The 2013 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland takes place from May 18-24.
Life and Work will be providing daily updates from the Assembly hall, as well as giving you a flavour of some of the fringe events. Feel free to get involved in the debates by contacting us through Facebook, Twitter or email. A webcast of the proceedings, along with full reports and key speeches, will be available through the Church of Scotland website.
Jamie Stuart, the author of the Glasgow Gospel, spoke at the General Assembly today to raise the issue of tobacco farmers exploited by the big tobacco companies. Jamie, who at 92 is believed to be the oldest Commissioner to this year's Assembly, is a passionate anti-smoking campaigner and wrote a book called A Counterblaste to Tobacco, the same title as an anti-smoking tract by his near-namesake King James Stewart (VI of Scotland and I of England). He concluded, quoting the king, that smoking is a habit “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”
The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev Lorna Hood, with gold medal-winning paralympic rower David Smith and Sir Chris Hoy, Britain's most successful Olympian. David and Sir Chris had been guests of the Lord High Commissioner. Picture by Thomas Baldwin.
During this morning's World Mission Council report, the great explorer David Livingstone's Great Grandchildren, Elspeth Murdoch (85) from Buchlyvie, Mary Dick-Smith (83) from Crieff, Neil Wilson (80) from Kendal in Cumbria were joined at the ceremony by Mrs Ada Wilson (in her 80’s) from Helensburgh, their sister-in-law and widow of their oldest brother David Wilson.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of David Livingstone's birth.
Pictured Left to right: Ada Wilson, Neil Wilson, Mary Dick-Smith, Right Reverend Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Elspeth Murdoch