Volume 29 Christmas 1995

The Church in James Cooper’s Day

Henry R Sefton

Henry R SeftonThis brief opening article provides a very concise view of the ecclesiastical Scotland into which James Cooper was born, no small task when one considers how divided a land it was. This also serves to present him in his own particular setting. Through the series of Cooper’s perceptive but sometimes quite acerbic views the reader is enabled to realize something of the passionate nature of the man whether for history, for reform, for ecclesiology, or for church architecture.

The Ministry of James Cooper at Aberdeen

Douglas M Murray

Cooper’s ministry seemed to attract controversy even before the induction took place. Douglas Murray’s account contains elements which might be part and parcel of many ministries, but perhaps not all together in the ministry of one man in one congregation. It is either a picture of how to introduce a number of quite significant changes at the start and in the course of one’s ministry, or how not to. In such wide ranging issues as Holy Week services, Communion on Easter Sunday, the use and the placing of organs in churches, pastoral visiting, a forerunner of Charteris’ Woman’s Guild, open air services of an evangelistic nature, one becomes aware of the energy and drive of the man and his commitment to the gospel. Few who have not read his story can be aware of how much of a debt is owed to James Cooper for developments in the life and worship of the Church in Scotland. This article has excellent references and bibliography, in addition to which Douglas Murray has produced a very thorough Bibliography of the entire life of Cooper. See pp34-41.

Cooper as Liturgiologist

James C Stewart

James Stewart, a successor to James Cooper in Aberdeen St Nicholas, contributes a useful background to Cooper’s growing up as he traces the influences on the way his liturgical practice developed. There is detailed analysis of Cooper’s Service of Holy Communion, and useful accounts of the various daily, weekly, and other services which have come down from his ministry. His fairly strong views of church architecture emerge at various points in the several articles, and tribute is paid to his influence on both the students and the colleagues of his day.