Rev Laurence Whitley Obituary
Rev. Whitley was born in 1949 in Port Glasgow, where his father was minister of Newark Parish Church. He attended Edinburgh Academy, graduated MA from the University of Edinburgh, then studied Divinity at St. Andrews. He was ordained to the ministry in the Presbytery of St. Andrews and served for a year at St. Andrew’s Church, Dundee, before moving to the linked charges of Busby East and Busby West in Renfrewshire.
In 1985 he became minister of Montrose Old Church, where he stayed until he was called to become minister of Glasgow Cathedral in 2007. Here he managed to reconcile differing factions over women becoming elders, and also played an important part in ecumenical relations. He helped to organize the St. Mungo Festival, a programme of events around the birthday of the city’s patron saint. He was the Police Chaplain, and was on the scene at the Clutha Bar and Queen Street tragedies, supporting those affected and the emergency workers. In 2014 he was presented with the Loving Cup, an award for people who have brought honour or distinction to Glasgow.
In 2013 Rev. Whitley published a book, A Great Grievance, a study of lay patronage in the Church of Scotland before 1750. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary degree by Glasgow Caledonian University. He retired from the ministry in 2017.
Rev. Whitley followed his mother in Nationalist politics. She had stood for the SNP against Sir Alec Douglas-Home in Kinross and West Perthshire, and he stood in the same constituency in the two General Elections of 1974, although sadly he did not succeed in either.
Rev. Whitley is survived by his wife Catherine and his children Edward and Hilary.