Thanksgiving service for former St Margaret’s minister Roy Hill

A service of thanksgiving was held in the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity in St Andrews on Good Friday for the Rev. Roy Hill, former minister of St James’s and St Margaret’s churches in Forfar, who passed away at the age of 79.

The Rev. Hill, his wife Pauline and three children - Yvonne, Malcolm and Lesley - spent 18 years in Forfar before he took up a post as a Church of Scotland Minister in Lisbon, Portugal.

During his ten years in Lisbon he became clerk to the Presbytery of Europe before he and Pauline retired to St Andrews 15 years ago.

Born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, Roy and his brother David won scholarships to Coleraine Academy.

They both learned the piano and the organ with Roy excelling in sport.

He played in goal for his school and college and his other big love was rowing, being an oarsman for his school and town.

On leaving school he spent three years working in insurance before following his brother’s calling to the ministry.

After completing his primary degree Roy studied theology at the Assembly’s College in Belfast. It was during his studies he met and married Pauline.

After graduating Roy worked as a minister in the south of Ireland, working at three churches which were 70 miles apart.

He then answered his calling back to Belfast in the late 1960’s at a time when the troubles were starting, taking up the ministry of the Broadway Church on Falls Road.

During his three years in Belfast he built excellent relations with the local priests, building bridges in an attempt to bring the communities together.

He also had excellent relations with the British Army’s majors, generals and army chaplains.

However, after three and a half years with the increasing violence and with a young family, the Rev. Hill took the decision to move to Forfar where he started at St James’s Church.

Well-known for his quotes he commented at the time: “We are suffering in Northern Ireland an overdose of religion and a dearth of Christianity.”

Half-way through his 18 years in Forfar there was a union with the West Church to form St Margaret’s.

During his time in Forfar the Rev. Hill was a dedicated follower of Forfar Athletic Football Club, being a season ticket holder.

He continued supporting the Loons whilst working in Lisbon, and took up a season ticket again when he retired to St Andrews, travelling regularly to Station Park.

The Rev. Hill is survived by his wife Pauline, who he was married to for 51 years, their three children and four grand-children.

After a private cremation the service of thanksgiving for his life was held last Friday, with the Rev. Jean Montgomerie, fellow former minister of St Margaret’s, performing one of three tributes.