Moderator-Designate withdraws due to ill health

The Church of Scotland today expresses great regret that the Rev Dr Angus Morrison has health issues and, following medical advice, has had to withdraw from the position of Moderator-Designate for the 2014 General Assembly.

He is undergoing treatment and it is hoped that over the remainder of this year his health will be fully restored. In the meantime his well-being depends on having time and space to fully recover.

Rev Dr Morrison, Minister of Orwell and Portmoak Church in the Presbytery of Perth, said:

“This has been a very painful decision but deep down I feel it is the right one. I am undergoing medical treatment and anticipate an operation ahead. The demanding role of Moderator requires someone to be operating on all cylinders. I do not have the necessary reserves just now.

“It is with huge regret and reluctance that I make this decision. My heartfelt prayers will be with all those on whom unexpected burdens now fall. May God's guidance, strength and peace be given to each one.”

The Rev John Chalmers, Principal Clerk for the Church of Scotland, said:

“We ask the whole Church to remember Angus and his family in their prayers and we hope that his health is fully restored in due course. I know that the General Assembly will be enormously sympathetic to Angus’s position and will no doubt want him to fulfil the role of Moderator at some time in the future when he has made a full recovery.”

The Committee to Nominate the Moderator will be recalled in order to bring forward the name of another nominee. There is no precedent in living memory for a Moderator-Designate standing down. The Committee, which is drawn from across the Presbyteries of the Church of Scotland, has wide ranging powers to act in the event of such unforeseen circumstances. The name of the new Moderator-Designate is likely to be announced on Wednesday 2nd April.

Rev Dr Morrison was born in Glencoe in 1953. As his father worked for the Northern Lighthouse Service, the young Angus went to school in Oban, Stromness and Edinburgh before progressing to higher education at the University of Glasgow. He undertook further studies at Pisa University and London University before a PhD at Edinburgh University (New College).

Rev Dr Morrison’s church career began when he was ordained in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1979, but after ministries in Oban and Edinburgh, he transferred into the Church of Scotland, became the minister of St Columba’s Old Parish Church in Stornoway and is now Minister at Orwell and Portmoak Parish Church.
Rev Dr Morrison, who has a degree in Classics and speaks Italian and Gaelic, is married to Marion who is a primary school teacher in Fife. The couple have four children between the ages of 16 and 27.