchase of equipment, training volunteers, editing and producing material for broadcast and liaising with other bodies. While there she set up the Moray Firth Radio Christian Council which represented 10 denominations
After a year the funding for her job ran out so she did free-lance work for the BBC and ran training days for organisations such as the Citizen's Advice Bureay and the Free Church.
The in 1985 she began 6 years working with Save the Children. This was when she moved to Burnside, Muir of Fowlis. She travelled widely as Area Manager for Highland and Grampian regions and the Northern and Western Isles. She was part of the Fundraising Department, responsible for recruiting and managing volunteers in a branch system, training the volunteers, communicating with schools and churches, public speaking, organising area conferences and assisting in the organisation of large events such as royal visits.
Ishbel retired from Save the Children in 2001 but continued her work for the Lord in both the local community and abroad.
(Tribute submitted by Rosemary Legge )
Rev. Hugh DRUMMOND (1925 - 2012)
Dec. 2012, aged 87 yrs.
'REFLECTION' by Rev. Murdoch MacKenzie, given at Thanksgiving Service on 31st December 2012.
Micah 6:8 “No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this:to do what is just, to show constant love, and to walk humbly with our God."
We are gathered here today to give thanks to God for the life of Hugh Drummond for all that he means, and will continue to mean, to each one of us here.
And there is so much for which we can give thanks to God in Hugh’s life as we reflect on the passage which he chose for this service. Micah chapter 6 and verse 8. It is what is now called the Micah Challenge, being headed up by Joel Edwards, with the great vision of a world free from extreme poverty, with the aim of a global movement, encouraging people to be committed, really committed, to the poor, and to hold governments accountable to their pledge to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals, to the vision of the Prophet Isaiah and the Prophet Micah as we have just sung: ‘to ploughshares men shall beat their swords, to pruning hooks their spears.’
No wonder Hugh chose these words. Here was a man who didn’t just stand with a placard but went out and did things. He didn’t just talk the talk. He walked the walk. Although he did stand with many a placard, whether it was at Faslane, or with the Morningside Justice and Peace Group, with SCANA Scottish Clergy Against Nuclear Arms of which he was on the Committee, and CND the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, or the Anti-Apartheid Movement, or a just solution for Israel and Palestine, or on the Committee of the United Nations Association in Edinburgh. Hugh was indefatigable and when it came to distributing pamphlets and addressing envelopes he was second to none. And it isn’t by coincidence that our offering today is for Amnesty International.
Having said all this, he was essentially quite a quiet man. He was like the old owl who lived in an old oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. But when he did speak it was to some purpose. As someone said to me he was not flashy at all, well that was an understatement if ever there was one, modest and unassuming, a quiet man in whom still waters ran deep. Above all he was a very devoted Minister of the Gospel, deeply immersed in the Presbyterian tradition, with a wisdom and a concern for people which I first encountered in 1978 when he was in Thornton and I was in a neighbouring parish in Glenrothes. Having just spent twelve years in India I was in need of some TLC, from someone who both understood India and who could enable me to come to terms with the culture shock of the very different environment here in Scotland. Hugh, who had been born and baptised in Rajputana in India, came to my rescue and we remained firm friends ever since. Both he and May have always been a great source of inspiration and support to Anne and myself. But where did Hugh get all this from?
More recently in my role as secretary of the Fellowship of St Thomas both Hugh and Rhoda have helped me along and I realised that behind Hugh’s family there is a great tradition of missionary work both in India and here in Scotland. His great grandfather, Robert Skiell Drummond,was Moderator of the United Presbyterian Church in 1899 just before the Union with the Free Church; and his grandfather, Robert James Drummond, who was Minister of Lothian Road Church in Edinburgh from 1890 – 1951, Moderator of the UF General Assembly in 1918 and active in the great union of 1929.
In 1915 his mother, Helen Mary Collier, was working as a missionary teacher at Nasirabad and in 1923 met his father John Whitehorn Drummond, both serving with the United Free Church Mission, and who married in January 1925 and then worked at all the main mission stations in Rajputana in an area 350 miles long, until they returned to Scotland in 1954 having been instrumental in preparing the way for the great United Church of North India, whose last Assembly I myself attended in 1968 in Jullundur before the wider union of 1971 which formed the Church of North India.
It was within this kind of milieu that Hugh was born, attending school with Rhoda at the hill station of Landour, singing bhajans in Hindi such as ‘Rajah Isha ayah…’ – ‘Come, King Jesus…’ until in 1933 when he moved to Edinburgh to live with his grandfather and attended George Watson’s College. In 1941 he became a member of the Church of Scotland and of the Scripture Union, served in the war with the RAF and later with the Royal Scots in Palestine and Malta. 1947 saw him at St Andrew’s University and then for four years training for the ministry at New College in Edinburgh where he was active in the SCM. In 1953 he joined the Iona Community and was ordained in the North Kirk in Aberdeen where he served before becoming an army chaplain first to the Gordons and then to the Parachute Regiment where he completed the 8 jumps to qualify for the famous ‘red beret’. In August 1956 Hugh and May were married which no doubt improved his Latin and Greek not to mention his Gaelic! His later parishes included Eskdalemuir, Kilmuir Easter, Thornton, Pitsligo and Sandhaven and finally in Balmaclellan and Kells in New Galloway in Dumfriesshire before retiring in 1991. But as some of us know retirement is not exactly a stroll in the park and so he then served in various capacities in Barclay Church, in Westray, Papa Westray, Stronsay and Eday, in the City Hospital, in Muirhouse and also in May’s birthplace in Islay. So this quiet man, whom we all know and love, was quite a man!
Not only that he had the temerity to become a member of the Iona Community in 1953. His Family Group Convener told me: ‘I don’t think we had a Family Group that Hugh wasn’t at.’ The Leader of the Community told me that when we had Community Meetings Hugh was always there. I joined the Community much later in 1965 when George Macleod was 70 and he took Ben Sparks and me to CAMAS on Mull with 20 Borstal boys and had us swimming at 7 am each morning in the Sound of Iona! I’m not sure if that was how Hugh acquired his taste for swimming but an abiding memory for most of us will be of Hugh heading off to the shore for a swim, or playing his violin, or cycling, he was endlessly cycling, or playing football and rugby – he played for Langholm, or going with his children youth hostelling on bikes across the north of Scotland, attending all his grandchildren’s graduation ceremonies, or picking up hitch-hikers on the road and taking them home for food and so much more. Sadly May died in 2009 and quite recently in May of this year Hugh married Jean a marriage which was short and sweet. Memories. So many memories .
Sometimes people say how sad to die at Christmas-time but that’s a mistake and certainly a mistake as far as Hugh is concerned. It was at Christmastime that the angels sang; ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill among all people.’ Just as at Eastertime when entering the gates of Jerusalem Jesus said with tears in his eyes:’Would that even today you knew the things which make for peace.’ And at the end he said ‘Peace I leave with you, not as the world gives give I to you, let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’ Peace – on earth! That’s what the Micah Challenge is all about, that’s what the Iona Community is all about, that’s what Hugh is all about and that’s what Jesus is all about and that’s what heaven is all about as we listen, really listen to our Christmas carols:
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth.
And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child so dear and helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.
Good Christians, all rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now you need not fear the grave,
Jesus Christ was born to save,
calls you one, and calls you all,
to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!
Holy Jesus, every day
keep us in the narrow way;
and, when earthly things are past,
bring our ransomed souls at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds thy glory hide.
In the heavenly country bright,
need they no created light;
thou its light, its joy, its crown,
thou its sun which goes not down;
there for ever may we sing
alleluias to our King
. ….and finally
Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing by,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God’s right hand on high,
where his children gather round,
bright like stars, with glory crowned.
Which is where we believe that Hugh is gathered now, with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, and perhaps with the prophet Micah who might just whisper in his ear: “No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this:to do what is just, to show constant love, and to walk humbly with our God."
Let us pray: Loving God, in the midst of our sadness, we are so very thankful for all your goodness to us, to the generations who have gone before us and to those as yet unborn, and we thank you especially for the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and today particularly for all the members of Hugh’s family and friends gathered here today and for those who were unable to come. We ask you to bless each one in their own way with the comfort of your Holy Spirit that they may know your presence and your peace, not just today but in the days to come.
We also thank you for your servant Hugh, for all that makes him special for us and for all that you accomplished through him in the lives of many people unknown to us but known to you, and if it be your holy will tell him how we love him, how we miss him and how we long for the day when we will be with him again. These our prayers we make in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace.
Mrs. Lesley WILSON (1926 - 2012)
Date of Birth
21.03.1926 : Date of Death 23 Sept 2012
Born and brought up in Baptist family in Bromley, Kent Studied at Reading University ( BSc Dairying and Diploma in Dairying.)
Taught in farm schools in England for several years
Did 3 years missionary training at Carey Hall, Bimingham (1950-53) and passed Diploma in Theology of London University.
Served with BMS for 5 years in East Pakistan (1953-58)
Married Mark Wilson in 1958
Worked with Mark (1958-70) within UCNI in the E Duars plains section of their Eastern Himalaya Church Council area among the Bodo people in North Bengal.
Jan and Gillian born in Kalimpong and brought up among the Bodos.
At Inauguration of the CNI in 1970 Lesley and Mark were jointly appointed as the denomination's Stewardship Directors. This involved staying for two months in each Diocese which invited us, helping local congregations to conduct stewardship campaigns ( 1970-79)
We returned to UK in 1979.
We transferred to URC and worked in Luton (1980-91). Lesley was involved both in the churches (part of a ministry team) and in the community on a new housing estate.
In 1991 we moved to Longniddry in E Lothian, where Lesley was involved in the local church and also in promoting fairtrade in the village, in churches and schools in the Lothians and in a fairtrade shop in Prestonpans.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2008. The last 16 days of her life were spent at home with Mark Jan and Gillian, and with carers and medical people involved. Lesley died peacefully at home on 23 Sept 2012.
Funeral: on Sat Sept 29 at 10.00am in Seafield Crematorium, Seafield Rd, Edinburgh
Service of Thanksgiving : same day at 12noon at Longniddry Parish Church, Elcho Road, Longniddry.
Miss Winifred Margaret GOW (1920 - 2012)
Margaret Gow died at Florabank Home, Haddington on Thursday 28 June 2012.
Winifred served with BMS from 1947-1951 and 1956-1981. The funeral service took place at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh on Monday 9 July 2012. It was followed by a Thanksgiving Service at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Haddington.
Winifred was a member of Bristo Baptist Church, Edinburgh and was appointed as a missionary in 1947 to Bhiwani, where she worked until 1952. After a break of four years because of family responsibilities in the UK, she was appointed to Baraut where she served from 1956-57, as a church worker and evangelist. She worked tirelessly among the village churches of that area, and in Baraut itself where she and her colleague Jennifer Pell made a highly effective team. When the church of North India was established, she put herself at the disposal of the united church and the Bishop of Delhi asked her to live and work in Ajmer in Rajasthan, at that time in the Diocese of Delhi. There she worked as a 'church sister' visiting, counselling, speaking and sharing fully in the life of several large churches. She was a valued colleague to her fellow workers, both missionary and national and was greatly missed in the newly formed diocese of Rajasthan when she retired in 1981.
After her return to the UK in 1981, Winifred retained an active interest in the BMS and was a member of the local BMS Support Group. On her return to Edinburgh she lived for some time at the home of two Bristo members, Bill and Florence Christie. She then spent several years living in the Abbeyfield House in Inverleith Row, which overlooks the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. While living there, she joined the local Episcopal Church as it was very close to where she was staying, and remained with that denomination until her death. The 'Botanics' were of special significance to Winifred, because when she was a baby she was the first baby ever to be allowed to be wheeled around the Garden in a pram. Prams were not allowed at the time but she had a childhood disability and so was granted a special dispensation. She loved flowers and the Botanics and frequently visited them when she was living in Abbeyfield House. Even after she moved to Haddington some years ago, she made an annual visit to the 'Botanics'.
We give thanks for Winifred's life and pray that the Lord will comfort her family and friends at this sad time.
Rt. Rev. Dr. M AZARIAH (1934 - 2012)
Rt Rev Dr M
Azariah who has died was a truly amazing man. Rising from humble background
he became General Secretary of CSI at a crucial time and later as Bishop in
Madras led the diocese in innovative projects, including the upliftment of the
Dalit people from amongst whom he came.
Born in a small village outside what was then Madras, he lost his father when he was two years old. He dated his love and dependence on God to his experiences during those childhood years. At night as he lay in bed,he would hear his mother talking to someone, asking advice, listening and acting. He realised that she was praying and basing all she did on that relationship.
He learned to do the same. His potential was quickly recognised and following school, he was granted a place at Madras Christian College. There he made an impression on staff and fellow students alike, and friendships made then lasted through his life.
Working with leprosy patients, criss-crossing the diocese on evangelistic duties - a journey with him in later life was punctuated with memories of villages visited and experiences which forged who he was- he came to the notice of people in authority, especially Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, who was to become a mentor and a friend. . Indeed, Azariah later served as his chaplain
Azariah was a combination of scholar and activist. He trained for the ministry at the United Theological College, Bangalore and later had a spell in US. Following a period as a pastor in Vellore, he lived out his training working as associate director at the Community Service Centre, the Education Secretary at the NCCI based in Chennai, and the Auxiliary secretary of the Bible Society of India , TamilNadu Auxiliary.
But he never stopped reading - theology, politics, history and literature in both Tamil and English. If anyone wanted to give him a gift, ,he would ask for books, and until days before he was death he was still reading avidly, and writing too. His published works include poetry, theology and works on social action. In his latter years he taught at Gurukul Theological Seminary and spent a term as visiting lecturer at New College, Edinburgh.
It was as General Secretary of the Synod of Church of South India in 1980s that his wider influence became felt. Along with Most Rev Dr P Victor Premasagar, then Moderator of CSI, he led the church in national and international fora. It was at this time, at the Vancouver assembly of the World Council of Churches, that he brought to the attention of the world the plight of his own people, the Dalits, and the remainder of his life was spent in raising awareness, providing education and working to stop discrimination.
During his period as bishop, this was high on his agenda and programmes such as BBC - Bible, bicycle and chappals - promoted the self- reliance and self-respect of the least, the last and the lost.
His dedication and his commitment inspired great loyalty and also great animosity, but no one would ever remain indifferent.
Azariah was a people person, who accepted people for who they are not what, and he numbered amongst his friends the highest and the lowest in worldly terms, and made no difference between them.
Above and beyond all of this, Azariah was a loving and loved human being. He had a long and happy marriage to Josephene. Theirs was a very supportive partnership. And their home remains a place of warmth and welcome. Their three children, Andrew, Mary (Selvi) and John speak lovingly of family holidays and meals out always formed an important part of life. The family extended to nieces, nephews, cousins,and the moving tribute at the memorial service by nephew, Dinesh Livingstone spoke volumes. I have been privileged to share in this warmth. My personal tribute is thanks to a person who believed in me, supported me and did me the great honour to call me his sister and friend. Like many whom Bishop Azariah encouraged, I know I would not be the person I am today had I not known him.
He will be greatly missed as an elder statesman in the church in India, and by those who loved him as husband, father and friend.
Rev. Raymond BAILEY (07/01/1915 - 14/05/2012)
Tribute given at Thanksgiving Service on Friday 18th May 2012 by Rev. Norman Shanks.
came down at Christmas - a rather strange choice perhaps for a service
at this time of year, especially this kind of service. But it is absolutely
right, utterly appropriate today. It was one of the hymns at Raymond and Mary's
wedding in 1939 and love - God's unconditional love and our calling to love
one another - was the driving force of Raymond's life.
In preparing this tribute I've been helped immensely by a memoir - 40 years in 40 minutes - prepared by Raymond himself, supplemented by the conversations I had with him and by what Diana, Elizabeth and Ros have kindly shared with me - although I'm still not entirely clear how he came to be 'Raymond'. Apparently his parents always intended him to be called 'Raymond' but his official Christian names were family ones - 'Wellesley Grahame'. As we have heard, he was of missionary stock: he was born in 1915 in the Punjab, then part of India, but after partition Pakistan. Following his parents' return to Britain in 1919, Raymond went to Highgate School and thence to Edinburgh University to study first for an MA and then to train for the Church of Scotland ministry, graduating in 1939 with a BD from New College. As we heard from Diana, he met Mary through their involvement in the Student Christian Movement - he was the male president, she the woman president, as was customary in these days; and Raymond in his memoir said 'Ours has been a joint ministry for the most part; and my wife has certainly been a source of imaginative inspiration behind everything that I have done or achieved. Apart from her contribution, and the background training of my home, the two main influences in my life were the SCM and the Iona Community.'
Raymond was impressed by George MacLeod and persuaded by him to join the Iona Community. He helped, in only the second year of the Community's existence, with the rebuilding of Iona Abbey over the summer of 1939. Both he and his family were delighted and surprised that the book of the oral history of the Community 'Outside the Safe Place', published recently, has a picture of a youthful Raymond on the front cover and contains several quotations of his ipsissima verba and some photos from the family archive. The Iona Community remained important to Raymond all his days: initially it extended his horizons in shaping his progressive open approach to theology and recognition of the importance of both dignity and relevance in liturgy and, through day to day working alongside the craftsmen, in strengthening his capacity to relate to ordinary folk. Although with characteristic integrity, because of his problems in fulfilling the Community's prayer discipline, he resigned as a full member in 1969, he remained a committed Associate, attended local Family Group meetings very regularly and visited Iona each year with some of the family until fairly recently.
Raymond and Mary sailed for what was then still India in January 1940. He worked as a district missionary in the Punjab, supervising the work of the church in a school and a district. His contact there with Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike reinforced his conviction, that remained the foundation of his faith and life all his days, that at the centre of the Christian Gospel is self-giving love. The original intention had been to spend his life in India but, after the birth of Alan, Diana and Elizabeth there, and when he was just beginning to feel useful after six years, he and Mary had to return to Britain on medical grounds. But a wonderful new opportunity arose when, on the recommendation of Professor John Baillie and George MacLeod, Raymond was appointed minister of St Columba's Church, Oxford and Presbyterian chaplain in the University. Ten very happy and full years followed - during which their fourth child, Ros, was born. Alongside the usual activities of the congregation - which he described intriguingly as 'a fascinating variety of socially congenial men and women, including many who were intellectually stimulating'! - there were all the student contacts - the Iona Society, open house at the manse on Sunday afternoons, Scottish country dancing and punt parties, driving round Oxford on his Vespa to visit students in the colleges. He had a particular gift for remembering students' names, what they were studying, where they were from - and there are many stories of people whose lives he touched and influenced for the good (some of you are here today) through the values, social priorities and open approach to living the faith he embodied.
In 1957 he was called to be the first minister of St Martin's Church, a new church extension charge here in Edinburgh. This was a challenging task - it could not have been more different from Oxford! - to establish and develop a congregation in a new housing scheme and Raymond has said that, whereas in Oxford, his aim was to encourage the undergraduates to be intelligent Christians, in St Martin's he sought to help people to see God in their own experience and see the relevance of the Gospel to the realities of their daily lives. Mary's own ministry flourished here too - not just in terms of hospitality and in supporting Raymond and providing him with advice and ideas as she had always done, but also in playing a leading creative role - her musical, artistic and community-building gifts were used to the full. For Raymond there was all the pastoral work too, the community links, the youth club, all the baptisms, just about every week, it seemed - he'd a particular gift for calming howling infants. He took great pride also in the fact that the first three women to be ordained as elders in Edinburgh came from St Martin's; but in 1968 it was time to move on. The congregation had been built up to the point of attaining full status; and Raymond agreed to a request to go back for a short time to the Punjab, now part of Pakistan. When the Presbytery bade him farewell, he particularly treasured the Presbytery Clerk's comment that not only had he been a faithful presbyter but also 'Mr Bailey did not speak much; but when he did he always had something useful to say'.
21/22 years on, Raymond found the situation in Pakistan was very different from previously. The missionaries were now servants of the local church, in a predominantly Muslim nation; and Raymond saw his main task as to help the Christian leaders accept and even love their Muslim neighbours. Health reasons again cut short the time in Pakistan, but he is still remembered there with much warmth and affection, and a special message of appreciation and condolence has been received from the current Bishop of Sialkot. On returning home he undertook some prison and hospital chaplaincy and locum work and in due course was called to the small parishes of Ladykirk and Whitsome in Berwickshire where he spent six and a half years that he described in his memoir, a little enigmatically, as both exceptionally happy and frustrating. He found the people very friendly and welcoming, but the drift towards the cities was a problem; moreover Mary's health declined significantly. Their next move was to London, where Raymond served for two years or so as Associate Minister at St Columba's, Pont St: this again was something of a mixed experience. There were aspects of London life and the congregational work he found enjoyable, especially the pastoral visiting; but much of the formality he found less congenial, despite the high regard he had always had for the place of the sermon and a dignified approach to liturgy and his own considerable skill and consistency in this area.
In 1980 Raymond and Mary retired to Edinburgh. He deliberately avoided any kind of regular commitment to undertaking locum work, although he did conduct worship from time to time. He looked after Mary until her death in 2000 with outstanding dedication and remarkable patience. There was opportunity too to keep in touch with his extensive network of friends and his growing family. His family relationships were always at the heart of his life: while the death in 1992 of Alan was, as we have heard, an immense shock and sadness, there was his strong relationship with his daughters, who in turn have cared for him with such devotion these past years, and his great reciprocated affection for his grandchildren. In retirement too he pursued and developed the wide and varied range of interests he had always had, of which Diana has spoken. He had always been involved with the Leprosy Mission of which he was latterly Honorary Scottish President. A long-standing member of the Labour Party, his commitment was much admired within the party, not least when, less than 20 years ago, already at a relatively advanced age, he was delivering many more house-to-house leaflets than anyone else. And in this very church when he happened to be preaching on the Sunday after the election that Neil Kinnock famously and perhaps unexpectedly lost in 1992, Raymond agonized over what he should say but stuck to his guns in speaking of the Gospel imperative of social justice and care of those who are vulnerable, and John Smith, who worshipped here regularly stayed behind that morning, specially to thank him.
This telling incident reflects the reality that Raymond, I suppose like each one of us, was a bit of a paradox. In so many ways he was modest and unassuming (above all in his underestimating his own achievements and abilities), but he was also an unashamed self-confessed celebrity-hunter and had steadfast determination. At first sight his demeanour could perhaps appear a trifle stern, and his mode of expression could sometimes be uncompromisingly forthright and direct, but behind this there lay a heart of gold, a capacity to relate to anyone and everyone, a warm and compassionate nature and a wonderful sense of fun. Especially in relation to things liturgical he was a traditionalist - in the best sense of the word; and his background - India, public school - may have seemed conservative but he had a real radical edge - not only in his political allegiance but also in his open, progressive approach to theology and the life of faith, reflected too in his life-long involvement in ecumenical and inter-faith work, and above all perhaps in what he picked out as one of the most memorable events of his life in 1967, when he successfully proposed in the General Assembly the deliverance (seconded by Robin Barbour) that ultimately brought the movement towards the ordination of women to the ministry to fruition. And I know that he is still remembered with gratitude by many women for keeping this issue before the courts of the church with characteristic gentleness and persistence.
Raymond has rightly been described as something of 'an unsung hero'. We give thanks to God for the life of this thoroughly good man, and for all the other lives he has influenced and touched for good through his faithful commitment to walking in the footsteps of Jesus, embodying the Gospel hope and the steadfast love of God which was his foundation and inspiration all his days. Amen
Loving God, we give thanks for all the good things of life, for every glimpse and intimation of your love breaking into our world in ways big and small, so often unexpectedly. We thank you for all the experiences and people who have influenced, enhanced and shaped our lives, in whom we have felt the light of your presence, the challenge of your justice and the warmth of your love.
Especially today we give thanks for Raymond Bailey. We thank you for the happy, enriching, amusing memories he has left behind - vivid even now in our mind's eye. We thank you for all that he meant to those close to him and they to him - for the love he gave and received as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend; for all that he enjoyed in life; for his special gifts of character and personality - his deep, yet open faith, his long and dedicated ministry and service to others through the church and other organisations, his strength of purpose, his wide-ranging interests, his sense of fun, his dedicated caring for Mary and his own patience in his last years. We thank you for everything in Raymond that revealed the depth and energy of life, the strong sense that people matter and life has purpose and meaning. We thank you for the privilege and pleasure of knowing him and for the assurance that death is the gateway to a fuller life, that he is now released from all infirmity, truly at peace, safe for ever in the eternal joy of your nearer presence, your earthly work in him complete. Living God, in proud and loving remembrance of Raymond and of all those dear ones who have gone before us, we seek your blessing now on our lives and on people and places that we are concerned about at this time. Help us in our own situations and circumstances to bring strength to those who are weary, justice to those who are oppressed, hope to those who are lost, and reconciliation to those who are divided. Bless us and all your people with energy and vision that we may love and serve with resilience and cheerfulness, compassion and zeal. And with concern and affection we pray especially at this time for those whose sense of loss is keenest because their love was deepest and most personal - we remember Diana, Elizabeth and Ros, Raymond's grand-children and their families, his closest friends and all those whose lives he touched and influenced for good. Let their feelings of loss and pain be transformed by hope and a strong sense of celebration for a well-lived, faith-filled life. In this time of bereavement may they know the strength of your love that passes understanding and will not let them go; and, as we go forth from this place, in your grace, help them and help us all to face the days ahead with courage and hope, that in all that we say and do and are we may be true to the way of compassion, justice and integrity in which we seek to walk. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
An obituary, describing more fully his advocacy for allowing women to be ordained in the Church of Scotland appeared in the 'Herald' newspaper.
Lillian SMITH (16/07/1930 - 14/01/2012)
Let me pay
tribute to the life of Lillian Smith.
Lillian was brought up in the Whitson area of Edinburgh, the eldest of two sisters. She attended, firstly, Balgreen School and later Boroughmuir High School. During the war, Easter and Summer holidays were always spent in Montrose with her sister, staying with her gran. And it was during her teens Lillian became responsive to God's call: a life of Christian service. And so on leaving school, she trained as a nurse at Chalmers Hospital, and on completion of her training she was recognised as 'top nurse for her year'. Thereafter, she did her midwifery training in Glasgow.
However, Lillian's desire was to serve as a missionary, and after a year's preparation at St Colm's College, she sailed for India in 1956. She served with the Church of South India in the Christina Rainy Hospital (Madras), where she was a Sister and also a trainer of nurses. She met the Rev Lesslie Newbigin and formed a great appreciation for his ministry and his writings. However, as a result of poor health, Lillian returned to Scotland in 1972. It is to be noted that Lillian, over the years, had a number of health concerns, but it must be said, I'm sure you would agree, these never seemed to hinder her capacity to embrace a very full and varied life.
On her return, she worked at the Eastern General Hospital (Edinburgh) where she became a Clinical Tutor. She was highly respected in the nursing profession. Also at this time, she successfully achieved a BA degree through the Open University. She worshipped and served in Wester Hailes and by 1977 was commissioned as a Deaconess and later ordained into the Diaconate. The Church of Scotland appointed Lillian to work in Fintry Parish Church in 1981, and thereafter Trinity Parish Church, Dundee from 1986. At Fintry she helped establish home groups as well as being involved in the pastoral care of the community. Of her time serving in Trinity Church, she often spoke with great warmth of her work in what was a large parish church context.
Retirement was not retirement for Lillian, as she became a member and elder of the Steeple Church. There, she helped organise the catering for the Exodus outreach event. She was a long-term member of a housegroup. She helped organise the catering for and occasionally spoke at the Tuesday lunchtime meetings. She participated in the Monday Club. She was much loved by the Steeple fellowship.
Lillian continued her involvement in the Diaconate, attending meetings of the Diaconate Council and it is noted was also a representative at the World Diaconate Conference. She also participated in the regular meetings of the St Thomas Association, and the Association of Returning Overseas Missionaries. Every May, Lillian would go back to Edinburgh and help in the Christian Aid Book Fair held in the St Andrews church building. She did this for over twenty years, and was very much the expert in children's books. We acknowledge her faithfulness of support to this annual event.
Of course, Lillian had a passion for collecting books, especially the 'Chalet School' stories by Elinor Brent Dyer and also the 'Abbey Girls' series by Elsie Oxenham. She attended gatherings of like-interested people as an informed contributor, as well as visiting the location of the Chalet Schools in Switzerland. She was a member of the National Trust of Scotland attending local meetings. She was also extremely gifted in embroidery and in general enjoyed craft work, particularly card-making.
We celebrate a very talented woman who has used her life extremely creatively and who exemplified 'faithful commitment' in whatever she undertook.
Of course, we know that Lillian is far more than a narrative of the many varied contexts of her life. She was hospitable and generous, thoughtful, and extremely kind. She engaged with people of all backgrounds. Her life was set upon serving her Master, and she lived a 'way of life' that reflected clearly that commitment to Him; she was a person of living faith in Jesus Christ. She meant a great deal to her sister Lisbeth, and her niece, Denise. She has been a blessing to many in the Steeple, and I'm certain that is true to many more in Dundee, Edinburgh, and Chennai. Lillian exuded 'life' even in these years she lived beyond the three score and ten. Today we give thanks for her life, rejoicing that she knows the victory of the gospel and that for her the Risen Lord has conquered the final enemy, that of death itself.
I give the final word to a young man whose home is Chennai but worshipped at the Steeple and studied in our city until recently. He emailed from Chennai on Friday and said simply 'Lillian was an amazing lady'!
We extend our love and sympathy to Lisbeth, to Denise, to Charlie, to all the family at this time of loss.
Tribute by Rev David Clark
Kay was a son of the Manse
and the middle child of seven, obviously used to a busy household in his childhood
- the Stiven home was always a lively place. Kay had a strong tie to Iona as
his father was Parish Minister there and he was a member of the Iona Community.
He went out to Pakistan to work with the United Church of North India and Pakistan
in 1960 just as it was being handed over to national leaders. He served in several
parishes in the Punjab and also taught in Murray College, Sialkot. He spent
several years with his wife and family in St Andrew's Church, Karachi before
returning to Scotland. He worked for some time in Religious Education in Boroughmuir
School in Edinburgh then returned to parish work as locum in Wick then in Strachur
and Strathlachlan on Loch Fyneside. He campaigned at Faslane against Trident.
In retirement he helped out at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. He has left a
little collection of "Thoughts for the Week" written for his children and grandchildren
which can be accessed on line.
The thanksgiving service in St Giles Cathedral was wonderful, well attended, led by Rev Gilleasbuig Macmillan, with his school friend recollecting his life and the choir of St. Giles providing beautiful music.
Helen was born in North Berwick,
East Lothian, on December 21, 1939. After school there she studied English Language
and Literature at St Andrews, where she was Senior Student in Kinnessburn, and
active in the Christian Union. She received a Diploma in Education from Edinburgh
University while doing teacher training at Moray House. She taught for several
years at Preston Lodge, Prestonpans, before offering to the Church of Scotland
Overseas Council and training at St Colm's from 1965-66. In September 1966 she
sailed for India and after language study in Darjeeling and some time at Duff
School became a lecturer in English at Scottish Church College, Calcutta.
Helen's warm and outgoing personality meant that she quickly made friends in Calcutta. Her time in Duff School gave her a good grounding for life in Bengal as the teachers (all Bengali) were very helpful in ensuring that she felt at home. In Scottish Church College she enjoyed the challenging discussions in the staff room as well as the teaching, and she was highly regarded by both staff and students. Her great concern for students could be seen in the extra classes she took in her home to help them with conversational English; these were enjoyable occasions, enlivened by her enthusiasm and sense of humour.
Called back to Duns, Scotland, in 1980 to care for her parents, she found a teaching post at Eyemouth High School, and taught English there, as well as helping with the Scripture Union Group, till her retirement in 1999. In 2003 she moved to Coldstream and enjoyed an active part in church and community till her death at home on December 7, 2010.
She was a cheerful and devoted daughter, a supportive and loyal sister, a sympathetic and generous aunt and an affectionate friend. She was a conscientious teacher and much appreciated in the staffroom for her wit and good humour. In the English Department her "Survival" Reading Unit became legendary for her decision to cook and eat a worm omelette in class.
Her love of God was the steady base for her care for others, and her firm Christian convictions were always positive, thoughtful and courteous. She did not complain about having to leave her rich, challenging life in Calcutta, she did not complain about having to look after her parents, she did not complain about having to live with cancer for 12 years. She was modest, well read, musical and very funny, and had the power to draw people to her company.
After her death people said, over and over again, "She was a lovely lady."
Hearing of her death many people in Calcutta have expressed their gratitude for the ways in which she touched them along with their sorrow at her passing.
13th Jan. 2011
Ewing SMITH (Bathgate) died at St John' Hospital, on December 28, 2010.
The Funeral Service was held at West Lothian Crematorium, at 11 am, on January
5, followed by a service of Thanksgiving in Boghall Church, Bathgate, at 12
noon. The following obituary was contributed by Margaret Stewart:
Rev. William Ewing Smith, retired minister of the Church of Scotland and the Church of North India died peacefully at the age of 82 in the Stroke Unit at St. John's Hospital, Livingston.
Ewing, as he was always know, was born in Uddingston. He was the middle child of George and Annie Smith with an older brother Lindsey and a younger sister Catherine. It was a close family with strong church connections. Ewing was educated at Uddingston Grammar School from 1933-44 and apart from two years National Service in the Army he continued his education at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow (now Strathclyde University) gaining a BSc in Electrical Engineering. He spent four happy years in Manchester working with Metropolitan Vickers. There he was part of a close-knit group of friends who with their searching minds shared lively discussions, and a love of music. One became an Anglican industrial chaplain, one is senior elder in the Free Church in Oban and Ewing was called to the Church of Scotland ministry. No doubt there were ecumenical stirrings even then !
In 1956 he returned to Scotland to study at New College in Edinburgh. During his time there he became involved in the New College Missionary Society and the Greenside Mission where he followed John McLeod as its leader from 1959-60 when he completed his studies. This was not the last time that he was to follow in John's footsteps. He was subsequently assistant to Rev Alasdair Macdonell at Burnhead and was ordained by the Presbytery of Hamilton in January 1962.
While in Edinburgh he met and courted Agnes Hill who had come from Northern Ireland to do her nursing training at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and they were married in Bloomfield Baptist Church in Belfast on 24th August 1961.
After training at St Colm's College they set sail for India where they were to serve through the Church of Scotland Foreign Mission Committee in Ajmer in Rajasthan- a much smaller town at that time with few resources. Ewing's ministry involved both agricultural engineering, building roads and drains and digging wells, and living the gospel among the local people. John McLeod speaks of visiting him from Poona in relation to the agricultural development Rewards project.
Ewing and Agnes's three sons, Martin, Alaisdair and David were all born in India and had some of their education there. India remains important for the whole family and they all returned together for a visit on Ewing's retiral.
In 1970 the Church of North India was formally inaugurated and together with other ministers from various churches Ewing was one of the first to be recognised and accepted into the new United Church. This seemed a natural step in his ecumenical progress. He was called to be Presbyter at St James Church, Delhi, which prior to its incorporation into the Church of North India had been an Episcopal congregation. He was their first minister who was not from an Anglican background. Typically he then became absorbed in urban ministry and in the development of the wider church. He also was committed to the mission of the Delhi Brotherhood among the underprivileged in the community.
They returned to Scotland in 1976 still carrying India in their hearts. What he learned there was the foundation of his vision for the church here in Scotland, a vision for which he was still working to his last days.
When he returned to Edinburgh the Bishop of Edinburgh , recognising his ordination in the Church of North India, authorised him to celebrate communion in his jurisdiction in the Scottish Episcopal Church. This gave Ewing great pleasure.
There followed a period of uncertainty. In the late 70s vacant parishes were somewhat suspicious of returning missionaries with ecumenical interests. However, in 1978 he accepted a call to Livingston Old in the Presbytery of West Lothian. Here he shared in the pastoral care of Old Livingston and part of the New Town with the Ecumenical Experiment and in particular with Rev John McLeod (of Greenside and North India!) who was a member of the team ministry. Ewing played an active part in the Presbytery of West Lothian including being Moderator. He was also secretary to the Asia committee of the Board of World Mission in the Church of Scotland where his knowledge and wisdom were greatly valued.
Ewing's ministry in the western side of Livingston was a time of great happiness and healing for his congregations and he remained there until his retiral on 30th September 1994. In his retirement he moved to Bathgate and remained an active and challenging member of the Presbytery of West Lothian, of the Ministers' Fellowship in Bathgate and of Bathgate Churches Together. He was also a good friend and wise counsellor to many ministerial and non-ministerial colleagues. He shared in the locum duties in his own congregation at Boghall Parish Church when Rev John Maclean retired in 2003. He also developed his other interests. He bowled indoors and outdoors. At the time of his death he was President of Springrove Bowling Club. He was also active in Probus and in all these activities he is most often remembered as a kind and loving friend with a great sense of humour.
Ewing's influence on West Lothian was much greater than he would have acknowledged. His constant and faithful support of ecumenism, his warm and caring personality, his firm principles and loving acceptance of all he met. These characterised his ministry wherever he was.
He is mourned by us all but most of all by his wife Agnes and his children and grandchildren, Martin, Marina and Elisa, Alaisdair and Julie, David, Philippa and Forest; his brother Lindsey, Ailsa and their family, his sister Catherine; his brother-in-law John and the family in Ireland.
Many tributes have been paid to him in these last weeks and we all have our own stories to tell and memories to treasure. We are all richer for having known him and to quote from a member of Boghall congregation: "Ewing was a man of God."
11th June 2010
We have learned that Sunder Clarke, Bishop of Chennai 1974 - 1989 died yesterday, 10th June. His funeral will be tomorrow Saturday. A short Obituary was published in 'Pilgrim'.
Rev. Canon Charles McAlester COPLAND
Charles McAlester Copland was
born in 1910, educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating
BA(Hons) in 1933 and MA in 1936. He trained for the priesthood
of the Episcopal Church at Cuddesdon Theological College in 1933-34
and was ordained deacon in 1934 and priest in 1935. He served
as Curate of St. John the Baptist in Peterborough from 1934 to 1938
before going to India in 1938 where he served the Episcopal Mission
in Chanda for 15 years, the last 10 of which he was head of the mission.
He was Canon of All Saints Cathedral Nagpur from 1952. On his
return, he was Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral , Dundee 1953, Rector
of St. Mary's, Arbroath 1953-59, Provost of St. John's Cathedral,
Oban 1959-79 and Dean of Argyll and the Isles 1977-79. Retiring in
197, he was Hon Canon of St. John's Cathedral.
He lived in retirement near his daughter, Mrs. Jane Lendrick in Kirriemuir and, when 95 years of age, addressed a local meeting ot the Fellowship of St. Thomas in Dundee in 2006, concluding with the Lord's Prayer in Marathi, his daily practice!
(Extract from 'Crucis', the magazine of St. Salvador's Episcopal Church, Dundee, Jan./Feb. 2010). "We were very sorry to hear of the death of Canon Charles Copland, a friend of St Salvador's and a regular attender at our annual Candlemas Service. In his prime a remarkable missionary, a distinguished priest and a crack shot, Canon Copland continued active physically and ecclesiastically right up to the end - just 4 months short of his 100th birthday. 'Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord'"
fuller obituary can be found in the Church
Rev. Chris Wigglesworth (1938 – 4 mAY 2020)
My father, Chris Wigglesworth, who has died aged 82, was a geologist, academic and Church of Scotland minister who worked across the world on water and rural development and devoted his life to fighting for social justice. Born in Leeds to Maurice Wigglesworth, a chemical engineer and teacher, and his wife, Muriel (nee Cowling), he was an avid student and head boy at Grangefield grammar school, Stockton-on-Tees. He was also a keen cricketer, with a deep interest in politics, driven from an early age to improve the lives of others. He studied geology at Durham, graduating in 1958, and went on to gain a PhD in 1964. While leading a student study group on Raasay, he met Ann Livesey, who was studying zoology at Cambridge. They married in 1962 and both went on to teach at secondary schools in Huddersfield. In 1964 they moved to Edinburgh, where, driven by his faith and a determination to put his knowledge to use helping others, he studied for a degree in theology at New College, Edinburgh, graduating in 1967. That year he heard through church contacts that a hydro-geologist was needed in Maharashtra, India. So he headed off to lead a water development project, putting his geology into practice: drilling tube wells for villages hard hit by famine, and building percolation tanks to create infrastructure to retain the monsoon rain. During this time his team designed a low-cost and innovative hand pump, which is now the world’s most widely used hand pump – India Mark II. In 1972 he became a minister at the Scots’ Kirk in Bombay (now Mumbai). There he mobilised volunteers to work with street children, setting up the Pavement Club to offer them shelter, food and education. He continued to support water development projects and in 1977 led a team to set up clean drinking water supplies for survivors of a cyclone in eastern India. Returning to Scotland in 1979, to lecture in practical theology at Aberdeen University, he was active as a Labour councillor and in the anti-apartheid movement – hosting visits by Adelaide Tambo and Desmond Tutu. In 1984 he used a sabbatical to work with Oxfam, setting up drinking water supplies in the refugee camps of south-east Sudan. His appointment, in 1987, as general secretary in charge of the Church of Scotland’s international work brought a move back to Edinburgh. He retired in 1999, though he continued to work as a trustee of Water Witness, a charity focused on crafting new solutions to the world’s water resource challenges, and on the Fountainbridge project, an initiative to install a gravity-fed fountain, designed by engineering students from Herriot Watt University. He also served as a Labour member of Edinburgh city council. His last overseas trip was a visit in 2017 to Israel and Palestine. Dad loved mountains, especially walking in the Lake District and west coast of Scotland, and painting. He is survived by Ann, his children, Karen, Sara, John and me, and grandchildren, Aslan, Josie, Nurhan, Lucas and Cassia.