Kirk Moderator to make history in England

THE Moderator of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly will make history on Tuesday by addressing the General Synod of the Church of England.

The Reverend Dr Angus Morrison

It is believed to be the first time a serving Moderator has been invited to speak at the Synod, and is certainly the first time in living memory.

The Synod itself is set to create history as it considers the proposed Columba Declaration, which would be the first formal agreement between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England.

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During their visit to London, Dr Morrison and hiw wife, Marion, will be staying at Lambeth Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Mrs Caroline Welby.

Dr Morrison said: “I feel it a real honour to be invited as Moderator to address the General Synod.

He said: “Through the historic Columba Declaration we are proposing to commit ourselves to growing further in communion and to strengthening our partnership in mission.

“By formally recognising the long ecumenical partnership between our churches, I believe we will advance our shared mission of spreading the Christian message of the Gospels.

“It will be a great pleasure to stay at Lambeth Palace and both Marion and I are looking forward to renewing our relationship with Archbishop Justin and Mrs Welby.

“I hold Archbishop Justin in the highest esteem both as a person and for his leadership at the Church of England during these very challenging times.”

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Six years in the making, the Columba Declaration builds on ecumenical work underway for more than a decade.

The proposed agreement lays out a path forward for closer cooperation between the two “national” churches.

The 15-page Declaration focuses on shared Christian beliefs and emphasises the importance of continuing to nurture relationships with other Christian denominations, especially the Scottish Episcopal Church and the United Reformed Church.

The Bishop of Chester will propose that the Synod accepts the Columba Declaration. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will discuss the proposed agreement in May.