Free Church fundraiser rocks the Wee Toon

Campbeltown Courier - - LEISURE - Words and pic­tures HAN­NAH O’HAN­LON

A FREE Church min­is­ter, whose long hair and beard was once con­sid­ered ‘out­ra­geous’ rocked Camp­bel­town for char­ity last week­end.

Singer song­writer Alex Mac­Don­ald, who has been play­ing gui­tar and writ­ing and per­form­ing songs since his teens and was a min­is­ter for al­most 40 years, per­formed his own com­po­si­tions as well as songs writ­ten by friends to a packed au­di­ence.

Scot­tish folk rock per­former Alex was joined on stage by clas­si­cally trained singer and pi­anist Cailean Mori­son and bass gui­tar player Phil On­slow.

Song top­ics, told from Alex’s par­tic­u­lar per­spec­tive as a Chris­tian, in­cluded run­ning away from home, the High­land Clear­ances, mov­ing to new lands and feel­ing lost, not only phys­i­cally, but emo­tion­ally and spir­i­tu­ally.

A spe­cial song, Shep­herd’s Song, telling the story of Mr Mac­Don­ald’s par­ents’ life – par­tic­u­larly his fa­ther’s – was per­formed.

Another told the story of how the word ‘Eter­nity’ came to be writ­ten on Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge as part of the mil­len­nium cel­e­bra­tions, and that it was all down to one il­lit­er­ate for­mer sol­der, Arthur Stace, who was a petty crim­i­nal and al­co­holic be­fore dis­cov­er­ing Chris­tian­ity in the late 1940s.

Dur­ing the set, Alex and Phil had a break and Cailean took cen­tre stage, per­form­ing two songs about the heal­ing pow­ers of faith.

Through­out the evening Alex shared anec­dotes and tales about how he came to write his sto­ries.

He is well qual­i­fied to talk about re­li­gion, hav­ing stud­ied the­ol­ogy at the Free Church Col­lege af­ter phi­los­o­phy and psy­chol­ogy at Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity.

At first his rock style got him into bother, but he even­tu­ally gained re­spectabil­ity and be­came the Free Church mod­er­a­tor, preach­ing be­fore the Queen at Crathie.

En­try to the event was by do­na­tion at the door, with the £350 raised to be split be­tween Kin­tyre char­ity Shop­per-Aide and Chris­tian re­lief agency Tear­fund’s South Asia Floods Ap­peal.

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There was barely a free seat as the au­di­ence packed into the Free Church.

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Clas­si­cally trained singer and pi­anist Cailean Mori­son per­formed two solo songs.

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Singer song­writer Alex Mac­Don­ald was a Free Church min­is­ter for al­most 40 years.

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Band mem­ber Phil On­slow played bass gui­tar.

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Alex Mac­Don­ald was joined on stage by two of his band mem­bers, Cailean Mori­son and Phil On­slow.

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