Church of Scotland minister; Born November 12, 1908; Died December 23, 2008.

ERNEST Brain, who has died aged 100, was a modest man whose life was one of great variety and quality.

Born in Stirling, he was orphaned by the age of six, when his mother died and his father was killed in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He was taken to Aberlour Orphanage on Speyside, run by the Scottish Episcopal Church, whose regular worship provided for him the first piece in what was to become a wide ecumenical tapestry.

On leaving school he became a regular attender of the Tabernacle in Glasgow. Two years study fitted him to go to the Falklands in 1939 to assist the minister of its Independent Evangelical Church. With the outbreak of war soon after, both he and his colleague, the Rev Forrest McWhan, became involved in pastoral duties when 2000 troops were billeted on the islands.

On his return to Scotland, Brain studied for the Church of Scotland ministry, which led to his induction to Glasgow's Pollok Street Church in 1955.

Married to Isobel Taylor in 1962, he soon after accepted a call to St Andrew's Church of Scotland in Liverpool, where their daughter, Catriona Lorna, was born. Brain ministered there for 23 years.

He was an excellent pastor, regularly visiting the old and the sick, and a challenging preacher. On his retirement the family moved back to Glasgow. He had a happy assistantship with the Rev John Spiers in Orchardhill before Isobel, who had completed her own training for the ministry, was called to the parish of Ballantrae. She stayed there for 10 years during which Brain acted as an unofficial assistant.

Returning again to Glasgow upon Isobel's retirement, they became members of Kelvinside Hillhead Church. Brain retained interest in church affairs but in his later years was too frail to attend worship. As his frailty increased, Isobel battled to continue caring for him but this ultimately became impossible so his last months were spent in a care home. Still spiritually and mentally active he enjoyed a happy 100th birthday. He was an outstanding Christian gentleman, who is survived by his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Nick.