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Former Primus dies

Posted on: January 18, 1998 3:13 PM
Related Categories: Scotland

The Rt Revd Alastair Haggart, former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, died on Sunday 11th January aged 82. The former Primus was a well known figure in international Anglican meetings. He was elected Vice Chairman of ACC from 1981 and served until 1985. In 1988 he underwent a coronary by-pass operation but shortly afterwards took part in the 1988 Lambeth Conference of Bishops where he was Chaplain.

The Revd Canon Dr John L Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, paid tribute to Bishop Haggart's contribution to the Church: "Alastair Haggart's contribution to the Anglican Communion was of great importance. As Vice Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council (1981-1985) and Chaplain to the 1988 Lambeth Conference he was well known and highly respected in all of the Provinces of the Communion. His presence as part of the delegation representing the Anglican Communion at the Eloff Commission in South Africa was a significant witness against the horrors of apartheid. The Anglican Communion mourns the death of Bishop Haggart, but is grateful for his deep concern that as a Communion of Churches, we are all One in the Body of Christ."

Alastair Haggart began his Christian life as a member of the Free Kirk but made a decision to join the Scottish Episcopal Church as a youth. He was ordained in 1941 and served curacies at Glasgow Cathedral and at St Mary's, Hendon. He was also Precentor at St Ninian's Cathedral Perth before returning to Glasgow to become incumbent at St Oswald's, King's Park. He went on to become Provost of St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee and then Principal of the Church's theological college in Edinburgh. He was elected Bishop of Edinburgh in 1975 and Primus two years later. As Primus Bishop Haggart managed to reform many of the structures of the Church and presided over a period which saw new liturgies evolving and new patterns of ministry.

Bishop Haggart was also a committed ecumenist and one of the architects of the Inter-Church Process - Not Strangers but Pilgrims which saw the old British Council of Churches replaced by new ecumenical instruments in Britain and Ireland.

He is survived by his widow Mary and two daughters.

The funeral for Bishop Alastair Haggart will take place at 11am on Saturday 17th January at St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh. The ACC will send a representative to the funeral.