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‘I sleep very well these nights’

The Rev Iain May tells Jackie Macadam how he made the journey from high-flying banker to Edinburgh minister.

MINISTERS sometimes come into the job from any number of backgrounds and with all kinds of expertise.

But for the Rev Iain May, minister at South Leith church and the business mind behind a small community bank that is challenging the way people think about how and why they save and borrow, that journey has perhaps been more extreme than many.

For many years, Iain was a high flying banker, riding high on the crest of the boom times and the Celtic Tiger economy.

He didn’t start that way though. Born and brought up in Penicuik, in 1977 he went to sea as an officer cadet in the Merchant Navy, staying until 1985.

He says: “By then it was becoming apparent that the British Merchant Navy was on the verge of a collapse and I figured it was time to leave.

“I was married for three months in 1986 but tragically, my wife was killed in a hillwalking accident.

“I felt it was time to complete my education and get a degree so I went to Edinburgh University to study civil engineering and on graduation I reckoned it was probably best to get a job.

“I think I spotted about 30 jobs I fancied, and got some interviews. I was offered a job with American Express in their London head office. I was never a retail banker as I always worked in the head office functions.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: COMMUNION AND THE CHURCH - The place of sacrament ‘I SLEEP VERY WELL THESE NIGHTS’ - The high flying banker who became a minister WILL THE FUTURE HAVE A CHURCH - From death spiral to phoenix?