Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh
Sunday services in the Kirk
are suspended at present.
Letter from the Manse
This year the Church of Scotland will take an unprecedented step when – amid the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic – our 2020 General Assembly will convene remotely during the evening of Friday 2 October and all day on Saturday 3 October. The Right Reverend Dr Martin Fair, a parish minister from Arbroath, is the 2020–21 Moderator of the General Assembly. The original plan to hold the General Assembly in Edinburgh from 16 to 22 May 2020 had to be set aside due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In previous years some 800 people would be converging on the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh. This year the Commissioners, Youth Representatives and Corresponding Members will take part remotely – from congregations and presbyteries around the country and, indeed, the world.
Of necessity, the 2020 General Assembly will be much shorter than usual and there won’t be the same valuable opportunities to network, socialise and enjoy one another’s company. We will not have a Lord High Commissioner although the Queen will write to the Assembly expressing her support and encouragement.
Nevertheless, there will be prayer and worship led by the Moderator, and the Commissioners will be making important decisions which need to be made now so that the Church can move forward. Under consideration will be reports from the Assembly Trustees, the Faith Impact Forum and the Faith Nurture Forum.
Debate will range from church finance to the Church’s engagement with the pressing issues facing our nation and the global community.
This year, the discussions, the voting and the amendments will all be done online. Commissioners and Youth Representatives will sign-in through the Church of Scotland website to a new Assembly Hub, where they can ask questions and put forward amendments and new ideas.
Everyone is invited to watch – wherever we are – to join in and watch the livestream on the Church of Scotland website or Facebook page. The Friday session will run from 7 pm to around 9 pm and the Saturday session from 9.15 am to approximately 5 pm. On Saturday there will be coffee and lunch breaks.
You too can join in! Just go to churchofscotland.org.uk.
The Reverend Dr Jim Jack