Kirk Moderator embarks on first Edinburgh visit since Covid lockdown

The Moderator of the General Assembly is set to embark on an nine-day visit to learn more about the life and work of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:55 am

Lord Wallace will attend events organised by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and plans to meet people from all walks of life, in order to learn how they have coped during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to several lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, this is the first fully in-person visit to take place since 2019.

Lord Wallace, a QC and former MP and MSP, said the city of Edinburgh is close to his heart.

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Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

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“I am very much looking forward to my first presbytery visit which starts on Sunday, not least because it is Edinburgh where I went to university, trained as a lawyer, practiced as a lawyer, sat in the Scottish Parliament and where I met my wife, Rosie,” he said.

“I am very grateful to the presbytery for putting together a very comprehensive programme, which will allow me to engage with a whole range of people who reflect my interests and background.”

The programme will see Lord Wallace visit churches, hospitals, universities and a prison and meet ordinary church members, politicians, senior figures in the judiciary, ministers, chaplains and interfaith and ecumenical leaders.Notably, he will visit Stockbridge Parish Church, which used to be St Bernard’s Church, where he was ordained as an elder in 1981. On the topic of this visit, he said: “I am looking forward to joining the congregation on Sunday”.

Lord Wallace chairing a meeting of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly.

He will also drop by the University of Edinburgh, where he studied law in the 1970s. He will meet with the Principal of the University of Edinburgh and visit the law school to speak with students and staff.On the Friday of his visit, Lord Wallace will attend an evening reception at Edinburgh Castle for chaplains who serve in a wide variety of contexts – hospitals, the military, universities and the workplace.

Lord Wallace said: “I am looking forward to meeting people engaged in chaplaincy, many of whom have been at the front line during the COViD-19 crisis.“I will be very much in listening mode and hope to provide them with encouragement.”

READ MORE: New Moderator Jim Wallace says Church of Scotland should make more use of eldersVery Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of Edinburgh Presbytery, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming Lord Wallace.

"Presbytery visits allow Moderators to meet local Christians and gain a wider perspective of how the Church, and the communities we support, engage."

Lady Wallace will be accompanying her husband. They will both be attending a civic event at the City Chambers for members of the Edinburgh Area Children’s Panel who make sure that a young person is at the heart of legal decisions that affect them. Lady Wallace was a member of this panel until recently.

Lord Wallace, who is currently sitting on the non-affiliated benches in the House of Lords, also plans to visit Edinburgh Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Courts to hear more about the administration of justice, especially during the pandemic.

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