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Glasgow Gospel Author Dies Aged 95

Tuesday August 2

Jamie Stuart at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2013, where he spoke against the tobacco industry.

Jamie Stuart, best-selling author of A Glasgow Gospel, has died aged 95.

Jamie – a former Scottish champion athlete, RAF airman, actor and vacuum cleaner salesman - found international fame in his sixties with the publication of the gospel rendered in Glaswegian.

The lifelong member of Carntyne Parish Church in Glasgow first performed the Bible in Scots in the early 1980s, having been inspired by Alec McCowan’s one-man performance of St Mark’s Gospel.

He later recalled “I thought – here was an English actor coming up and performing the Gospel in English. It could be done in Scots.”

He wrote A Scots Gospel with Donald Smith, then manager of the Netherbow Theatre, and toured it in churches, theatres, schools and prisons throughout Scotland. A book, published by Saint Andrew Press, appeared in 1985; but it was the Glasgow version seven years later that shot him to worldwide recognition.

On Easter Sunday 1992 he was mentioned on ITN’s lunchtime report, alongside Easter messages from the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Glasgow’s Evening Times serialised chapters from the book over the course of a week.

Other books, as well as audio and video versions of the Gospels, followed over the course of the next quarter of a century, and he performed all over the world.

Jamie was still active well into his nineties, speaking at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2013, and giving Time for Reflection at the Scottish Parliament in January 2015. He was a baton carrier for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

He leaves two daughters, four granddaughters and two great grandchildren. He was married to May for 30 years before her death in 1983. In a Q&A with Life and Work three years ago, he said his question for God would be ‘Gracious God, will you please direct me to my wife?'

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Carntyne Parish Church on Thursday (August 4) at 12 noon. A notice in the Herald states ‘bright colours to be worn at Jamie’s request’.

Free download of Jamie's Psalms for the People (pdf)

20 Years of the Glasgow Gospel: 2012 interview with Jamie Stuart and Donald Smith (pdf)

Jamie Stuart Q&A

Saint Andrew Press: Jamie Stuart page

Herald obituary


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