of Indian Church documents
Dr Leslie ROBINSON (8 March 1934 - 25th February 2017)
Robinson was born in Govan but received his education at Montrose Academy
and Dalziel High School, Motherwell where he was an extremely gifted student.
He then studied Medicine at the University of Glasgow and, because of
his abilities, he was given and accepted the opportunity to obtain a BSc
degree (in one year -an intercalated degree course).
From early years, he felt called to be medical missionary and, as a medical
student, in addition to his other church activities, attended the week-long
Congregational Church retreats at Bonskeid, Pitlochry where he met missionaries
on furlough. After graduation and training in Obstetrics, he prepared
for missionary service at Selly Oak College, Birmingham, In 1962, he left
for Bangalore, India, as a missionary of the London Missionary Society
(now part of the Council for World Mission of the URC Church). He initially
worked at C.S.I. Hospital in Bangalore. There, in addition to studying
Tamil, he learned much about Indian society from his senior colleague,
Leslie returned to Scotland on furlough in 1967 and undertook post-graduate
studies for a year before returning to India where he was stationed at
Chickballapur Hospital. He was to remain there for the next 30 years.
As Medical Superintendent, from 1968, in additional to his full medical
duties, he planned and oversaw very considerable renewal and extensions
to the hospital, involving the Children’s Ward, School of Nursing,
Outpatient services, Maternity Services, Operating Rooms and improvements
in staff quarters.
As a missionary of the LMS, he regularly attended the annual gatherings
of colleagues working in India, where he met Betty Williamson, from Dunfermline,
who was working in Andhra Pradesh. They were married in 1979, Betty thereafter
lending outstanding support as the hospital continued to develop. In recognition
of his immense contribution to healthcare in India, Leslie received an
OBE in 1996.
Betty and Leslie retired to Rutherglen in 1999 and remained very active
in the life of the church: in particular, they maintained their links
with India, raising funds for Chickballapur and regularly attending meetings
attended by retired missionaries. Leslie became the secretary of one such
society, the Fellowship of St Thomas(FOST), from 2003-2008. He contributed
to and edited the Newsletter of the Fellowship during this time. Leslie
died peacefully in February of this year.
Kenyon WRIGHT (31 Aug. 1932 -11 Jan. 2017))
Edward Wright was born in 1932 in Paisley, where his father was a technician
for J&P Coats, now called Coats, a key employer in the textile industry.
A bright boy with an inquiring mind and a strong sense of social justice,
he studied at Paisley Grammar and the University of Glasgow, At 23, newly
married, he travelled with his bride, Betty, to India as a Methodist missionary.
Their sojourn was to last 15 years, and saw him found and become director
of the Ecumenical, Social and Industrial Institute in Durgapur in 1963.he
founded and was director of the Ecumenical, Social and Industrial Institute,
a national training centre for urban industrial ministries for the churches
of India. Not the sort of man to expect everyone to speak his language,
he learnt Bengali (in addition to being able to speak French and German).
He returned to U.K. in 1970, as Director of Urban Ministry at Coventry
Cathedral and, later, as Director of the cathedral’s international
He returned north in 1981 as General Secretary of the Scottish Churches
Council and it was from that post, some 11 years later, he was chosen
as chairman of the executive committee of the Scottish Constitutional
Convention, which laid the groundwork for the dramatic changes that were
to take place over the coming decades. What followed is written into the
annals of Scottish history and is well documented in several media obituaries
Canon Wright retired as a priest in 2008 and went to live in the Midlands,
but remained incredibly active politically. He was a consultant on ecology,
social ethics and constitutional change; a consultant to Action of Churches
Together in Scotland; a fellow of the Scottish Council for Development
and Industry and Canon Emeritus of Coventry Cathedral. He also became
a proponent of English devolution.
Canon Kenyon Wright died at home in Stratford-upon-Avon on 11th January.His
wife of some 62 years predeceased him in Dec. 2014. He is survived by
their three daughters, Lindsey, Shona and Shelagh.
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 dollowed a most distinguished career in New College Edinburgh and the
national church, which is well documented elsewhere:
of S Obituary
& Work Tribute
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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
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
Iain Kay STIVEN (1931 - 2011)
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 Agnes BEE (1939 - 2010)
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.
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
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
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
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!
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,
fuller obituary can be found in the Church
Rev. Dr. M. AZARIAH
Canon Charles McAlester COPLAND
Rev. Prof. Duncan B. FORRESTER
Dr Leslie ROBINSON
Wm. Ewing SMITH
Iain Kay STIVEN
Canon Kenyon WRIGHT