Perhaps his Breton, Celtic fathers are the reason for it -- the story telling, I mean. Because it spans three careers as priest, lawyer, and Christian pastor. Then, there’s the other side, of course: the female line, which is a proliferation of the Gaelic Celtic – more story telling interspersed with fiery feminine war cries.
What’s story telling got to do with lawyering? If you’ve never appeared before a judge, told him a story (a true one) about the case in question, and have little penchant for narrative, don’t ever try it! There are few things more mentally painful than the sarcasm of the judiciary. Similarly, don’t ever expect your congregation to listen to you if can’t put together a modern day parable that is faithful to the New Testament variety. You’ll wind up preaching to yourself and getting frightfully bored.
Add to this a balladeer’s gift of writing soul-seeking songs and performing them on stage, and you begin to apprehend him.
And perhaps it’s because this rather strange Scot did not quite fit in those ‘aforementioned’ careers that he finally decided to get serious about narrative and create some stories of his own, from scratch of course. Or maybe it was simply because, true to his counter-cultural, God-smitten, Celtic ancestors, he wanted to tell stories about a faithful Presence in a godless age.
Anthony J. Hilling, LLB, BTh, M.A.: pastor, lawyer, story-teller. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, and educated in England and Northern Ireland. After a short time as a barrister in Belfast, he came to Canada in 1976. He practised law in Calgary, but heard the call of a “Different Drummer”. He went to seminary in Ottawa and was ordained for the RC Diocese of Calgary.
But the single life, though perhaps someone else’s call, was not his, and he left to return briefly to his first career as a lawyer. However, the “Ghaedesh-Mor” is stubborn, and impressed upon him that his destiny was to be a shepherd. He was ordained again, this time as a non-denominational Christian pastor and still serves in Southern Alberta.
He is married to his wonderful wife, Brenda and the couple have two children. Tony is also an amateur folksinger and has performed in churches and clubs. He has produced one cassette, a mixture of his own faith ballads and traditional folk songs.