From homelessness to Primus |

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From homelessness to Primus

Thomas Baldwin meets the recently-elected the Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.


A FEW days before our interview, the Most Rev Mark Strange and his family joined the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the editor of Life and Work, and over 8000 others at the mass sleepout in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

The aim was to raise money and awareness, working towards an end to homelessness in Scotland. But for Mark, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and his wife Jane, the event had a more personal meaning. In the early part of their marriage, they went through a two-year spell where they had no regular work and no home.

“I have to say I approached the evening with apprehension,” he says. “As a couple, even when we didn’t have a home of our own we didn’t sleep rough, although we slept in a number of railway stations etc. “But I’d forgotten just how long a cold night is, when you haven’t got anything to stimulate you.

“There were actually five of us from the family that did it, and it was actually the following night that I think for all of us became quite a painful reflection – at how horrible it had been, and yet, we only had to do it for one night.

“And yet others who I have passed every day this week between the General Synod office and my hotel have to do it every night. And that can’t be right. And we have to find ways of changing it.”

A challenging aim, but Bishop Mark says he likes a challenge, which is probably for the best.

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About Life and Work

Inside this month EASTER SPECIAL Reflection from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland FROM HOMELESSNESS TO PRIMUS Focus on the leader of the Scottish Episcopal Church ON THE RAILS The work of the Railway Chaplaincy and Railway Pastors