The Assembly

This is 'Assembly week' in Edinburgh - the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The Assembly is the supreme court of the Church and has the power to make laws governing the operation of the Church. The business is conducted by debates about reports presented to the Assembly, with the 850 delegates, or 'commissioners' voting on issues. The commissioners are ministers, elders and members of the diaconate from presbytries in Scotland, England, Europe and Jerusalem. Delegates also attend from churches across the world. The Assembly hall on the Mound, above, is thronged with commissioners, and accents ranging from Aberdeen to Africa. There's a video stream on the Assembly website, and TV coverage on BBC Scotland.

My husband is a commissioner this year, taking a week of his annual leave allowance to attend. The days can be long. Yesterday's debate on same sex relationships and the ministry understandably went on late in the day.


  1. That's an impressive-looking church. Congratulations to your husband, being a commissioner.

  2. It's great to know that people like your husband give of their time to be part of an institution that - despite its shortcomings, which every institution has - does a lot of good for many people.

  3. I'm a new visitor to your blog, and just wanted to thank you for a lovely afternoon spent sighing over your posts. I'm feeling quite homesick, as Chicago will never be home, not even after 18 years.

    I'm hoping to move back to Scotland in the next couple of years--this time with American husband and children in tow--and being able to show them your photos has really ignited their enthusiasm for all the things I love and miss.

    Your entries capture such a warmth and love of place. I'm so glad I happened upon you! I'll haste me back :-)

  4. Outstanding photo and impressive banners worthy of the importance of the event. I find it admirable that the Church is addressing the pressing and controversial contemporary social issues. Must be very rewarding for your husband to be part of the process.

  5. Al, I should have said that the venue is the Divinity school of the University of Edinburgh. My husband worked hard during the week and beforehand - a lot of reading to do in preparation for the debates!

    Christine, I think that the social care aspect of the Church of Scotland isn't nearly as well appreciated as it should be.

    Tracy, welcome! glad you've enjoyed your visit and hope to see you again. Meantime I'll keep up the Scottish propaganda to help your campaign for a return home.

    Tash, there is a very real sense of involvement in live social issues. Yes, my husband did find it rewarding, and also challenging.

  6. Hi Linda,

    Sorry about my lack of visits.
    Spike's, our dog, illness, quick death nov/dec and being so ill jan/feb to march meant no visits.

    Since then I have been spending more time sitting in my wheelchair I have also not been visiting.

    I just passed by to say hello.
    I hope you are doing well.

  7. Hi Herrad, thanks for your visit. You've had a lot going on. So sorry about Spike, and about your illness in the winter.

  8. I agree with Tash...very interesting and I'm sure rewarding to be part of the process of social change and the impact on the church, and in how the church deals with it all...and what an impressive building!!!

  9. I love this buildings. I think the architecture and landscapes are what draw me in to the UK. :)

    Interesting insight into the church!


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