Tributes to a 'gospel enthusiast' who inspired, encouraged and served
Published on 19 December 2023 3 minutes read
Tributes have been paid to a beloved elder who dedicated himself to a wide range of projects to help the Church share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Richard Lloyd was described as a "gospel enthusiast", a warm, kind and friendly man who had a deep faith and love for people and helped "lift" the atmosphere in every room he walked into.
He died after a short illness and Rev Tommy MacNeil, convener of the Faith Action Programme Leadership Team, led the tributes in memory of a "remarkable" person.
He said: "We were all greatly saddened to hear of Richard's recent health diagnosis and are now deeply sorrowful as we come to terms with news of his passing.
"We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4v13-14)
"I first met him at a Going For Growth summer school in 2017.
"I was immediately drawn to his warm personality, his kindness of spirit and his passion for the gospel.
"Anyone who encountered him were always blessed and encouraged as a result."
Passion for the Gospel
A native of Wick in Caithness, Mr Lloyd completed his schooling at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh.
His working life was spent in the RAF and in management consultancy, both in his own company, and as partner in other management consultancies before eventually retiring.
Mr Lloyd became a Christian on an Alpha course in Kent in 1995 and went on to study on a ‘Developing Ministry Practise' Course before training as a parish evangelist in Rochester Diocese.
Ordained as a Church of Scotland elder in 2007, he served on the Kirk Session of Dalgety Parish Church in Fife and more recently was a member at Dalmeny and Queensferry Church.
Mr MacNeil said: "Richard's passion for the gospel, for people, and for the church led him to be involved in a variety of projects over the last 15 years.
"He was a Path of Renewal coach/mentor for five churches in the north, a member of the Mission and Discipleship Council and subsequently the Faith Nurture Forum and until very recently a member of PMPIG as a facilitator.
"He was a Future Focus facilitator for a number of years, helped roll out the Growing Young initiative in six churches and was a member of the Intergenerational Church Task Group.
"More recently he took on the role as vice-convener for the Mission Support Group at the General Assembly of 2023.
"On learning of his appointment as vice convener Richard messaged me to say: ‘I'm really excited by this work and very motivated by getting out to meet people where they are'.
"He got in touch with me recently to share the devastating news of his diagnosis, but in his usual inimitable manner concluded his email by saying ‘I wish you and the team all possible success for the future as you lead the revival! Peace and Grace, Richard'.
"We give thanks for the season Richard served in this role and for the central role he played in setting the initial agenda and tone for the work.
"When I have the privilege of speaking to people in the wider church, I describe myself as a gospel optimist.
"In remembering Richard, I'll thank God for the way his life impacted others by him being a gospel enthusiast.
"His love for God, his love for people and his love for the church were infectious.
"As we remember him with thanksgiving, and praise God for his life, my prayer is that we will do justice to his memory by carrying on the rich legacy he has left behind.
"We're mindful of his wife Sue and his family at this time and commend them to your prayers."
Rev Graham Duffin, minister of Loanhead Parish Church and Growing Young project leader, worked closely with Mr Lloyd for many years.
He said: "I first met Richard at a conference in 2006 and he emailed after it to say how much he'd appreciated the input I'd given.
"This gift of encouragement was one that marked Richard out wherever he was.
"He became for me a trusted confidant and when we were looking for coaches for Path of Renewal, then later for Growing Young, Richard was an obvious choice.
"He had an easy way, genuine warmth and endless optimism that helped lift the room wherever he was.
"More than that, people enjoyed speaking and sharing with him as he took the time to listen.
"He cared about people and it showed.
"As he worked alongside churches, he brought skills from his working life as a management consultant - helping folk stay on track with deep insights and understanding.
"But more than that he travelled graciously with people as a man of deep faith, always pointing to Jesus."
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116v15)