General Assembly 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Church of Scotland's annual General Assembly will now be held online the evening of Friday 2 October and all day Saturday 3 October.
Although the General Assembly had to be postponed due to the pandemic, the Commission of Assembly has dealt with urgent business to ensure the work of the Church continued in challenging times.
How can I participate?
Service of installation
In May, a special service was held to formally install Rev Dr Martin Fair as the new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
You can watch a video of the full event on this page below. Photo highlights are available in our photo gallery Transcripts of the major speeches from the event can be found on our speeches and additional documents page.
Heart and Soul
In addition, a special online version of Heart and Soul was streamed live on our website on Sunday 17 May. Video of the full event can be viewed on this page below. Heart and Soul 2020 includes highlights from the service to install the new Moderator, along with worship, conversation, music and all-age entertainment.
Commission of Assembly
Certain decisions, deemed 'straightforward, time-critical and non-controversial' have been taken by the Commission, on behalf of the General Assembly. These decisions include:
- Elect the Rev Dr Martin Fair (Arbroath: St Andrew’s) as Moderator of the General Assembly 2020-2021
- Pass Acts uniting (1) the Presbyteries of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, and St Andrews to form the Presbytery of Fife, (2) the Presbyteries of Aberdeen and Shetland to form the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland, and (3) the Presbyteries of Dumbarton and Greenock & Paisley to form the Presbytery of Clyde
- Agree that membership of the Social Care Council will, with effect from 1 June 2020, be reduced to 12 in accordance with a revised nomination process
- Make certain appointments to Standing Committees as proposed by the Nomination Committee, and to Trusts as requested by these Trusts
- Agree that the Ecumenical Relations Committee shall act on behalf of the General Assembly in the dissolution of Local Ecumenical Partnerships
- Amend the process for appointing the Committee to Nominate the Moderator and ask the Nomination Committee to populate that Committee, so that it can select a Moderator for 2021-2022
- Amend the Income Protection and Ill-Health Act (Act VI 2019) to reflect Income Protection provision commencing at 78 weeks rather than 52
- Consider temporary measures to alleviate blockages to filling vacancies and conducting the business of the Church during the current COVID-19 crisis
Assembly Trustees report
In May 2020 the Trustees produced an account of the work they have carried out in the year since their creation at the General Assembly 2019. The report records the trajectory being set by the Trustees prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as the new challanges and opportunities the Church now faces.
News round up
Moderator of the General Assembly 2020
A minister who set up a mental health support service following the suicide of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson is the newly appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the 2020 General Assembly, the new Moderator took up his post following a special service at the Assembly Hall on the Mound in Edinburgh.