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Home  >  News  >  Lord High Commissioner Reflects on 'Extraordinary' Week


Lord High Commissioner Reflects on 'Extraordinary' Week

Friday May 25 2018

The Moderator, the Rt Rev Susan Brown, and her husband Derek, during the traditional 'clapping out' at the end of the General Assembly

The Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland has praised the work of the Church and its people throughout Scotland.

During the closing ceremony of the General Assembly, Lord Buccleuch said it had been an ‘extraordinary’ week, and that ‘I come here, I think, in some respects a different person’ to the beginning of the week. He said he would ‘miss the grounding power’ of the opening worship each day and paid tribute to the ‘too often unsung’ staff of CrossReach projects he had met during his visits.

He particularly said that the importance of Sally Magnusson’s Playlist for Life charity, which uses music to help people living with dementia ‘could not be over-emphasised’.

The Moderator, the Rt Rev Susan Brown, thanked the Assembly ‘for your kindness, your words of encouragement and your generosity’. She said that she had enjoyed the week, had felt the prayerful support from people in the hall and beyond, and praised the work of everyone at the top table and the rest of the staff who make the General Assembly happen.


Earlier, in the final business session, the Mission and Discipleship Council was instructed to work with others ‘to explore the development of a programme of education and training in discipleship aimed at lay members’ and to carry out an audit of the training used for local worship leaders.

There were also motions asking the Council ‘to promote congregational learning and awareness of the issues experiences by divorcing couples, their children and wider families’; to produce research into migrant and multi-cultural Christian communities in Scotland; to review the list of people who receive a promotional copy of Life and Work (currently limited to parish ministers); to produce a resource on the theology and practice of Communion; to investigate ‘the realities of everyday life’ of the ‘Millennial Generation’ and ‘Generation X’; and considering ‘how to support and encourage chaplains as they try to create relationships with schools, organisations and cadet forces’.

The convener, the Rev Norman Smith, encouraged the Commissioners to make use of the Council’s resources and events. He said: “We as a Council cannot choose decline. We are seeing what God is doing so we are going to go for growth, for hope."

During the report of the National Youth Assembly (NYA), Moderator Robin Downie said his experience been ‘simply incredible’, and emphasised that it was about more than one weekend, with NYA members connecting and working together throughout the year. He also paid tribute to the former Moderator of the General Assembly, the Very Rev Dr Browning, who reciprocated: “You have been a mentor to me and for that I thank you.”

*The Youth Moderator, along with Fiona Buchanan and Callum Scott, is running this weekend’s Edinburgh Marathon in support of Christian Aid. Their fundraising page is here.


After morning worship, the General Assembly was addressed by Imam Sayed Razawi, director general of the Ahlul Bayt Society of Shia Muslims. In a heartfelt speech, he praised the Church of Scotland for its support of the Scottish Muslim community during difficult times, and pledged his support in return. He said Scotland's acceptance and tolerance was 'a lesson for the world to see' and said the best way to build bridges between communities was to 'speak from the heart and to touch hearts'.

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