NicK BLair Chaplaincy, Teacher of Religious Studies
I came to Merchiston in 2004 and have just completed my fifteenth year here. My background was Christian Youth Work in Urban Priority Areas such as Wester Hailes, Gracemount and Liberton. At the time I was still playing rugby, so taking up a minor coaching and refereeing role at Merchiston was a real pleasure (and meant I had to learn some of the rules of the game I had been playing for 20 years!)
Being Chaplain at Merchiston is very much like being a parish priest in a village. I am involved in nearly every aspect of community life, the highs and the lows, the celebrations and the difficult times too. To use a theological phrase it is “incarnational ministry” getting alongside staff and pupils, supporting and encouraging and hopefully too showing the value of the spiritual in an increasingly secular world.
15 years have gone by in a flash: my son was 8 weeks old when we came here; he is now doing his GCSEs.
I love cooking, as often as time permits.
History is a fascination and I am at last nearing completion of a short biography of each of the fallen Merchistonians on our War memorial.
I am quite often seen out and about with a metal detector, but no major finds to report.
To date I have conducted 8 staff weddings...what a privilege to marry friends.
Coordinating and leading the Service of Remembrance in 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice was very special. Seeing 100 Pipers parade up the driveway to the garden of Remembrance will live long in my memory.