Church of Scotland announces Principal Clerk appointment

The Church of Scotland has announced the selection of Rev Fiona Smith as the next Principal Clerk to the General Assembly.

Rev Fiona Smith Principal Clerk

The appointment will have to be confirmed by the General Assembly in May.

The current Principal Clerk Rev Dr George Whyte retires from the role following the General Assembly in May 2022.

Rev Fiona Smith as Principal Clerk designate will spend a period of time shadowing him prior to formal appointment.

Mrs Smith said:

"It is a huge privilege to accept the appointment to become the next Principal Clerk but it was extremely hard telling my congregation yesterday.

"God called me to be the minister of Ness Bank Church in Inverness 12 years ago and it is God's call that is now leading me to new pastures."

Fiona has served in senior roles on a number of the Church's national committees.

She is currently Vice-Convener of the Registration of Ministries Committee, and has previously served as Convener of Assembly Business Committee and its predecessor the Assembly Arrangements Committee.

The role of the Principal Clerk is to act as the Clerk to the General Assembly, which includes advising the Assembly and the Moderator on church law, practice and procedure.

The Principal Clerk also supports the Moderator throughout the year as well as providing training courses and advice on church law and procedures to Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries, ministers and other church bodies.

In these times of change, challenge, reform and restructuring, the Principal Clerk has a key leadership role in supporting and enabling the traditional and emerging practices of the Church of Scotland within our framework of governance and law.