Right Reverend John Chalmers is the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He succeeds the Right Reverend Lorna Hood.
Mr Chalmers, 61, whose older sister June had Down’s Syndrome, has spent most of his life supporting the work of Enable; for twenty years he was a member of the Board of Donaldson’s, the National School for the Deaf and in his Moderatorial year he hopes to visit many special needs facilities because he believes that some of the greatest works of service are done by people who do not get enough affirmation or public recognition.
In 2011 his youngest son John-James was injured in Afghanistan while serving with the Royal Marines. Mr Chalmers says at that time they experienced the Church as a healing and supportive community. In a society in which so many people are friendless and lonely, Mr Chalmers hopes that in his role as Moderator he will be able to encourage people to find faith, friendship and the spirit of Christ in the community of the local Church.
John, who was born in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire and attended Marr College in Troon, now lives with his wife Liz in Dunfermline, Fife. . The couple, who have three children and three grandchildren, have been immersed in Church work most of their lives.
Mr Chalmers began by studying chemical engineering at Strathclyde University before transferring to Glasgow University to embark on a degree in divinity.
During the early eighties he was a minister in Renton Trinity Parish in West Dunbartonshire.from 1986-1995 he was the minister at Palmerston Place Church in the West End of Edinburgh. These contrasting parishes gave him a breadth of understanding of the challenges facing the Church.