Kay Smith writes:
NIGEL COOK, who died on 10 November, aged 67, made his first contribution to the Scottish Episcopal Church as a choirboy at St Cuthbert’s, in the Edinburgh suburb of Colinton. But soon, as a gay man and a lover of music and liturgy, he found his spiritual and social home at Old St Paul’s in the city centre.
There, Nigel Cyril John Cook became one of the first editors of the now longstanding parish magazine White Rose. He also helped to compile and publish an illustrated service book.
He was appointed head server, a post in which, for 25 years, he assiduously maintained the traditions of the services he loved so much. He trained new servers, not simply telling them what to do, but also taking the time to explain the reasons behind the various practices.
An accountant, Nigel was appointed treasurer for Old St Paul’s in 2008, and, since 2013, was also treasurer for the Episcopalian diocese of Edinburgh, a member of its Standing Committee and a trustee of its General Synod. Always, he went the extra mile in providing background information and reports, and meticulously prepared accounts.
As business-services manager for the accountancy firm Touche Ross, he organised partners and a large team of trainees, who, no doubt, like the bishops, priests, and servers whom he organised at church, would not have dared put a foot wrong.
After 30 years’ service, and as Touche Ross merged into Deloitte, it was agreed that Nigel could leave, and set up his own firm, taking his clients with him.
For a brief period, one was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, who, was stripped of his knighthood in 2012 for services to banking. Nigel had already assessed Goodwin as falling far short of his own high ethical standards, and had removed him from his client list.
Many charitable sector organisations valued Nigel’s professional services, including Skatepal, which works with young people in Palestine; Braeburn Care Home, of which he was a trustee; and the spiritual and counselling centre Emmaus House, for whom he was auditor.