Lord Wallace becomes Kirk moderator

Former Northern Isles MP Jim Wallace has officially taken up the role of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Now Lord Wallace of Tankerness, he said he was “humbled and honoured” to have become the Kirk’s ambassador at home and abroad.

The 66-year-old is the second elder in modern times to take up the 12-month role and said he would 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 on Saturday morning 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.

Lord Wallace succeeded Jo Grimond as Liberal MP for Orkney and Shetland in 1983. He served until 2001, the last two years jointly as MSP for Orkney following the formation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

He was Deputy First Minister until 2005, and also stood in as First Minister for short periods following the death of Donald Dewar and the resignation of Henry McLeish.

He stood down as an MSP in 2007 and was appointed to the House of Lords later that year.

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.”

• For more see next week’s Shetland Times.


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