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Home  >  News  >  Moderator Begins Advent 'Journey'


Moderator Begins Advent 'Journey'

Thursday December 1

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland today invites everyone to join in the Advent ‘journey’ in the first of a series of videos.

The Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr’s reflection, filmed at Glasgow Queen Street station, is the first video in the Church’s online Advent calendar for 2016.

A new film is being released each day reflecting on a word relating to a different aspect of the season. The tone ranges from joyful to spiritual and some tackle difficult topics such as domestic violence and loneliness.

The Moderator also features in the last video due to be released on Christmas Day, reflecting on the theme of “Shelter” at the site of the Glasgow’s former Rottenrow maternity Hospital where he was born. “The Advent season is when the church picks up the Christmas story,” he said. “Beginning in Glasgow's Queen Street station, the Advent Video project will take you on a fascinating journey of discovery. You will learn so much more about the deep meaning of Christmas and so much more about yourself. We’ve already seen thousands of people signing up to receive daily email reminders when each door on our online calendar opens, and we’re confident the videos will be viewed more than 250,000 times.”

The Church’s first online Advent calendar, last year, was viewed more than 180,000 times. This year’s more ambitious project includes:

  • A hard-hitting reflection on domestic violence by the Rev Valerie Allen, convener of the Church of Scotland's Violence Against Women Task Group. She says: "No woman should have to endure violence, and the reason some have to endure should be challenged. I hope this Advent meditation will help break the silence surrounding the violence that many women needlessly endure.”
  • A reflection on the word ‘refugee’ by the Rev Shuna Dicks of Aberlour Parish in Moray, who is heavily involved in supporting Syrian families who have moved to Forres. The minister, who is the spokeswoman of the Moray Supports Refugees group, said: “When you become a refugee you leave your old life behind and have to begin again. It is important we help our new neighbours, and they feel welcomed and valued.”
  • Louise Purden, who is studying for the ministry at New College in Edinburgh, focuses on the word ’goodwill’.
  • British Army chaplain the Rev Chris Kellock, who worked in an Ebola field hospital in Sierra Leone in 2014, reflects on the word ‘separation’
  • Angela Brydson, Deacon of Annandale and Eskdale, looks at the meaning of “Joy”
  • The Rev Rosie Addis, chaplain to deaf people in the east of Scotland, uses the word “Holy” to promote the Albany Church for the Deaf in Edinburgh.

You can view each video as it becomes available at



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