Past and present friends of LCPC were saddened to hear of the passing of Nancie Macleod (who had been a member of the congregation for 50 years) on the 24th of July. Below are extracts from the tribute which was given by Rev John MacPherson at a thanksgiving service on 5th August:
Nancie Macleod was born in 1930 in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, the daughter of Frank & Bertha Johnston. In 1949 she began her studies in Chemistry and related scientific subjects in Edinburgh University, graduating in 1953 and working for a further year in research.
Nancie often used to recount with great glee how her landlady told her on arrival that there were three Divinity students upstairs, but they were very quiet men. As time passed, however, and she observed developments with one of these allegedly quiet students, Murdo Macleod, she warned him: “If that red-headed one gets you, you’ll no be a minister!”
They did get each other, though, and in 1955 the Rev & Mrs Murdo & Nancie Macleod moved to Tarbert, Loch Fyne, where they served the local Free Church congregation for 8 years, during which time John, Donald and Ruth were born.
In February 1963, they moved to a snow-covered London, Murdo having accepted a call to be minister of the Free Church of Scotland congregation, which at that time worshipped in the YMCA in Baker Street. During those years their family was completed with the birth of Catherine. In the congregation a group of young men were brought to faith in Christ or had their faith strengthened, several of them going on to serve as respected ministers and elders in the denomination. Nancie always saw herself as a fellow-worker with Murdo in the cause of the Gospel, and the loving, pastoral care of these young men as also the leadership of an active ladies’ missionary group owed a great deal to her visionary enthusiasm.
After the children had grown up, Nancie travelled extensively with Murdo in the U.K., Europe and across the world. She made valuable contributions to the work of Christian Witness to Israel (CWI), which included a deep concern for the welfare of all the missionaries and their families. It’s quite amazing to think that just over 3 months ago Nancie visited Israel for the official opening of the Grace and Truth church building and the dedication of a study room in Murdo’s memory.
After Murdo’s death Nancie immersed herself in the life of the village of Eynsford, not for personal credit, but as a practical expression of her vibrant Christian faith and her genuine love for people. She joined the Women’s Institute and a local lunch club, wrote for the village magazine, co-led a Bible Study group for neighbours and cared for many of the older residents. And all those years she remained committed to the cause of Christ in the London City Presbyterian Church, thinking nothing of driving all the way into central London. Four years ago I was taking the services in the church and several of us were invited for lunch to the home of one of our members in West London. Nancie offered us all a lift and as she sped confidently past the Houses of Parliament, I asked her if she had ever thought of giving up driving back and fore into central London. “Well, “ she replied, “I always said to myself that I would give up driving altogether when I became 80, but now that I’m nearly there, I’m not so sure!” She did eventually decide to take the train into the City, but kept on driving locally till the end.
For many years now one of the highlights of the LCPC calendar, right up to this Spring, was the congregational outing to Nancie’s home in Eynsford. She thought nothing of a lively group of 20-50 people descending on her and was always the perfect hostess. She loved to see people happy, especially when they were happy in following and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. She lived out the words of the Apostle Paul: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
We will all miss her greatly, but we do not grudge her the eternal gain that she now enjoys. Along with our deep sympathy to all her children, grandchildren and other relatives and close friends, we give thanks to God for a fruitful life, a peaceful death and an eternal dwelling-place in the house of the Lord.