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RevSally Foster-Fulton Moderator (4).JPG
World News

Redistribute wealth to help poor says next Moderator of Church of Scotland

by Donna Birrell

The head of a Christian charity, which fights global poverty, has been named as the next Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, 58, who has led Christian Aid in Scotland since 2016, will take a year's sabbatical to become the Kirk's ambassador at home and abroad for 12 months from next May.

Rev Foster-Fulton was born and raised in South Carolina in the USA and has been a Church of Scotland minister for more than 20 years. She has also served in several parishes as well as hospitals as a chaplain.

The Moderator Designate has been speaking to Premier about her priorities: 

"We are a tiny, fragile, interrelated global neighbourhood. I think with the triple whammy of Covid, and conflict and climate change. We need to hold on to the fact that we genuinely are a family and we need to look after each other.

"Becoming a grandmother has shifted my perspective in ways that I couldn't imagine. Seeing life moving on, and looking ahead to a time when I won't be here, and my daughter won't be here and my granddaughter will be. And it's the beauty of that but also the challenges. We have this idea that our kids inherit the planet from us, I don't see it that way. I think we borrowed it from them and we  have a duty to give it back in as good or better condition. 

"We have opportunities now to address the situation in radical ways. I think one is genuinely addressing the injustice that climate change imposes on us. It is 'in your face' injustice, those who have had least to do with its causes are the ones who are struggling first and foremost and hardest.

"When we are looking at people having to make decisions about whether they're going to heat their homes, or eat regularly, who cannot afford to stretch their children's minds, we've got to step up. The churches are doing that and it's inspiring. We are well placed to offer practical help. We can't let  people go hungry and we can provide warm spaces.

"But we have to raise our gaze and remind ourselves that hard as this is, it is about redistributing the vast wealth that we do have. I think one of the one of the stark truths is, there is enough, there is plenty. It's just that too few have too much, while too many don't have enough. So we really do need to address and redistribute that wealth."

The Moderator Designate convened the Church of Scotland's former Church and Society Council from 2012-2016 and helped advance work on human rights, climate justice and support for people struggling to overcome poverty in Scotland as well as overseas. 

She has also lead the Church's work with ecumenical and interfaith partners to create networks of support for asylum seekers and refugees. 

In the run up to the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, she helped create space for respectful dialogue between campaigners on both sides of the debate.

Rev Foster-Fulton has also served in several parishes as well as hospitals as a chaplain.
She is married to Rev Stuart Fulton, a fellow Church of Scotland minister who serves the parish of Newlands South Church in Glasgow.

The current Moderator of the General Assembly is Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields.



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