Born: November 7, 1928; Died: September 2, 2012.
Reverend Edward Lewis, who has died aged 83, was a church minister who spent his entire ministry in two of Glasgow's more challenging parishes in the Kingston and Drumchapel areas.
Richard Holloway, the former Bishop of Edinburgh, likes to quote an old clergyman who continued his regular daily religious devotions into old age. When asked why, he replied he wanted to "keep the rumour of God alive". That could well be said of Ted Lewis. A private man, a dedicated pastor, a fine preacher and a wise counsellor to younger ministers, he did not seek the limelight, but faithfully tried to place his gifts at the service of the parish ministry.
Mr Lewis was born in Glasgow and educated at Glasgow Academy. After leaving school in 1947 he worked in London as an industrial chemist. In 1955 he started an arts degree at Glasgow University then studied for the ministry at Trinity College. When he completed his studies in 1961, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Glasgow and spent his probationary year in the Aberdeen parish of Mastrick, then a church extension charge. The following year he was called to Pollok Street Church in Glasgow.
Like many of the areas on the south side of the Clyde, Kingston was home to families who had lived there for generations, but inner-city redevelopment and then the preparations for the Kingston Bridge caused considerable depopulation. Throughout all of the upheaval, Mr Lewis worked faithfully to maintain his congregation and keep up its enthusiasm. In 1969 Pollok Street was linked to Plantation. The two congregations were linked although very close together because the then presbytery clerk, Andrew Herron hoped Pollok Street might need to be demolished for redevelopment, and compensation by way of equivalent reinstatement be paid, as it was in the case of the nearby Steven Memorial. But Pollok Street missed out.
In 1975 Mr Lewis was called to St Andrews Parish in Drumchapel, with a congregation of 386 in a parish of 1200, still owing the Church of Scotland £12000 on its building. It was, and still is, easy for congregations in deprived areas to think of themselves as the poor relations of the predominantly middle-class Church of Scotland.
Mr Lewis believed one of the ways that mindset could be dissipated was by making the congregation sense its worship was special. If it mattered to him, it would matter to his people. His sermons are described as having been "straight to the point". There was nothing casual about Mr Lewis's preparation for or conduct of worship. It was no surprise that when he retired he became attached to Paisley Abbey for liturgy. Music mattered hugely to him, and, along with his strong faith, helped sustain him.
The parish of St Andrews Drumchapel housed a large population of children and young people. Mr Lewis became heavily involved with a number of the congregation's youth clubs and took very seriously his chaplaincy in schools. He had a very open ecumenical outlook, and one of his close friends in Drumchapel, Kevin Macalister, said of him that "you would never meet a more generous, giving, loving man". Mr Lewis's generosity found expression in the regular contributions he made to more than 40 charities. He lived a very frugal, perhaps even spartan life.
Mr Lewis was a keen golfer, playing once a week at Dalmuir, whatever the weather, and walked for two miles every day. He had a collection of more than 1000 CDs, mostly of classical music, particularly the works of Mozart, Shostakovich and Wagner.
Typically generous to the end, he left his body to medical science. He was unmarried.
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