A minister whose resignation from the Edinburgh Free Presbyterian Church 25 years ago spurred on the creation of a new denomination has been named as the next Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly.
The Rev Dr Angus Morrison, 60, will take up the office during the Kirk’s General Assembly in May, when he will also move into the Moderator’s official residence on Rothesay Terrace. Unusually, he has not actually been ordained by the Church of Scotland, who recognise his previous ordination by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
Dr Morrison, who was born in 1953, said he was “humbled” to have been selected for the most senior position within the Church of Scotland.
He said: “I am truly humbled by the trust that has been placed in me. In these troubled times, the peace and unity of the church are dear to me and I shall endeavour to promote them in every way I can.
“It is my great desire to encourage the Church in its vital God-given mission to the people of Scotland and beyond. In these troubled times the peace and unity of the Church are dear to me and I shall endeavour to promote them in every way I can.”
Dr Morrison, who is currently the minister of Orwell and Portmoak Church in Perth and Kinross, was born in Glencoe. His father worked for the Northern Lighthouse Service and his school education took place in Oban, Stromness and Edinburgh. He attended university in Glasgow, Pisa and London before completing a PhD at Edinburgh University’s New College.
Dr Morrison’s clerical career began in 1979 when he was ordained by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Over the next ten years he served in ministries in Oban and the Capital. However, he resigned from the Church in 1989 after one of his members, the then-Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern, was suspended for attending two Catholic funeral masses.
The resulting row led to the formation of the Associated Presbyterian Churches (APC), which Dr Morrison ministered for until 2000, serving as the Moderator of their General Assembly between 1998-99. In 2000 he joined the Church of Scotland and became minister of St Columba’s Old Parish Church in Stornoway.
His previous loyalty was also repaid when he served as chaplain to Lord Mackay during his time as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly in 2005 and 2006.
During his time at the Church of Scotland Dr Morrison has also served as a member of the Church and Nation Committee, Chaplain to the Queen, Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council and Moderator of the Presbytery of Lewis.
Dr Morrison, who has a degree in Classics and speaks Italian and Gaelic is married to Marion, a primary teacher. The couple have four children aged between 16-27.