Rev Aeneas Mackintosh, priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church; born July 1, 1927, died December 8, 1998

The Rev Aeneas Mackintosh was a product of Kelham Theological College, Nottinghamshire, which was founded by Herbert Kelly, a priest of Irish extraction and eccentric genius, who found it impossible to believe that God only called men from the middle classes into the Anglican priesthood.

Kelham was founded to provide a free education for boys whose parents could afford nothing. The place itself was a large manor house in the middle of an estate on the banks of the river Trent. It was a self-sufficient community that grew much of its own food and employed no servants. Everyone had to muck in, so that a theological education at Kelham involved not only compulsory sports (and cold showers), but included scrubbing floors and looking after pigs. I was sent there, aged 14, in September 1948. The only other Scot in the place was a man from Inverness called Mackintosh, and the first thing I learnt about him was that he was a brilliant footballer.

Aeneas had gone to Kelham as a boy of 17 in 1944. He was called up to the Navy in 1945, and returned to the House, as we called it, just as I was arriving off the train from Queen Street Station. ''Mr'' Mackintosh, as I had to call him, was small and wiry and a considerable athlete. I remember him as a dazzling winger for the House First XI, during the football season, and as an energetic tennis player during the summer months.

Like most Scots, he never really took to cricket, though I can remember him in the summer of 1949, in the annual match between the tennis players and the cricketers, going in to bat with a large grin on his face and clouting each of the first five balls for six, before being caught on the boundary with the final ball of the over. His grace as an athlete was at one with his character, which was attractively affectionate and caring, and was the foundation of his outstanding success as a parish priest. He returned to Inverness Cathedral on his ordination in 1952 and spent his whole ministry in Scotland, apart from a two-year interlude in England, where he met and married Mary in 1956. Four sons were born to Aeneas and Mary - Simon, Christopher, Mark, and Richard. Friends and parishioners were all privileged to share in the happiness and zest of the Mackintosh family, during Aeneas's ministries

in Glasgow, East Lothian, and Edinburgh.

Kelham usually had a profound effect on the men it educated. Father Kelly wanted his students to think for themselves and to mistrust religion, because it often ends up as a substitute for God. Kelly had a powerful influence on Aeneas, both personally and theologically. He was HK's batman during his final illness in 1950, and one of his most prized possessions was a copy of the Imitation of Christ given to him by Father Kelly. It is now in my possession, along with a letter from Aeneas, saying how grateful he was to have known HK, ''a man of faith and questions, whose vision, determination, and disciplined sticking with it, not to mention his humour and humility, brought us to meet at Kelham - and so much to be grateful for has come from that''.

The theological character stamped on Aeneas by his years at Kelham was given new scope and opportunity in 1972, when the Bishop of Edinburgh, Kenneth Carey, invited him to take charge of an experimental programme to train men and women for a wide variety of ministries in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

It was a ground-breaking scheme and, with the help of Sari Salveson, he spent the next 15 years enriching the life of the Church by equipping scores of people for the work of ministry, lay and ordained. His last post before retirement in 1992 was as Information and Communication Adviser to the Scottish Episcopal Church. Inevitably, no rehearsal of goals scored or positions held ever captures the tone or flavour of any man, least of all one as captivating as Aeneas Mackintosh. The word that always came to mind when I thought about his style and personality was ''silver'', and I wasn't just thinking about the rich colour of his hair from early middle age. No, there was silver in his voice and oratory that echoed the rich hinterland of his Highland heritage.

With his flair and sense of dash, he would have made a fine Jacobite, defending the honour of the Prince across the water. Now he has crossed the water himself, and the rest of us are diminished.