Jim Punton   -   his life and influence

Some pictures, and their context

Many of the pictures can be clicked on for an enlarged view

Jim lived in Haddington, East Lothian and attended Knox Academy. A school with an interesting history since it was the direct sucessor of the old grammar school of the town which John Knox attended in the 1500s.

His family attended St Mary's Church of Scotland and Jim was in the Bible Class and the Wednesday night club. "An energetic and wild lot, but loveable" according to Rev. David Torrance who led the club and mentions Jim in his 2015 autobiography.

A student at Edinburgh

Jim at 18
Jim with a group from the Edinburgh SU Fellowship.
Photo from Isabel Murray.
(Others in picture include Dorothy Young, Olive Rutherford, Joan Cummingham)

After school Jim went to Edinburgh University to study in the Arts Faculty.

If you look carefully at the magnified view of the picture on the left you will see that as a good Scripture Union member he wore his SU badge!

He played hockey at university, was a member of the Liberal Party, and a member of the Christian Union.

Scripture Union Camps

At an SU Easter camp aged 20
Summer camp at Scoughall
At an Easter camp around 1960

With Boss Meiklejohn at Scoughall in 1965
(Photo - Sheena Badger via Sandy Meiklejohn)
With Boss Meiklejohn, Kingscross, Arran 1974
(Photo from Sandy Meiklejohn)

Jim was involved in SU Camps in Scotland from his school days until 1977. He would regularly be at camp each Easter and summer - sometimes at more than one camp in the summer.

Cover of booklet produced for 1972 camp at Kingscross, Arran

The amount of preparation Jim put in for a camp was astonishing - he produced a booklet for each camp with lists of programme each day and campers and leaders names.


He produced a camp song-book each year with many of the hymns and choruses re-written by himself. Says Michael Eastman."He re-wrote or altered material. Added verses to songs without a care. We were nearly sued as a result. Jim didn't believe in copyright!"

The photograph below is at an SU camp reunion week-end. A reunion week-end of one of the Kingscross, Arran camps that Jim led. The reunion was at Kinlochard Village Hall.

At a SU camp reunion, about 1975

Scripture Union Missions

Jim was also at a number of SU missions. He led a couple of missions at Lamlash in the mid 1960s. As with the camps he prepared for missions in great detail. Here is a book-mark he produced for the youngsters at the Lamlash mission in 1965 to take away with them, giving list of leaders (or in the jargon of the times 'houseparty members').
click on bookmark to see inside

Cephas Club in Edinburgh

In the early 1960s Jim was involved in the Cephas Club in Edinburgh in the basement of St George's West Church. Large numbers, often of alienated young people, attended on the three nights a week it was open. We've traced a couple of photographs from the Scotsman archives taken in the Cephas Club at that time. Here are links to them   Jive      playing draughts As far as we can see Jim is not in the photograps, but they give an idea of the atmosphere of Cephas.

New York
After his time at St Andrews Jim, in late 1967 or early 1978, went to New York spending two years there involved in community development with a presbyterian church in Brooklyn. (We would love to find more details - what was the name of the congregation he worked with; which part of Brooklyn etc. And great if we could find photos of where he was working.)

FYT Work

Jim plans his work

Jim started working for FYT in August 1971. Here (on the left) is a picture sent out with the press release announcing his appointment. (In the picture with Jim is Michael Eastman.)

Jim spent a great deal of his time at training events - here is a photo taken at an FYT Glasgow training event. Probably a Camps training event.

At a Glasgow training event
At an FYT training event at Bridgeton, Glasgow

Wider involvement

Jim at Greenbelt, year unknown

Jim at Greenbelt

Jim was involved in a large range of organisations (see the section on Involvements for more details). One such was Greenbelt - he was on the council and was a regular speaker at the Greenbelt Festival each August. In this picture Jim is in the backstage area with Jim Wallis of Sojourners.

Also in the picture is Jeanne Hinton of the Post Green Community, where Jim regularly visited as a speaker and came to feel very much at home.

Jim was invited to speak at many events. This picture is from a conference on Social Ethics, as reported in Third Way magazine November 1979.

Visits outside the UK


Jim made two visits to Australia, one in 1977 and the other in 1980.

Some pictures from Jim's Australian "tour" in 1977

In South Australia
At Alice Springs
At Ernabella, in the Australian desert
In South Australia

Lausanne Congress held in Thailand in June 1980
Jim a participant at Lausanne Congress held in Thailand in June 1980, chairing the "MiniConsultation on Reaching the Urban Poor", and serving as International Co-ordinator of the pre-COWE study groups on Reaching the Urban Poor.

Jim with Buddhist monk in Thailand
(Photo from Colin Marchant)

We are hoping to add to this page and would appreciate any photographs you might be able to provide.