Sunday, August 7, 2016

Vale, Moyra McCallum

Aberdeen Deaconess Moyra McCallum, 80, died on July 15, after suffering a pulmonary embolism. A deaconess in the Church of Scotland for more than half a century and a stalwart member of Woodside Parish Church, she also had a wealth of academic experience under her belt. Among her lengthy list of qualifications and appointments were an MA degree from the University of Aberdeen, a four-year spell teaching at St Margaret’s School for Girls in the Granite City and a first-class honours degree from St Mary’s College, St Andrews, in Old Testament – one of her great passions in life. She also lectured in biblical studies at Aberdeen University, lectured at St Colm’s College, Edinburgh, in the same subject, was president of the Diaconate Council and was junior chaplain to the Rt Rev Robert Davidson.
She never married or had children but was close to both her mother and father’s sides of the families as well as having many friends, including Elspeth McPheat, who lead a tribute on behalf of those closest to her. She said: “Moyra was a friend to so many people over the years. She was good at keeping contact whether they were from school, church or further afield. She never failed to be interested in what folk were doing to make you feel that you were special to her. Moyra made friends easily and she had the knack of being able to relate to all ages and so became Auntie Moyra to many of her friends’ children or their friends’ children. The shock and grief will pass but all that she meant to me and so many others will remain.” 

Colin McAlister, session clerk at Woodside Parish Church, said: “Moyra loved this church and every person in it with every fibre of her being and we loved her back in return. “We cannot begin to fathom how life in this place will be without her. One limb has been removed from the body. Yet, life will go on, we will continue to fight the good fight of faith, as she would want us to.”
Jane Martin, secretary to the Diaconate Council, said: “Moyra may have gone from our midst but her legacy lives on in those who were privileged to know and share life with her.”
Rev. Nancy Allison, a former colleague of Moyra’s at St Colm’s, spoke about her contribution to the missionaries’ college, where she worked until it closed. She said: “In many ways Moyra was our conscience – making us go deeper into everyday problems, insisting that we keep our eyes fixed on the mission and parish work for which our students were preparing, and never glossing over factions within the community. Moyra believed in the all-embracing love of Christ and knew that our true task at St Colm’s was to incarnate that same love in all its transforming power.”
Vale, Moyra McCallum, good and faithful servant of the Lord. 
Source: Aberdeen Press
The Church of Scotland Diaconate added: It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Moyra MacCallum. Moyra nurtured and influenced generations of Deacons and Deaconess both within the Church of Scotland and the wider church. With her gentle humour, her intellect and deep faith, Moyra supported many leaders within the Church and had an amazing gift of seeing people's gifts and talents, often before the individual recognised those gifts in themselves.
We give thanks to God for all Moyra gave to the service of the Church and the diaconate and the many lives she touched. Our prayers are with Moyra's family and all those who were close to her and remember with tenderness that she is now with her Saviour and hearing the words - welcome Moyra my good and faithful servant.

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