Death of Rev. John Lamb B.D.

Rev. John LambObituary taken from the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald, October 24th 1913

We regret to record the death on Tuesday morning, of the Rev. John Lamb B.D., minister of the parish of West Kilbride. Mr Lamb had been in failing health for some time, being troubled by a weakness of the heart and was confined to the house for about a fortnight before the end came. His demise creates a blank in the parish which will not be easily filled. It is not only that his long association with the district made him a familiar figure whose removal will be felt by the whole community. He will be missed chiefly because of his peculiar qualities as a man and a pastor. Few parish ministers have endeared themselves to their parishioners as did John Lamb. It would is no commonplace of posthumous appreciation to say that he was beloved by all who knew him. In the village of West Kilbride the warm esteem and respect of the people was won by him by the sheer excellence of his character as a man, and by his unflinching fidelity in his duties as a parish minister. As a preacher he made no claim to brilliance, but in pastoral work his virtues far outweigh those of the average minister. As a visitor of the sick and sorrowing, Mr Lamb was indefatigable. It mattered not at what hour or to what locality his pastoral ministrations were required, he was ready to do what was required of him, and he never did it simply as one performingva duty that had to be done, but as one spontaneously moved by his own heart to sympathise and console. In the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning he might often have been seen hurrying on the way to someone’s bed-ends. And those ministrations so freely given, were not confined to the members and adherents of his own congregation. Everyone in the parish he regarded as entitled to such help as he would give. This readiness to help, combined with manner strikingly generous and open, could not fail to win the esteem of the community, there were other regards in which Mr Lamb earned the public respect. When first he came to West Kilbride denominational feeling was somewhat pronounced in the village. That he was to a large extent instrumental in breaking down, first by evincing a readiness to associate and co-operate with ministers with other churches – no common thing in those days – and afterwards taking the first steps to holding joint services and joint prayer services of the various congregations. Services of another kind he rendered in the community on the Parish School Board of which at times he acted as Chairman, occupying that post altogether for a considerable number of years. He was also one of the most regular attendees of the Irvine Presbytery, in the work of which he took a lively interest. A number of years ago he published an admirably comprehensive history of the parish of West Kilbride, an abridged edition of which was issued from these offices.

A native of East Linton, Mr Lamb followed the teaching profession for some years before Joining the Christian ministry. He was a schoolmaster – as was his father before him – in Old Meddrum in Aberdeenshire, and was well over 30 years of age when he joined the Established Church clergy as assistant at St George’s, Edinburgh. He was called to West Kilbride as assistant and successor to the Rev. Alex King and was ordained in April 1881, Mr King dying not long afterwards. Semi jubilee celebrations took place in 1906 when the good will of the community was appropriately signalised. Mr Lamb, who was in his 65th year, is survived by his widow, one son, and two daughters, for whom the sincerest sympathy is felt. The son – also named Rev. John Lamb B.D. – is at present assistant in St George’s Edinburgh, whence his father came 32 years ago.

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