Rev John Heron

Rev John Heron MA BD STM DD


(1913 - 1987)

In the death on 15th February, 1987, of the Revd Dr John Heron, our Society has lost a devoted and distinguished churchman; a philosopher and theologian, a liturgist and hymnologist, who enriched The Society's counsels; and a parish minister, pastor and preacher, who adorned the ranks of the ordained ministry in the Church of Scotland for half a century. President of the Church Service Society in 1972-74, he gave us all deep spiritual insights into the Church's worship and sacramental life, and strengthened the doctrinal element in liturgical study.

John Heron was born on 17th June, 1913, the son of The Revd Wm Heron of Sighthill Church in Springburn, Glasgow; and it was in Glasgow that this churchman was nurtured in Manse, School and University for his long and effective ministry. The academic foundation laid - MA Honours in Mental Philosophy, 1934, and BD, 1937, followed by STM (Union Theological Seminary, New York) - equipped him for his ordination in 1939, as a missionary Professor of Philosphy at the Scottish Churches' College in Calcutta. This missionary experience, with its emerging ecumenical facet, strengthened this scholarly young minister for his faithful years as a parish minister at Kirkintilloch St David's Memorial Church, and later at Stevenston High Kirk, until his retirement in 1975, hastened by failing physical health.

Dr Heron took an effective and responsible part in the wider work of the Church, particularly in the doctrinal sphere, where he represented a sound tradition in Christian Dogmatics, Scriptural and Evangelical, Catholic and Reformed. In particular, in the understanding, practice and doctrine of Holy Baptism, his scholarship has left an enduring influence: his service as Secretary to the Commission on Baptism; his articles. on the subject in the Scottish Journal of Theology, and the Church Service Society Annual; his part in "Crisis for Baptism" (S.C.M. Press, 1965).

May John Heron rest in peace: he will long be remembered with respect, gratitude and affection, as a true and faithful Minister of the Gospel, who, with conviction and in the exercise of his talents, reverenced Ordination to the Holy Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Living God.

"Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (St Jude).

They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

R Stuart Louden

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