1930s Raxaul, India Mission

Frank Balfour was the honorary Edinburgh Secretary in the 1930s for a medical mission in Raxaul, North India, on the border of Nepal. Nepal would not allow Christian missionaries into the country, so some medically-qualified Edinburgh people set up a hospital near the border, and many Nepalese came across for treatment. Read More


Common Grace and Saving Grace


Greek scholar Archimedes

The exclamation ‘Eureka!’ (‘I have found it!’) is attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes, after he discovered how the volume of irregular objects could be measured with precision. He had stepped into a bathtub and noted that the rise in the the water level (which could be measured) equalled the volume of the parts of his body he had submerged.  A ‘Eureka moment’ now describes finding the answer to a puzzling question. Read More


Edinburgh’s Ecclesiastical Heritage

40 church buildings in and around Edinburgh

Ian was involved when the Chapels Society (www.chapelssociety.org.uk) visited Edinburgh in May 2015.

church_tour_edinburgh_40The members were primarily interested in the ‘architecture and historical importance’ of church buildings, and arranged two walking tours and one self-guided tour. The notes they provided, edited here by Ian, give an excellent overview of the profusion and variety of church buildings in the area.


Click the button for the full list:

40 Church Buildings


cameras Ian Balfour

Balfour Family Holidays 1947-53

Over the years the Balfour family captured some fascinating footage on a cine film camera. Here you can see footage from 1947 all the way through to 1958, covering family holidays, Ian and Joyce’s wedding, a train journey to Newtonmore and a trip to Nepal and North India. You can even see the Edinburgh trams, circa 1952.


Click to view a film:

1947 Tiree, Scotland
1948 Westray, Scotland
1949 County Antrim, Northern Ireland
1950 Edinburgh and the Highlands
1951 Guernsey and other Channel Islands
1952 Teignmouth, Devon and Princes Street, Edinburgh
1953 West Coast of Scotland and Brora by caravan
The Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants

The Peril of Taking a Lawyer’s Advice

In one of Shakespeare’s plays, Dick the Butcher and Smith the Weaver are planning how to make the world a better place. “The first thing we do”, says Dick, “let’s kill all the lawyers”. This is taken up enthusiastically by the others, and they make a start by hanging the Town Clerk of Latham.


For the Baptist Union of Scotland 1976 Presidential Address, Ian Balfour expressed his own concern about four lawyers found in the New Testament, whose attitudes have had influence in our Churches. He goes further, warning the reader against taking their advice.


The Peril of Taking a Lawyer’s Advice

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