General > Dr Lawrence Edward Luscombe, retired Bishop...
Dr Lawrence Edward Luscombe, retired Bishop of Brechin

For more than 20 years, Dr L E Luscombe, Retired Bishop of Brechin, better known throughout Scotland to his friends, family and church colleagues as "Ted", has lived in the village of Tealing. This came about in 1988, when protracted ill health resulted in the amputation of his wife Doris's right leg below the knee and a house on one level was urgently needed. Ted found the bungalow at Kirkton of Tealing quite quickly and recalls realising right away that it was an ideal location for their approaching retirement. "Woodville" also served as his official residence for the final year of his episcopate as Bishop of Brechin and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Lawrence Edward Luscombe was born on 10 November 1924 in Torquay. In November 1942 he joined the army and completed his training as a private soldier in the Border Regimental Depot at Carlisle Castle. There it was decided that he was" officer material" and he was sent to India to join the Officer Training School at Bangalore. He then served in Assam, the jungle of North West Burma and the Indian Sapper Depot in Jullundur in the Punjab, where he later became Acting Major. During his time at Jullundur, Ted met and married Doris, a young doctor from Glasgow who had almost certainly saved his life when she treated him for malaria and amoebic dysentery. They returned to the UK in 1947 when Lord Mountbatten handed over his powers as Viceroy to the new Indian Government.

Ted decided on an accountancy career and became a partner with Galbraith, Dunlop and Co, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1952. He remained a very active member of the church and, in 1960, felt a strong calling to the ordained ministry. What followed was an outstanding achievement for one who did not start training for the ministry until he was 36 years old. After years of study, Ted was ordained Deacon in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral Glasgow in September 1963 and to the priesthood, also in Glasgow Cathedral, in May 1964. He went on to become Provost of St Paul's Cathedral Dundee in 1971, Bishop of Brechin in June 1975 and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1985, before retiring in January 1990.

Throughout his period in the church, and to this day, he has given sterling service to many committees and other organisations including Aberlour Children's Trust, Dr Barnardo's, the Slessor Centre Trust and, in the field of education, at Glenalmond, Lathallan and Northern College. In 1987, the University of Dundee conferred upon him the Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa. Since then he has completed a Master of Philosopy and PhD, becoming an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Dundee. Typically, soon after arriving in Tealing he began to make a contribution to village life, serving on the Hall Committee and the School Board, of which he is still a member. Sadly, Doris died four years after coming to live in Tealing, but Ted has stayed on and continues to enjoy his retirement.

Over the years there have been many tributes to Bishop Luscombe. Just before his retirement, his life and career were recorded in the book "Edward; Reminiscences and Recollections" published in 1989 by Burns & Harris Ltd. Looking back on his career, a fellow Bishop said about him "by gentle persuasion and patient explanation he has steered, worked and captained the ship safely and confidently. It has all been done by a happy mix of serpent's wisdom and the dove's perceptive innocence. Ted is a man of stature. But to his great ability is added genuine humility, a warm humanity and overflowing generosity."

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