Obituary: David Tindal Reid, 88

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A former minister of St Cuthbert’s Church, Lothian Road, has died, aged 88.

David Tindal Reid was born in Glasgow on November 9, 1926 and taken by his mother Lilias to India to join his elder brother and his father, Alfred, who was minister of the Presbyterian Church in Bombay.

After the family returned to Scotland in 1930, David attended Greenock and Glasgow Academies, served as an officer in the Indian Army Baluch Regiment (1944–46) and studied at Oxford (BA Hons, 1950) and St Andrews (BD, 1953), where he was awarded the divinity medal.

Inspired by George MacLeod, he joined the Iona Community in 1953 and laboured for the craftsmen who were rebuilding the abbey cloisters.

For two years he was “apprenticed” to Hugh Douglas as assistant at St Mary’s, Dundee, during which he was ordained. He was then appointed first minister of the church extension charge of Castlemilk East, Glasgow, in 1955.

Until the church building was completed, the congregation met for worship in houses, the workmen’s canteen hut and a school. The church hall was largely built by volunteer tradesmen and labourers, who interrupted their labours one Saturday afternoon to form a guard of honour with their picks and shovels at David’s marriage to Pamela McGregor in Edinburgh.

In 1963, David moved to Erskine Church, Falkirk, where he also became a part-time lecturer in religious education at Callendar Park College of Education.

In Falkirk he suffered the untimely death of first wife Pamela nine years into their marriage, leaving him to bring up their three children alone.

In 1969 he became associate minister at St Cuthbert’s, Lothian Road, where his ministry included working with people in the city who were on the fringes of the church or outside it.

A friend remembers: “He seemed to occupy and invite others to share that area of open thought, of spirit where doubt, uncertainty, not-knowing are welcome; where all that is needed is honesty, and openness of heart.”

He was chaplain to two large West End stores and consultant to the Cornerstone. He also presented religious programmes for primary schools for BBC Radio Scotland. At St Cuthbert’s he met and married Isobel Durran, who brought the family her love and many gifts.

In 1973 David was called to Helensburgh Old and St Andrew’s Church and in 1985 David moved to the rural linked parishes of Cleish and Fossoway in Kinross-shire.

In 1976 he became chairman of STV’s Religious Advisory Committee, on which he served for ten years.

He continued his ministry in retirement, conducting services regularly at Tenandry, near Pitlochry.

One of five close brothers, David was a devoted family man. He is survived by his wife Isobel, two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.