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General Assembly 2023

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Fringe Diary

Saturday May 20

12.30-2pm GA Welcome Lunch hosted by the Ministries Recruitment Team
St Columba’s-by-the-Castle
How can every member of the Church of Scotland help recruit future ministers, deacons and readers? Hear from the Very Rev Dr Martin Fair as he begins in his new role as Pathways to Ministries Manager for the Faith Action Programme. Free lunch.


Monday May 22

12.30-2pm The Church in the World Today
Quaker Meeting House
Come and join us and hear about some of the issues affecting our partners around the world. Hear from Rev Lydia Neshangwe from UPCSA Presbytery of Zimbabwe, Daoud Nasser from the Tent of Nations in Palestine and Rev Kim Chang Ju, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Republic of Korea. Each telling a unique and different part of the story of the worldwide family of Jesus Christ. How do we play our part in standing alongside our sisters and brothers around the world and what can we learn from them for us as a church in contemporary Scotland today. Lunch will be provided. This event is hosted by the Faith Impact Forum.

12.30-2pm Tearfund Scotland
Augustine United Church
Tearfund Scotland invites you to learn and be inspired by the church in the global south. Hear stories of how communities have been transformed through the local church and learn how you can join in the conversation with church leaders from around the world as they discuss what local mission looks like in their context.

12.30-2pm St Mary’s College (University of St Andrews) Alumni Lunch
First Floor Library of the Quaker Meeting House.
A lunch for alumni of the School of Divinity at St Andrews, hosted by Dr Eric Stoddart.

12.30-2pm General Trustees
St Columba’s-by-the-Castle
Buffet Lunch and an opportunity to meet the General Trustees and their senior staff, to chat about any issues concerning land and buildings where you would appreciate assistance and guidance. (Please note that the General Trustees are not able to discuss individual congregational circumstances if a Presbytery’s Plan has not been fully approved).


Tuesday May 23

12.30-2pm Climate Justice
St Columba’s-by-the-Castle
Come and join us for an exploration into issues around climate justice. Some of the people of the world most affected by global heating have contributed the least to carbon emissions and are least able to respond.
The impact on biodiversity loss around the world – and here in the UK – is a reminder that humanity is part of God’s creation. We’ll hear about some practical steps you and your congregation can take, including making progress towards becoming a Net Zero Church and learning about the latest opportunities for political advocacy around ‘Loss and Damage’.
Lunch will be provided. This event is hosted by the Faith Impact Forum and Christian Aid Scotland.

12.30-1.55pm CrossReach Heart for Art: Creating Community Connections
Augustine United Church
Join us to find out more from our artists, their families and carers, our project partners and team members. You will also have the chance to enjoy a selection of the Artists' masterpieces.

12.30-2pm Acorn
Augustine United Church (studio)
Highlighting a far less scary way to share your faith! An introduction to Acorn, a movement that seeks to connect Christians with the work God is doing in others through caring conversation. With National Acorn Director (Scotland) Paul Haringman and Church of Scotland Mission Development Worker Rob Rawson.

12.30–2pm Seeds for Growth Fund
Scottish Storytelling Centre
An opportunity to learn about the new Seeds for Growth Fund which aims to support the numerical and spiritual growth of both existing Church of Scotland congregations and new worshipping communities. Gain insights into the funding criteria, sizes of grants available, how to apply, and other potential funders who share the vision for this type of work. Buffet lunch provided.

5.30-7pm COSEN@GA
Costa Coffee, 1 Hanover Street
An informal chance to meet and chat over coffee, networking and praying together through the Church of Scotland Evangelical Network.

5.30pm Church Service Society: Annual Meeting
Greyfriars Kirk
We are delighted to welcome the Rev Liam Fraser PhD, minister of St Michael's Linlithgow, as our guest speaker. Following the publication of his book, Mission in Contemporary Scotland, Liam will speak on worship in a missional context.  Admission is free.  All welcome.
If you would like to stay for supper after the lecture, register for a meal by contacting the secretary, Scott McKenna,

6.30pm Gaelic event: Am Facal Beo - The Living Word
The Scottish Storytelling Centre
This special family-friendly event celebrates the work of the Gaelic Committee in producing Bible-based resources for children and young people. This work includes producing a Gaelic Kiddies' Bible, in collaboration with the Scottish Bible Society, and the Pentecost Project, which encourages children and young people to engage in Gaelic resource development and worship.

7pm Guild Big Sing
Assembly Hall
An evening of worship, praise, fellowship and celebration! Tickets available from the Guild office. Contact


Wednesday May 24

12 noon Church of Scotland Military Chaplains’ Association
St Giles’ Cathedral
Act of Remembrance

12.30-2pm Place for Hope
St Columba’s-by-the-Castle
In times of change or challenge, we know that practical support can help. Place for Hope supports the Church of Scotland through the Living Peace Programme which offers learning programmes, facilitated conversations and coaching to enable more open dialogue around important or challenging subjects. Come and meet some of the team who will share their experiences of peacebuilding and reconciliation, exploring what Place for Hope continues to offer the church and community. Light lunch provided.

12.30pm A Wee Sing and Some Lunch with the Iona Community
Augustine United Church
Join Iona Community members and staff to find out how we’re transforming lives to change the world. We’ll share lunch together as well as stories of peace and justice, work and worship. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the latest resources from the Wild Goose Resource Group and Wild Goose Publications. You’ll hear about our Common Concern Networks and our youth work. And you’ll have a chance to warm up your vocal chords with a Wee World Sing.

12.30pm Love Songs for Healing and Hope
Quaker Meeting House Bow Room
Description: Come along and hear about an accessible book by the Rev Fiona Gardner sharing personal meditations and resources about complex grief and trauma. The book costs £15 -  all proceeds to charity -  Richmond’s Hope and Quiet Waters. For enquiries or orders, please email: 

12.45pm Church of Scotland Housing and Loan Fund for Retired Ministers and Widows and Widowers of Ministers
New College Senate Room
All are welcome to come along to a brief presentation detailing the assistance offered by the Housing and Loan Fund. There will be an opportunity for questions, and to make individual appointments to discuss personal situations with regard to retirement housing. Light refreshments will be provided. Anyone who is interested but unable to attend can call the secretary, Hazel Bett, on 07929 418762.


Thursday May 25

12.30-2pm Disability and the Church
St Columba’s-by-the-Castle
Are you wondering about how to enable your church community to be a place of belonging for disabled people? If so, come along to this inspiring fringe event hosted by members of the Church of Scotland’s Disability Inclusion Working Group, where you will: hear about examples of how congregations and presbyteries have been working to create an ethos of belonging for disabled people; find out about some great resources and organisations which can support and equip you; hear a little bit about the work of the Disability Inclusion Working Group; and have some time of food and fellowship.

12.30-2pm New College Alumni Lunch
New College: Main Reception Area
All New College alumni are warmly invited to the annual alumni lunch. There is no cost, however a retiring collection will be taken.

12.30-2pm University of Aberdeen Divinity Alumni Lunch
New College Senate Room
Join fellow graduates of the University of Aberdeen for a lunch sponsored by Christ's College.

General Assembly 2023: full coverage