Rev Dr Ian M. Fraser (1917–2018)

One of our most senior and distinguished alumni, Ian Masson Fraser passed away on 10 April 2018 aged 100

As an industrial chaplain, parish minister, ecumenical leader, and theologian, Ian was one of the best-known figures of his generation in the Kirk. Educated at Forres Academy, he graduated MA (1939) and BD (1942) from the University of Edinburgh before entering upon a remarkably busy and creative ministry. After spells as a factory chaplain (Markinch), SCM general secretary, and parish minister (Rosyth), he served as Warden of Scottish Churches House in Dunblane (1960) and later Secretary of Education and Renewal at the WCC in Geneva (1969). In 1973, he was appointed Dean and Head of Mission at Selly Oak College. Ian was noted for his lifelong commitment to ecumenism, social justice, and theological education which he passionately believed was not for the few but the many. This was expressed most vividly in his book Reinventing Theology as the People’s Work (1980). An original member of the Iona Community, Ian had a talent for inspiring and encouraging others in their work, worship and social witness. His infectious humour and cheerfulness were vital ingredients of this success. Until the end of his life, he remained active in the Scottish Church Theology Society of which he was a co-founder in 1943. In January this year, he attended, aged 100, its annual conference in Peebles. An outstanding figure in the recent history of the Scottish church and a loyal friend of New College, we salute Ian’s memory as we extend our condolences to his family.

Professor David Fergusson (Principal of New College)