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Church News

Church of Scotland cancels General Assembly due to coronavirus

by Heather Preston

The Church of Scotland has announced will be cancelling its upcoming General Assembly which was due to take place on 16th May, in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
 
The week-long summit in Edinburgh was expected to host nearly a thousand ministers, deacons and elders including those from overseas, to deliberate Church matters.
 
A statement from its principal clerk says the decision was not taken lightly, but seemed to be the "only choice we could make" at this stage.
 
It comes following new stringent measures announced by the UK government on Monday advising people to avoid socialising, public gatherings and all but essential travel.
 
Rev Dr George Whyte said: "It is a time when we can celebrate being the Church and make important decisions about our future but these are exceptional times and people's health must come first.
 
"We were also looking forward to welcoming the Duke of Cambridge as the Queen's representative but we are assured that Prince William will understand our unavoidable decision. We hope that he may be Lord High Commissioner on another occasion.
 
Rev Whyte assured members that the Church would find alternative ways to ensure "urgent decisions" were not delayed, including the appointment of Rev Dr Martin Fair as the Assembly's new moderator, who is set to take up his duties in May.
 

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