Obituary: Margery Virtue Turnbull, 92

Margery Virtue Turnbull

Margery Virtue Turnbull

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A solicitor who found fulfilment through her Christian faith and friendships has died at the age of 92.

Margery Virtue Turnbull was born the only daughter of Thomas Turnbull and Catherine Elder or Turnbull in Falkirk and her father was a much revered, well-known solicitor.

Margery showed an aptitude for learning at a young age and gained a degree in history at St Andrews University in 1945, followed by a social study qualification in 1946. During her time at university she became involved in evangelical organisations including Scripture Union and summer camps.

She then proceeded to train as a solicitor, gaining an LLB degree in Edinburgh and she was formally enrolled as a solicitor in 1950. She also gained office experience at McAdams in Edinburgh and her inherent wish for harmony came to light when she was awarded a peace prize in 1953.

She worked in Holland, Spain and France and attended a course of European studies at the University of Nancy.

She served for periods in her father’s legal firm in Falkirk and returned there to support the firm when he died suddenly on a Mediterranean cruise.

Although her work in the law was carried out with her usual determination and dedication, her true wish and strongest leaning was to help others.

She had become an enthusiastic attender of Community House in Glasgow, where she expounded her strong views regarding her Christian faith.

She was awarded a job as ­secretary of Christian Aid in the newly-formed Church of Scotland committee and she continued with her interest in theological studies and ecumenism, especially in writings of Teilhard de Chardin and formed a study group in Edinburgh on this subject.

She then embarked on a project in India supported by Christian Aid leading others in a girls’ mission school.

Her next appointment was as secretary of the newly founded Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Jerusalem.

This was a very challenging time for Margery and led her to take a diploma in theology on her return to the UK, which she attained in May 1982.

Her work with the Christian Fellowship of Healing in Edinburgh extended over 30 years and she had strong connections with many Christian and spiritual associations, including the World Community for Christian Mediation, the meetings of which she attended regularly.

She was a faithful member of the Saltire Society.

She supported foreign students studying theology in this country and wrote papers and opinions relating to her work and extensive knowledge.

She died in Edinburgh on April 29, aged 92.