THE Very Rev. Dr R. Leonard Small, whose name was linked in Edinburgh

with both St Cuthbert's and St Bernard's, was Moderator of the Church of

Scotland General Assembly in 1966. Later he served as the first chairman

of the Parole Board for Scotland and as chairman (eventually honorary

president) of Age Concern Scotland.

He was minister for nearly 20 years of St Cuthbert's Church in

Edinburgh's West End, a prominent religious broadcaster and writer, and

a chaplain to the Queen in Scotland.

He also took great pride in the title of ''the Holy Goalie'', acquired

when he kept goal for the now defunct club in north Edinburgh, St

Bernard's. He was capped as a Scottish amateur international in 1929.

Born in 1905, Robert Leonard Small grew up in a North Berwick manse,

son of a United Free minister who only reluctantly came into the

reunited Church of Scotland in 1929, and grandson of a celebrated

chronicler of the United Presbyterian Church of Victorian times.

His original ambition for a naval career was frustrated by ill-health

in boyhood and he went from the local high school to take a first in

classics at Edinburgh University (which in 1957 made him a doctor of

divinity) and study for the ministry at New College. He was ordained in

the reunited Kirk in 1931 as minister of St John's Bathgate and before

his best-known ministry at St Cuthbert's (1956-75) served at the West

High Church in Kilmarnock and Cramond Kirk.

His ministry at Kilmarnock during the Second World War had been

interrupted by service with the Kirk's Huts and Canteens. During the

1940 campaign in France his unit was cut off from the main part of the

British Expeditionary Force and, after a harrowing journey while French

resistance and morale were both collapsing, he eventually returned to

Britain via St Nazaire, narrowly missing a passage on the ill-fated

transport Lancastria.

It was involvement with Huts and Canteens, then a high-profile Kirk

committee, which first brought Leonard Small to prominence in the

General Assembly. His powers of leadership and forcefully good-natured

persuasion ensured that for more than 20 years he was an Assembly

committee convener, Huts and Canteens being followed by Temperance and

Morals, the Social and Moral Welfare Board, and the Stewardship and

Budget Committee.

He had a rare aptitude for both preaching and practising Puritanism --

notably on drink -- without lapsing into censoriousness or striking

holier-than-thou attitudes. He was also one of the most successful of

Scottish preachers abroad, in the US, New Zealand, and especially

Australia, a country no more prejudiced in favour of total abstinence

than St Cuthbert's congregation.

After a successful term as Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr Small

found a new role as first chairman of the Parole Board for Scotland, his

six years' service (recognised by a CBE award in 1975) ensuring that the

newly established board had the support and understanding of both public

and professional opinion.

Even after he retired he managed to combine an apparently boundless

energy with a capacity to take on new work, whether in modest roles as

ministerial locum or pastoral visitor or in winning assistance and

understanding for the elderly. He served Age Concern Scotland in several

capacities (including chairman 1981-83) and argued the claims both of

old people with much to contribute to the community and those left

isolated and afflicted. His own experience -- especially during his

wife's long illness -- also sustained his work for the Parkinson's

Disease Society, of which he was chairman in Edinburgh.

Another cause close to his heart was the welfare of Iona, though he

resisted the attempts of George MacLeod to enrol him in the Iona

Community. Although he supported much of the work, he sympathised with

islanders' fears of high-profile intrusion. He even tended to the

unfashionable view that George MacLeod's most remarkable ministry might

have been in Edinburgh, at St Cuthbert's in the 1920s. He also supported

the Iona islanders in their battles with the Kirk's bureaucracy.

Dr Small tackled his duties as royal chaplain with earnestness and

enjoyment. He had a happy relationship with the Queen and royal family

(notably when her children were growing up) and found the sovereign

observant, even slightly ironical in her readiness to be well-informed.

''Your St Cuthbert's,'' she once asked him, ''is that linked to the St

Cuthbert's Co-operative Society?''

He was author of several books, including With Ardour and Accuracy.

He married in 1931 Jane McGregor, who was not spared to share most of

his long and active retirement. They had three sons and a daughter.