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Digital Engagement Must Be Retained Says Moderator



                                                                                                                         Wednesday May 19 2021                        

THE OUTGOING Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has said digital engagement must be retained for the future.

The Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, in a review of his year which took place tonight (Wed) in Edinburgh and was webcast, said he had attended over 500 events online, including Holocaust Memorial Day, but emphasised the need for the Church to continue with high quality digital material.

“We must retain our digital engagement. There are folks who are not going to walk through the doors of our churches at any time but will catch something online… but please, church, let’s keep our online presence in tandem with what we do in person.”

In an interview with Seonaid Knox, an elder at Gourock: St John’s, he spoke of his disappointment that the year had not gone as planned as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which put paid to trips across Scotland and overseas – and many in-person diary events.

“I think it would be dishonest of me to say I was not disappointed to some extent…. But I’m not sorry because people have been kind enough to say that they thought it was the year for me to be Moderator,” said Dr Fair.

He added: “I served to the best of my abilities in what was a challenging year. I was disappointed, but not sorry because I got to serve.”

The year had been about ‘keeping going’ he added.

Earlier, he spoke of his pleasure at appearing on the popular BBC Scotland programme ‘Off the Ball’.

As an avid football fan, the Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair said he had relished the opportunity to appear on the popular television programme with presenters and share a little of his faith.

He also shared his love of the outdoors and described how it had played a significant role in his year and he had climbed Munros and walked part of the John Muir Way to fundraise for different charities.

Dr Fair, who made mental health one of the themes of his year, also criticised waiting times for those struggling with mental health issues.

“It is not good enough for someone to show up with serious mental health and to be told an appointment is months away or even longer.” He urged church communities to walk together with government and local authorities to “make a difference to those in our nation and beyond who struggle with mental health.”


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