Lord Wallace "honoured and humbled" to be inducted as Moderator

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Published on 22 May 2021

A former Deputy First Minister has officially taken up the role of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC (Jim Wallace) said he is “humbled and honoured” to have become the Kirk’s ambassador at home and abroad.

The 66-year-old life peer from Orkney is the second elder in modern times to take up the 12-month role and will speak out on issues important to the Church and its mission to follow and proclaim the example of Jesus Christ.

Lord Wallace was inducted into the role at the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh in front of his wife of 38 years, Rosie, their daughter Helen and his brother Neil who were accompanied by their spouses.

Prince William, who is representing his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, as Lord High Commissioner, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP were also present.

Humbled and honoured

Outgoing Moderator, Very Rev Dr Martin Fair, supervised the passing of the cross and chain and ring of office to his successor whose other daughter, Clare, watched online along with hundreds of other people.

Lord Wallace, a member of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, said: “I thank you most warmly and sincerely for the honour of electing me as Moderator of this General Assembly.

“I stand before you, today, feeling both humbled and honoured and, I should add, with feelings of excitement and trepidation.

“Upon my nomination as Moderator-Designate, I received many messages of goodwill and many assurances of prayerful support.

“One of my predecessors described her experience as Moderator like ‘being carried along on a carpet of prayer’.

“Today, I ask for your prayers that during this Assembly and in the coming year, I may fulfil these responsibilities with love, grace and wisdom.

“And that if, or more likely when, I get it wrong, your prayers will be ones of forgiveness.”

Lord Wallace, a former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, wore a robe that belonged to Very Rev Dr David Steel who was Moderator in 1974-1975.

It was lent to him by the late minister’s son Lord David Steel of Aikwood, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

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