Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Boreham Hangs Up His Boots

Following his retirement from the pastoral ministry, the Wednesday lunch-hour service at Scots’ Church was F W Boreham’s major public appearance each week for more than fifteen years.

He concluded his preaching ministry in 1956, at age 85 and on the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination, disclosing to the congregation at Scots’ Church that he could no longer bear the physical and emotional strain. He added, “there are few spectacles less edifying than the spectacle of an old man clinging to an office for which his dwindling gifts and declining powers are inadequate.”[1] The same could have been said and the corresponding action taken many years earlier in respect to his editorial writing.

It is interesting to recognize the close connection that Boreham’s early editorials displayed and the gradual disconnection from his local context because of the influence of his preaching style, publishing success, relocation, overseas commitments and decline in creativity. The waning influence of the local context on Boreham’s editorials was understandable but it limited his effectiveness as a public theologian who sought to give a different perspective on the events of the day.

Geoff Pound

Image: Scots’ Church, Russell Street, Melbourne.

[1] T H Crago, The story of F W Boreham, 249.