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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Kirk appoints new moderator
Iain Torrance is the new moderator of the general assembly
Iain Torrance is the new moderator of the general assembly
The Church of Scotland has appointed the new moderator of its general assembly.

Reverend Professor Iain Torrance took over the one-year post from the Rt Rev Dr Finlay Macdonald as the Kirk met in Edinburgh at the beginning of its assembly.

The event in Edinburgh is expected to include lively debate as the Kirk's worsening financial situation, dwindling congregations and staff shortages top the agenda.

Welcoming Professor Torrance to the post, the Lord High Commissioner, the Lord Steel of Aikwood, said: "It is a great pleasure to offer you my warmest congratulations on your appointment as Moderator and to wish you health, strength and joy in your year of office."

Declining memberships

The Lord High Commissioner went on to say that in last year's census, 65% of respondents had described themselves as Christian, with 42% claiming to belong to the Church of Scotland and 16% to be Roman Catholics.

"Do we see anything like those figures in church membership still less in church pews? - sadly not," he said.

"When all the churches are having difficulties in finance, in recruiting ordinands and facing declining memberships, more of a joint approach is surely called for.

"The Church of Scotland has always set a good example with the words of welcome before the sacrament of Holy Communion: 'This is not the table of any one church - it is the table of the Lord'.

"Moderator, may your deliberations this week be fruitful and the result of anxious debate and sound judgement arrived at with all due diligence and care."

Other business for debate during the week includes the 50m deficit in the Kirk pension scheme, the practical workings of the doctrine, the financial implications of building new property, world missions, the shortfall in parish ministers and church members and examining peaceful ways of addressing conflict.


SEE ALSO:
Sunday worship in decline
15 May 03  |  Scotland
Kirk facing 'huge' budget cuts
08 May 03  |  Scotland
Kirk considers baptism reforms
18 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Kirk plans criminal record checks
29 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Kirk 'silent' on domestic abuse
16 Apr 03  |  Scotland


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