Tributes have been paid to the Rev. G Stuart Young, minister of St Andrew’s Church, Blairgowrie, from 1969 to 1996, who died on Thursday, November 22. He was 81 and had been in poor health for a number of years.
At a sitting of the Presbytery of Dunkeld and Meigle, the Rev. Harry Mowbray, minister of Blairgowrie Parish Church, said Mr Young was well known and well loved in Blairgowrie by church members and many others in the town and surrounding area.
“Many people may not have known him by name but knew him as the minister of St Andrews Church who played the dame in the pantomime,” said Mr Mowbray, adding, “Mr Young was trail-blazing a different kind of ministry - a church without walls - all those years ago.”
Mr Mowbray said Mr Young was a faithful member of the Presbytery, and it was agreed that the presbytery clerk should write to Mrs Elma Young to express the condolences of members of presbytery.
At the 50th anniversary of Mr Young’s ordination in 2011, Mr Mowbray said Mr Young spent his childhood in Glasgow where he was educated at Croftfoot Primary School and Queen’s Park Secondary.
He studied engineering at what is now the University of Strathclyde and trained as a miner.
During National Service in the Royal Signals he attended services led by an army chaplain who impressed him very much.
It was during a family holiday to Rothesay that a minister first suggested that he should train for ministry. The seed had been sown and Mr Young studied at Trinity College, Glasgow, graduating in 1960.
He served as a student at King’s Park Church, Glasgow, at that time one of the largest churches in the country with a membership of more than 3400.
He had an idea of service as a military chaplain until the moving of a colleague in King’s Park to Canada created a vacancy for an assistant which he was invited to fill.
He was at King’s Park for three years, a real apprenticeship for the ministry. Mr Young and Elma were married in 1957, and when their first son, Paul, was baptised in King’s Park he was one of 15 baptisms.
Mr Young was ordained and inducted to the charge of Crighton West in Cumnock, Ayrshire, on March 20, 1961. It was a mining community giving Mr Young a link with his early working life. While in Ayrshire, Mr and Mrs Young had three other children, twins Kenneth and Allan, and a daughter Sheila.
In March 1969 Mr Young was inducted to St Andrew’s Church, Blairgowrie, and the family moved to a parish which was very different to the city or the mining community they had left.
The ministry lasted 27 years and eight months until Mr Young retiral in November 1996.
At that point, Mr Young was the longest serving minister in the 100-year history of St Andrew’s, an indication of the affection and respect in which Mr and Mrs Young were held in Blairgowrie.
Mr Young was a keen supporter of all the organisations working in the church - the Guild, the choir, and the Boys’ Brigade. He liked to be involved in the boys’ activities including their camping and table tennis. During his time in the Presbytery of Meigle, and then Dunkeld and Meigle, he served on most of the Presbytery committees, and as moderator. He also took a great interest in all that was going on in the town, supporting the Cottage Hospital and many committees.
Mr Young was an enthusiastic member of Blairgowrie Players and took many leading roles in plays entered for Scottish Community Drama Festivals, with regular success.
He was probably best known for his performances as the dame in the Players’ pantomimes for many years. He brought his wit and own style - and often his own ad lib - to the part.
He regularly took over a scene while the rest of the cast waited for him to return to the planned script - and the audience to stop laughing.
In October 2010 Mr Young was presented with a framed certificate of lifetime membership of the Players. It was handed over by a former Player, Andy Clark, who shared many panto scenes with Mr Young before embarking on a career as a professional actor.
Andy said Mr Young was an inspiration to him when he was a member of 2nd Blairgowrie BB Company and Mr Young was the company chaplain, and also listening to him when he was in the Sunday School.
Andy added that it was seeing Mr Young on stage that was the reason he was an actor today.