- Area of Edinburgh
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- About me
I became Classical Music Editor in July 2011, after several years on the Reviewers Team. This is an all-the-year-round task, but a particularly busy one during the Edinburgh Festivals in August. I also write about Ecclesiastical Matters that concern Edinburgh and its Churches.
A boarder from the age of eight I was taught to sing by David French in the exquisite Chapel of St Nicholas at Mostyn House School. Its famous 37 bell carillon, played by boys, rang out the day's hymn tune on our way into chapel every morning.
In Loretto's chapel under Edward J. C. Garden, later Professor of Music at Sheffield University, virtually the whole school was the choir. The renowned Jean Kennoway Howells taught me to play the viola for the school orchestra. I have been a keen follower of classical and church music ever since. I first attended Usher Hall Friday evening concerts as long ago as 1960. But I am happy to be a reviewer, not a critic, and, therefore, to write about my overall experience of a concert or event.
A churchwarden and local councillor in my twenties, a deanery treasurer, chairman of a diocesan revenue committee and then treasurer of the ancient Diocese of Hereford, I was then elected a member of the General Synod of the Church of England. I 'came out' as gay in a major speech about homosexuality in 1987. At the time I was Chairman of Christian Action on AIDS and adviser to Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. Since then I have counselled and tried to help very many troubled Christians.
The General Synod later elected me a founder member of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland. I chaired a worldwide archiepiscopal commission preparing working papers for the 1988 Lambeth Conference and was a consultant to the Church and Society Unit of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. From my travels I gained an understanding of the Anglican Communion and something of the World Church.
My maternal grandfather, uncle and cousin have been Church of Scotland ministers. My late partner was Secretary-General of the General Synod of the Church of England, who was ordained on retirement. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. I remain a layman with a deep interest in church matters in Edinburgh.
I was a magistrate and a licensing justice for sixteen years and chairman of a number of national charities concerning alcohol, drugs and housing for ex-offenders.
Before returning to Edinburgh to retire in 2006 I lived close to Westminster Abbey with a concert pianist and founder of a London-based orchestra, and was a close friend of the doyen of opera directors.
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