Alan Parsons’ life encompassed everything from the Admiralty to helping found a Banff church and spreading the gospel in Shetland.
The far-travelled London-born churchman, who has died aged 99, was one of the most well-known faces in the north-east religious community, whether helping to create the Riverside Christian Church in Banff with his friend, Joe Ewen, in the early 1980s, or working to restore the derelict Montcoffer House in Alvah.
Mr Parsons, who was born in London in 1920, served in the Admiralty during the Second World War and, following the conflict, married Winifred in Glasgow in 1951 before settling in Essex where he worked for Shell as a management consultant.
However, as passionate admirers of Scotland, the couple moved to the Banff area in 1974 and refurbished of Montcoffer House.
In his later life, he moved to Shetland, where he was looked after by his only daughter, Heather, as the prelude to relocating yet again to Laurencekirk.
Mr Ewen, leader of the River Church network, said: “Alan was the treasurer of the church and restored Montcoffer House, which became more than a family home, where he and Winifred led bible studies and opened it up to care for some young men who were struggling with life and addiction.
“He was a great friend and fellow worker in the Christian faith. We travelled to east Germany a few days after the wall came down and he also led teams from our church to Croatia during the Balkan war (in the early 1990s).
“He and Winifred were an integral part of the community and I count it a privilege to have known him.”
Rob McArthur, the current pastor at Banff’s River Church, described Mr Parsons as a “giant”, whose life had a positive impact on so many others.
He said: “Alan was instrumental in the establishing of the church in Banff and our small movement of churches which includes Elgin and Aberdeen.
“He and Winifred gave a great deal of their time and energy to what we now have as a church. There is a saying that goes, we, the younger generation stand on the shoulders of giants, and this is certainly true about Alan.
“He was a giant in the faith, helping and supporting many people in and around Banff. He will be a great loss to his lovely family and our congregations.”
Mr Parsons, and his wife, who predeceased him in 2015, had five children – John, David, Heather, Alastair and Russell.
His funeral was held yesterday in the River Church at 11.30am, prior to his burial at Myrus Cemetery in Macduff.