Revd John Humphreys

john humphreys Dear Friends

The Public Service of Thanksgiving for Revd John Humphreys was held on Tuesday 13th December at St John’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh.

Rev John Humphreys Thanksgiving Service from Bungie on Vimeo.


Revd John Lloyd Humphreys (14.06.1951 – 17.11.2016)

John Humphreys, a gentle, caring, insightful and gifted servant of the Church, impressed all who met him through his kindness, care, wisdom and judgment.  If you spoke with him one-to-one, you were ever aware of his focus on and concern for you.  And if you saw him in action in Synod Meeting, you could not but be aware of his focus, his commitment, his great value to and rapport with the Synod, his sure touch in effecting consensus decision making and the way in which his beautifully crafted, thoughtful and inspirational acts of worship were appreciated.

Everything he did, he did with grace, conviction and selflessness.  I well recall in my early days as Synod Clerk, people approaching me to ask if I could persuade John to slow down and adopt less demanding travel schedules.  As well stop the sea from rolling – John saw it as his duty, a style which he had adopted and perfected in Wales and used to ‘overcome the geography’ of Synod – travelling long distances and getting home at all hours.  He regularly visited ministers and their families and performed a great pastoral ministry to retired ministers and their widows/ widowers.

John came to Scotland to take up appointment as Synod Development Officer in March 2002, and some three years later, he became our Synod Moderator – a vastly experienced Synod Moderator, given that he had served the Synod of Wales for 12 years in the selfsame post.  He followed in the footsteps of the first Moderator of the National Synod of Scotland in John Arthur, greatly respected and much loved in both the Synod and the wider United Reformed Church, and it is a mark of the man that he became an equally well respected and equally well loved successor.  Many of us have lost a great mentor, pastor and friend.

John’s death has occurred towards the end of a year when Synod has lost a number of ministers who contributed hugely to Synod, its churches and beyond, and were loved and served by John, including the aforesaid John Arthur.  Just over a week before John’s own death, we also lost, in Leonard Cohen, a spokesman for our age and times.  I do not know if Cohen would have meant anything special to John, but I end by quoting from him:

If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

Well, it was God’s will to let John sing – and how well and inspirationally he did it.

Jim Merrilees