HE was one of the most influential figures of modern Scottish politics. Now the “godfather of devolution” is to make yet another contribution to the political landscape thanks to the posthumous donation of papers spanning his life and work.

Researchers at the Scottish Political Archive have begun working through 20 crates of diaries, speech notes, photographs and journals bequeathed to them by Canon Kenyon Wright.

The clergyman, who died in January at the age of 84, was executive chairman of the Scottish Constitutional Convention (SCC), which united political parties, trade unions, business bodies and faith organisations in calls for a Scottish parliament. Under his leadership, the convention published its devolution blueprint on St Andrew’s Day 1995. It formed the basis for the parliament ahead of its opening four years later.

Awarded a CBE for “services to constitutional reform and Scottish devolution”, Wright became a vocal supporter of independence ahead of the 2014 referendum, writing at the time: “Devolution is power by the gift of others. Power in Scotland is ours by right.”

The exact contents of his donation to the archive, based at Stirling University, are not yet known. However, once catalogued, the items will be made available to researchers seeking fresh insights about the story of contemporary Scotland.

Archivist Sarah Bromage told The National: “We are extremely pleased to accept Canon Kenyon Wright’s personal collection. It will be an extremely valuable addition to the archive, given the extensive and central role which he played in the journey towards Scottish devolution.”

Born in Paisley, Wright served as a missionary in India for many years before becoming director of urban ministry at Coventry Cathedral in 1970. He went on to lead the SCC in 1989 after a spell as general secretary of the Scottish Council of Churches.

Then secretary of state for Scotland Malcolm Rifkind dismissed the prospect of consensus between the country’s political tribes as impossible, suggesting he would jump from the Scotland Office roof if it happened.

However, it did happen under Wright’s leadership, and the devolution pledge was subsequently included in Labour’s manifesto in the party’s 1997 landslide year.

Wright, who stood unsuccessfully for the LibDems, said he was “not a member of any political party” in 2014, when he urged Scots to vote Yes once again, saying the country stood “at a crossroads of history”.

He went on: “We cannot see all the way ahead but we can see far enough to know the nation would be safe in our hands.”

Despite insisting he was “not a politician”, his documents will now be catalogued and preserved alongside collections from former first minister Jack McConnell and MPs Dennis Canavan and George Robertson.

Wright’s daughter Shelagh said: “The family are delighted that our father’s vast and extensive archive is now with the Scottish Political Archive at Stirling University.

“Canon Kenyon Wright was a man who devoted his life to helping others and to creating a better society, and who in doing so made an extraordinary contribution to modern Scotland.

“His commitment to a different society, the refusal to accept ‘how things are’, characterised his career in India, Coventry and of course in Scotland. His life was extraordinary – not just for the scale and significance of his achievements, but also for the consistency with which he applied his principles with passion, persuasiveness and persistence.

“We know he wanted his work to be housed in Scotland as a living resource for all those who continue to build on his passion for positive change and a better society.

“We thank the staff at the University of Stirling wholeheartedly for their care and commitment to making this happen.”