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A Man Called Peter

A Man Called Peter

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A Man Called Peter  Based on the true story of a young Scottish lad, Peter Marshall, who dreams of only going to sea but finds out there is a different future for him when he receives a “calling” from God to be a minister. He leaves Scotland and goes to America where after a few small congregations he lands the position of pastor of the Church of the Presidents in Washington, D.C. and eventually he becomes Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. From the best-seller by the woman who loved him!

Peter Marshall’s town

A Man Called Peter  I have seen this film a few times, the first when I was about 15 yrs old. I admit that my interest was initially stimulated by the fact that I am a native of Coatbridge where Peter Marshall came from. I live just up the road in Airdrie which is only a couple of miles away. My dad remembers when the film was made as it was a ‘big thing’ then in the old town. In fact my old school is only a few yards behind where the camera was situated in the street during the opening scenes: Muiryhall Street. Sadly there is no official memorial to Peter Marshall in his home town and very few people here would know about him today. Coatbridge has lost all the old iron and steel works which gave it her nickname: the Iron Burgh. Peter would not recognise the old place today although it desperately needs someone of his vision and faith in this cynical and secular age. Coatbridge has a population of around 46,000 and is 12 miles east of Glasgow. Most of the people are nominally Roman Catholic; 60% of the population due to immigration from Ireland in the late 19 c and early 20 c, including my own antecedents. I am not certain if there are any of Peter’s family still around though there must surely be. If the film was true in essence then it is absolutely clear that Coatbridge and Scotland’s loss was certainly Washington’s and the USA’s gain.

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