What kind of person becomes a Parish Minister? And what kind of church is it where a frail old woman can greet a rare visit from the Parish Minister with, “Oh, it’s yersel, ya bugger!”? And then get a kiss in response?
Born into the Edinburgh working class, Rev. Jack Kellet grew up surrounded by grandfathers who were both the “black sheep” of the family, parents who loved without showing emotion, and uncles who inspired with their bravery and leadership.
Having experienced his own lifetime of surprises, Jack Kellet recounts memories that have stayed with him throughout the years, such as:
Thriving through The Iona Community.
Falling in love and then three more Godsends.
Children suffering through racism.
The transforming effect of jagged shrapnel on the body of a dying man.
Piety necessitating politics.
Being taken aback by call to Holy Ministry and rejected as a Communist by American ministers at university.
Going into General Practice; midwifery in Dundee and then intensive care in Leith.
Kirk Elders who amazed their Minister and young “Assistants” who taught their boss.
Surprises in Italy, Zambia and The Bahamas, by Clement Attlee, the Proclaimers, Mike Tyson and the Queen at Balmoral!
"Jack Kellet is a lion-hearted man who has written a big-hearted book. It will warm your own heart to read it."
– Richard Holloway, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, broadcaster and writer
"There are many anecdotes in Jack's book ranging all the way from treading on one of the Queen's corgis at Balmoral to a closed-door party for local prostitutes and their families in the Kirk hall in Leith."
– Ron Ferguson, author of the best-selling Black Diamonds
"What a triumph of a book!"
– Iain MacDonald, Parish Minister in Orkney
"A truthful and eye-opening exploration into the life that comes with the job, the last job his parents or even his wife expected him to take."
– Peeblesshire News
"A title to get through our church bubble to 'the common people who heard Jesus gladly'."
– Border Telegraph
"An absolute joy to read your book – for this to be part of my work was a luxury."
– Lorraine Kelly, journalist
"Oh what a wonderful book! The journey has been filled with joy and adventure and insight into the human condition."
–Dr Leigh Steiner, Illinois, USA
"I will want a 'lending copy' because I want others to share the rich experience of reading it and would not let my own copy out of my hands to anyone."
– Lady Mary Davidson, Edinburgh.
"Wonderful book which I have read from cover to cover."
– Dr Ian Wotherspoon, historian and author.
"Two things to say to you: I hugely enjoyed your book and it made me proud to be a minister."
– Andrew McLellan, Moderator 2000, HM Inspector of Prisons for Scotland 2002-2009, McLellan Commission for the Catholic Church in Scotland 2014-2015.