General Assembly

The General Assembly is a significant annual event in the Church of Scotland calendar. Throughout the week, commissioners to the General Assembly examine its work and laws and make decisions that affect the future of the Church.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 General Assembly was regrettably cancelled. However, an alternative plan to install the new Moderator and allow the Church to proceed with important work has been agreed. More information can be found on our General Assembly 2020 page.

Matters which would normally be decided by the General Assembly, and which cannot wait until 2021, are now being considered by a Commission of Assembly. The outcome of those deliberations will be announced in due course.

The installation of the new Moderator will be held at 11am on Saturday 16 May in the Assembly Hall and will be livestreamed on the Church of Scotland website. The installation will conform to the Scottish Government’s social distancing and infection control guidelines and only essential personnel will be in the hall, keeping a safe distance from one another at all times. The event was live streamed on our website and a video will be available on our General Assembly 2020 page.

An online Heart and Soul celebration— produced by the Heart and Soul project team in compliance with the guidelines— will also be streamed live on the Church of Scotland website starting at 2pm on Sunday 17 May. The video will be available on our General Assembly 2020 page afterwards.

If the health crisis passes and government guidelines permit, the 2021 General Assembly will be held in the General Assembly Hall on the Mound in Edinburgh. It will open on Saturday 22 May and will close on Friday 28 May. The public gallery will be open for anyone who wishes to watch the Assembly.

Relive the General Assembly 2019

Rev Colin Sinclair

The General Assembly 2019 was held from 18-24 May and had more than 700 commissioners.

The Assembly notably debated the radical action plan, fossil fuel divestment, and the future of the National Youth Assembly.

Convener speeches, Moderator's worship, and supporting documents, are all available in the General Assembly 2019 section. You can also re-watch any session of the Assembly or listen to the summary podcasts of the Assembly's morning and afternoon's business.

Moderator of the General Assembly 2020

A minister who set up a mental health support service following the suicide of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson is the newly appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rev Dr Martin Fair, the minister of St Andrews Parish Church in Arbroath, begins his year-long role of ambassador for the Church of Scotland in May 2020, succeeding the 2019-20 Moderator, Rt Rev Colin Sinclair.

Laws of the Church of Scotland

Visit our Church Law section for more information about the Acts, Regulations, and Constitution of the Church of Scotland, and the Barrier Act.