IAN Pitt-Watson was the son of the Very Rev Professor James

Pitt-Watson, a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of

Scotland, Queen's Chaplain, and also professor of practical theology at

Trinity College, Glasgow University.

Ian grew up in his father's manse in Alloa. He was educated at Dollar

Academy and Edinburgh University, where he gained a double first in

philosophy and moral philosophy. Later, at New College, he won a

distinction in systematic theology.

When I was inducted minister of St George's West, Edinburgh, in 1949,

Ian was appointed my first student assistant. From the beginning it was

obvious that he was endowed with exceptional ability. 0Licensed as a

probationer, he was appointed assistant to St Giles'. In 1952 he was

installed as chaplain of Aberdeen University and, in 1958, he was

inducted to the charge of St James, Forfar. He accepted a call to New

Kilpatrick in Bearsden in 1961, where he exercised such a successful

ministry that New Kilpatrick grew to be the largest congregation in


After 12 years there, he returned to Aberdeen as professor of

practical theology. In 1980 he was invited to become professor of

preaching and practical theology in Fuller Seminary, Pasadena,

California, from where he retired recently.

Ian's versatility was truly astonishing. While still an undergraduate,

he took the diploma of the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, and

created a choir which developed into the Edinburgh University singers,

who celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.

He was, moreover, a hymn writer, contributing to the third edition of

the Church Hymnary. One of my favourite hymns is written by him --

''Those all before me Lord, those all behind.''

All this is true, but it was as a preacher that Ian made his greatest

impact. His reputation as a preacher was worldwide. Australia invited

him as the Turnbull Trust preacher three times. Speaking as one who was

a Turnbull Trust preacher, Ian is the only one who received a second and

third invitation.

Those of us who were fortunate to be his friends would unhesitatingly

describe him as a lovable person. Along with his formidable intellectual

ability, he was very human. Endowed with a huge sense of humour, and a

highly developed sense of the absurd and the incongruous, he was also a

superb mimic. I know because I was one of his favourite subjects. He

could do me better than I could do myself, with his mastery of

Gaelic-flavoured Hebridean accent.

Ian's death will be mourned by many who knew him and came under his

influence. I am sure I am speaking for them all when I say we extend our

sympathy to his family, Maggie, Rosemary, and David.

The Rev Professor Murdo Ewan Macdonald