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Arbroath minister appointed as Moderator-Designate

Thomas Baldwin reports on the appointment of the Moderator-Designate to the 2020 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
The Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator-Designate Credit: Andy O’Brien

A HIGH-PROFILE Arbroath minister has been nominated as the next Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The Rev Dr Martin Fair, minister of St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath, said that he was ‘absolutely excited’ but also ‘daunted’ to be named Moderator- Designate of the 2020 General Assembly. He said: “It’s a huge challenge for me individually, but also because the Church is in such an exciting place in its history. I feel a huge weight of responsibility, looking at some of the fantastic men and women who have gone before me in the role. But the Church has seen fit to appoint me to this role, and I absolutely feel equipped to carry it out.

“The need for the Church now is greater than ever it has been. We are in so many ways a thoroughly secular society, but this is not the time for the Church to go in a huff about that and hark back to the old days. We need to be much more creative in sharing our message, and we do that by understanding our role nowadays is about serving. If we want the right to speak about what Christianity means, we have to show what it looks like in practice.”

Dr Fair was inducted into St Andrew’s in 1992, and during his ministry the Church has been notable for growing in congregation size, for embracing technology (live-streaming its services for the past seven years) and for innovative projects including Havilah, a social action project which has helped around 1000 people since launching in 2006. Initially set up as a drop-in to help drug addicts, Havilah’s activities have expanded and now include a community choir and a therapeutic garden. More recently, the church also set up a mental health support service, following the death of Scott Hutchinson of the band Frightened Rabbit. The new service was designed by six members of the congregation.

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