Jim Wallace to take up post as Kirk moderator
Former deputy first minister Jim Wallace has been chosen to become the next moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC will become the Kirk’s ambassador at home and abroad next May.
Lord Wallace was the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 1992-2005 and served as deputy first minister in the Scottish Executive from 1999-2005.
He was also acting first minister following the death of Donald Dewar in 2000 and the resignation of Henry McLeish in 2001.
A member of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, he said: “I am delighted to have been asked to take up the role and feel humbled and honoured that people have put their trust in me.
“I am both excited and daunted about the challenge of the task that lies ahead and to be honest I have had to pinch myself that this is actually happening.”
Lord Wallace grew up in a Christian family and his late father John was an elder at Annan Old Parish Church in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway for 64 years.
In his youth, he was a member of the Boys Brigade, involved with Scripture Union and was confirmed in the faith while a law student at Cambridge University in 1973.
He said he hoped to use the position of moderator to inspire and encourage people.
“I went into politics to make a positive difference to society and my motivation is grounded in my Christian faith,” he said.
“It is a core belief that if people are to live life in all its fullness as promised by Jesus, this has implications for the kind of society we want to have.
“People have to have good health, a sound education, rewarding employment and a healthy environment.
“I hope that my years of experience in public life as an MP for Orkney and Shetland then as MSP for Orkney will stand me in good stead as I carry out the duties of the moderator of the General Assembly.”
Lord Wallace will move to the non-affiliated benches in the House of Lords during his time as moderator, meaning he will not belong to any parliamentary group and will cease to take the Liberal Democrat whip.