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General Assembly 2014

General Assembly 2014

Friday May 16 2014

Welcome to Life and Work's coverage of the 2014 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which opens on Saturday May 17.

We 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 General Assembly area of the Church of Scotland website.

If you're a General Assembly newbie, you may want to check out our Beginner's Guide.

And here's the Assembly business timetable and fringe timetable.

Read our interview with the Moderator, the Rt Rev John Chalmers.

Day 7: Friday May 23

The Moderator calls on the church to 'stop navel-gazing' and get on with its work of mission and ministry. Report

The Moderator and the Lord High Commissioner are 'clapped out' of the Assembly

Day 6: Thursday May 22

Church and Society Council takes in asylum seekers, poverty, funeral costs, assisted dying, and much more - Independence neutrality backed - support for armed forces chaplains - conciliatory words from Chief Rabbi

Report of the day's business

Picture of the Moderator with Armed Forces Chaplains

The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, with the heads of chaplaincy of the three armed forces and the Church of Scotland chaplains who attended the General Assembly today. Picture by Derek Fett

Day 5: Wednesday May 21

Overture on ministers in same-sex relationship passed - Presbyteries will now be asked to vote on 'mixed economy' - CrossReach aims to re-engage with Church

Report of the day's business

Day 4: Tuesday May 20

Assembly condemns destruction of trees at 'Tent of Nations' - Review of funding of National Youth Assembly - Guild seeks to combat falling numbers.

Report of the day's business

Moderator calls for 'respectful dialogue' after independence debate. Report


Picture of the Rev Tom Sinclair

The General Assembly resumed in a sombre mood after news of the death of a Commissioner, the Rev Tom Sinclair, Clerk to the Presbytery of Lewis, in a road accident yesterday afternoon. Mr Clerk, 76, was a former Minister of Martins Memorial Church in Stornoway.
The Rev Hugh Stewart, Minister and Charge of Congregations of Lochs-in-Bernera linked with Uig Church of Scotland, said: “My colleagues and I are still in shock at the tragic passing of our dear friend and ministerial colleague Rev Tom Sinclair... in such tragic circumstances reminding us of the transience of life.”
The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, told the Assembly: "We commend Tom to the eternal safe keeping of the God he proclaimed in his preaching and his life. We will pray for healing of the pain that all his friends and family will feel at this time."

Day 3: Monday May 19

The Church is to embark on a 'decade of ministry', and strong words about discrimination against women.

Report of the day's business

Day 2: Sunday May 18

Thousands of people gathered again in Princes Street Gardens for Heart and Soul, the annual celebration of the life of the Church of Scotland.

Picture of Earl and Countess Wessex and the Rev George Whyte, Acting Principal Clerk, at Heart and Soul.

The Countess and Earl of Wessex and Acting Principal Clerk, the Rev Dr George Whyte, at Heart and Soul. Prince Edward is Lord High Commissioner to this year's General Assembly. Click here for more pictures. Picture by Jackie Macadam.

Day 1: Saturday May 17

Report of day one: Prince Edward calls on the church to continue to be a force for good - Church to consider meeting in General Assembly every two years

Lorna Hood hands over the Moderatorial cross and ring to John Chalmers as he takes over from her as Moderator of the General Assembly

The Rt Rev John Chalmers receives the Moderator's Cross and Ring from the Very Rev Lorna Hood as he takes over from her as Moderator of the General Assembly. For more images from the opening day go here. Picture by Derek Fett.