On Wednesday 14th April one of our Presbytery Balancing Elders, Doris Meston left us to be with our Lord. Doris was a faithful church worker in Presbytery since 2002 and in her local church for many years before that. She was a Church Elder from 1970 at Beechgrove and later at Midstocket Parish Church. She was a commissioner at the General Assembly in 2004, 2005 2007 and 2009. Doris was involved with committees that planned for the visit of the Moderator of the General Assembly to Aberdeen. She was invited onto Special Committees of Presbytery handling complex and sensitive matters and she also acted as an Assessor Elder.
Doris was a member of the Ministries and Resourcing Mission and Discipleship Committee, Congregational Support Committee and she was also on the Property Committee. Together with her husband, Professor Michael Meston, former Session Clerk at Beechgrove, she led a life of devoted service to her faith and her family. She is survived by two sons Donald and John and John’s family, Helen and Charlotte.
Doris dedicated her life to developing others in her community and her church. She ran the Cub pack at Beechgrove for many years, was on the children’s panel, and was on the VSA committee, becoming chairperson. She also worked in the hospital chaplaincy and became a ‘patient partner’ with the University of Aberdeen. The latter was a voluntary role that gave her the opportunity to nurture medical and dental students in their communication skills.
Rev. Tanya Webster, minister at Midstocket Parish Church, read a moving tribute to her at a recent Presbytery Meeting and spoke of Doris’ wider roles within the church:
‘Doris was active at a national level in the church. At Selection schools for around 25 years, she was a patient and empathetic listener who reflected deeply on the possibilities of a person discerning the right call. After completing her degree in theology, she worked as Secretary to the Master of Christ College where she provided support, advice, guidance and a sharp word of encouragement or of caution to the candidates and those who wanted to be candidates over a long number of years. She willingly listened to generations of students whose lives and future vocations were shaped by her wisdom, her gentle questioning and her warm, kindly interest. Doris provided wise placement advice to give candidates as wide a range of experience as possible, suitable to their background and challenging them to expand their horizons. She organized the interviews of Aberdeen candidates by the staff and representatives of the Board and identified all potential problems, ensuring they were dealt with quicky and effectively. She organized pulpit supply in Aberdeen Presbytery for many years and was able to channel her knowledge of students and their needs to the benefit of many congregations.
Doris was on the Board of World Mission and Unity, as well as the Board of Ministry and the then Ministries Council and the Candidates Committee. Her pastoral concern for staff at 121 George Street and her support to staff who made the visits to Christ College to see students was appreciated.
She participated in the ‘accompanied review’ process which saw her travel over the country to help ministers reflect on their ministry and their call and their gifts and assess where they might benefit from further development. At all times her love of the Church and her wish to be supportive of individuals who were trying to discern or fulfil a call to service shone through. Her good humour and cheerful manner often defused tensions and she sought positive solutions to difficulties while not being frightened to speak out against whatever she perceived as unjust or inappropriate.
Doris knew the value of things – not the price. But more than that, Doris knew the value in people. She loved meeting people and she saw the good in people, even when others didn’t. She was energetic, always busy, with a great sense of fun, a sense of community, strong beliefs and she cared passionately about the church.
She leaves a huge legacy of kindness and influence and her wit and wisdom and infectious personality will be remembered with great fondness. May She Rest in Peace’.
Midstocket Parish Church
Doris Meston receiving her Maundy Money
Doris was awarded the Maundy Money on the recommendation of the Very Revd Sir Iain Torrance, as Dean of the Chapel Royal, for her work on behalf of the Church in so many ways. It was a great thrill to her to be invited to Windsor to receive the award
We thank Doris for her immense contribution to the work of Christ’s church and pray for Donald, John, Helen and Charlotte at this difficult time.