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The Very Rev. Dr. Ronald Selby Wright


1908 - 1995

Clergyman. Born in Glasgow, the son of an organist, and raised in Edinburgh, Selby Wright was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Melville College (later Stewart's Melville College) and the University of Edinburgh. He served as Student Minister in Glasgow Cathedral (1929-36) before becoming Minister at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh in 1937. As Minister of what was then a deprived area, he concerned himself with the social welfare of his parishioners. During World War II he ministered to the troops in France, the Mediterranean and the Middle East and also became well known for his BBC radio broadcasts. Selby Wright made contributions to the liturgy of the Church of Scotland and to the restoration of Canongate Kirk to the simplistic interior we see today. He served as a Chaplain to the Queen (1963-78), as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1972-73) and as Chaplain to the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers (1973-93). He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh (1956), a CVO (1968), and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1973). He is said to have been an influence on future Prime Minister Tony Blair (b.1953) when Selby Wright served as Chaplain of Fettes College where Blair was a pupil.

Selby Wright died in Edinburgh and is commemorated by the new organ installed in the Canongate Kirk in 1998.


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