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Home  >  News  >  Moderator-Designate Announced


Moderator-Designate Announced

Tuesday October 9 2018

An Edinburgh minister has been appointed as the Moderator-Designate of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2019.

The Rev Colin Sinclair, minister of Palmerston Place Church, will take up the role as Moderator next May.

He has been minister of Palmerston Place for 22 years and also has a lifelong connection with Scripture Union, which he credits with bringing him to faith as a teenager.

He said: "I am honoured to be selected for this opportunity to represent the Church of Scotland nationally and internationally.

“It will be a pleasure to encourage church members in their faith and to see the impact of their faith in communities across our country.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being a parish minister and despite the challenges we face I believe the Christian faith is still relevant to Scotland.

“Our message is still Good News and it still changes lives.”

Colin grew up on the south side of Glasgow, the son of ‘occasional churchgoers’.

It was as a pupil at Glasgow Academy, that he first became interested in the Christian faith. To escape getting into trouble after a prefect saw him taking the wrong staircase, Colin dodged into a darkened room where a Scripture Union camp video was showing.

"I enjoyed the film, thought the activities looked great and I felt I could put up with the “religious stuff,” he says.

"I did love the camp and had great fun, and I liked the leaders. But to my surprise I also enjoyed the meetings with their lively singing and straightforward message about Jesus Christ.

"I went back to camp the next year and decided then to follow Jesus Christ. So started an exciting adventure of faith that has lasted over 50 years."

His work with Scripture Union includes spending three years living out of a car in Zambia, working as a training officer and eight years as the director of Scripture Union Scotland. With his wife Ruth, he ran an SU camp for teenagers for 27 years, and was the organisation’s International Chair for 14 years until last November 2017.

He was called to the ministry while studying at Stirling University. After training at New College Edinburgh, his first parish was Newton-on-Ayr. He was called to Palmerston Place, where he had earlier been an assistant, in 1996.

He has served the Church on many Councils and committees at both local and national level, most recently as Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council from 2012-16.

Also on his CV is a summer job as an extra on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

The theme for his year as Moderator is ‘discipleship’, which chimes with his own dedication to seeing Christians grow in their faith and reflect it in their lives. Four young members of his congregation at Palmerston Place are currently in training for the Ministry.

He says: “What’s lovely is seeing young people who started off as SU campers become leaders themselves. I have loved seeing folk grow up, whether it is to become elders in the Church or to go into vocational ministry or to take their Christian faith into different avenues of public service.”

Colin and Ruth have four children (all working for the Church or Christian organisations) and three grandchildren, with another due in the spring.


Elizabeth Dow - Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

“I am so delighted you will do a great job Colin”

Maggie Shearer - Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

“I am thrilled that Colin is the moderator designate of the Church of Scotland
He has proved his worth in character ,faith,work in so many spheres
Like so many of us in Scotland he owes so much toScripture Union I pray for his year of office but also for his preparation now and pray that we might uphold him before God specially now

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