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.

General Assembly 2021

The Church of Scotland General Assembly for 2021 will be held online for a second year. It will open on Saturday 22 May with commissioners and other attendees joining together remotely from across Scotland and around the world. Plans are being made by Assembly Business Committee for this online Assembly, which will again be facilitated via Zoom and the "Assembly Hub".

On Saturday 22 May, there will be an opening session at 10am, including the installation of the Moderator, and an afternoon session at 1pm. To limit screen time, business sessions Monday to Thursday will be across two afternoon sessions 1pm and 4pm, with anticipated latest end times of 3.30pm and 6pm respectively. GA will close on the Thursday afternoon.

General Assembly will again be live streamed where those who are not commissioners can view the proceedings.

General Assembly 2020

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 General Assembly, which was originally scheduled to take place at the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh from 16-22 May 2020, was held online the evening of Friday 2 October and all day Saturday 3 October.

Commissioners, Youth Representatives and Corresponding Members took part remotely, with all discussions, voting and amendments taking place online through a new Assembly Hub on the Church of Scotland's Website. Copies of the reports and proposed amendments are available on our Reports, Speeches and Additional Documents page.

The event was live streamed on the Church of Scotland website, so anyone who wished to could be a part of the General Assembly. Video highlights from both days are now available on our video highlights page.

In May, a special ceremony to install the new Moderator was held at the Assembly Hall, and an online version of Heart and Soul was streamed live. Video of both events, as well as copies of the speeches, are available 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.

General Assembly Publications

You can find the following documents on the GA Publications page: Order of Proceedings, Speeches, Minutes of the Commission of the General Assembly, and the Moderator's daily reflections. Archived publications from previous GAs can be found on our Publications page.

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.