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Eric Culbertson: Scottish-born minister was theologian of great intellect

The death of Reverend Dr Eric Culbertson

The Rev Dr Eric Culbertson (right), who has died aged 59, was latterly minister of Tullanisken and Clonoe in the Armagh Diocese until his retirement due to ill-health.

He was born in Edinburgh in 1954 and educated at George Herriotts' School prior to his further education at Christ Church, Oxford, Edinburgh Theological College and King's College London, where he was awarded a PhD in 1991. His thesis was a study on Evangelical Anglicanism in the 19th Century.

Eric Malcolm Culbertson was ordained in 1980 and his first curacy was in St Thomas's Church, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

He moved to London in 1983 to serve in St Mary's Church in Ealing, where he spent four years before returning to Scotland to become rector of the parish of Clarkston.

Two years later he was appointed the area secretary of BCMS/Crosslinks, while also serving as honorary curate in St Luke's, Manchester.

In 1994 he made a significant career change by coming to Northern Ireland, where he was appointed to the group of parishes at Tullanisken and Clonoe.

He was a cleric with conservative theological views and was a well-known figure at the Church of Ireland General and Diocesan Synods.

He was also an active member of the Armagh Clerical Union, the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy and, in later days, of the Cookstown Clerical Society, after moving to the town.

Dr Culbertson had a wide range of interests and connections and he was a familiar figure in unionism, as well as the Orange and Royal Black Institutions and Apprentice Boys of Derry.

He was a fine singer and was later appointed Vicar-Choral at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.

A former colleague, the Rev Hugh Ross, paid tribute to the late Dr Culbertson, whom he described as "a friend and colleague and a man of great genius and intellect".

Dr Culbertson is survived by his wife Kay, his daughters Mary and Sarah, and by his wider family circle.

Belfast Telegraph


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