Tributes paid to minister killed in road accident in Edinburgh

A Lewis minister was killed in Edinburgh this week while attending the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rev Tom Sinclair (76) was hit by a car on Monday as he walked across the entrance road to Waverley Station on Waverley Bridge.

Originally from Glasgow, Mr Sinclair was clerk to the Presbytery of Lewis for over 30 years and is survived by his wife, Pam, and son Jonathan, who lives in Edinburgh.

Mr Sinclair entered the ministry young after studies at Trinity College, Glasgow, completing his probation in Aberdeen Holburn Central with the legendary Dr Knox.

His first parish was Scourie in Sutherland and in the 1970s he moved to Martin’s Memorial in Stornoway where he served for almost 30 years.

The Moderator, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, remembered Mr Sinclair and his family in prayers at the start of the assembly on Tuesday. He said: “The news of Tom’s death in such tragic circumstances came as a terrible shock to the General Assembly. Tom Sinclair loved the Church of Scotland and loved General Assembly. We mourn his loss and we commend his wife and family to the care of the community of faith and to the grace God.

“Tom’s death is a painful tragedy for his wife and family and will come as a real blow to the Presbytery of Lewis which he was still serving as presbytery clerk.”


Rev Sinclair was attending the General Assembly when the accident occurred

Reverend Hugh Stewart, minister and charge of congregations of Lochs-in-Bernera linked with Uig Church of Scotland, said: “My colleagues and I are still in shock at the tragic passing of our dear friend and ministerial colleague Rev Tom Sinclair who was loved and respected, in such tragic circum­stances reminding us of the transience of life.

“While not born in Lewis, Tom was a well-known and well-loved figure across the communities of the Western Isles. For more than 30 years, he ministered in Martin’s Memorial church in Stornoway and throughout most of that time he also served as presbytery clerk, making him one of the longest-serving ministers to hold such a significant ecclesiastical office.”

Mr Stewart added: “He was a gentle, caring and incisive person. He was well loved for the amiable and jolly manner in which he carried out his duties. Of particular interest to Tom was the care of those with special needs, who were always at the centre of his life and work in the community.

“He will be remembered with great affection and thankfulness for the contribution he made not only to the Church of Scotland but also to the wider communities of the Western Isles.”