BBC Alba follows Rev Dr Angus as moderator

The role of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland remains one of the most high-profile appointments in Scottish public life.

Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 10:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 12:12 pm
The Reverend Dr Angus Morrison, Minister of Orwell and Portmoak Church in the Presbytery of Perth, has become Moderator Designate of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Now, in a unique insight into the role, BBC ALBA presents an hour-long documentary - From Minister to Moderator - following Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison as he moves from parish minister into the spotlight.

Rt Rev Dr Morrison is the first Gaelic-speaking Moderator in almost 50 years. Born in Glencoe, he was raised in Oban to parents from the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles.

The Moderator is the national figurehead of the Church of Scotland who chairs the annual General Assembly, the body of over 850 commissioners who are ministers, elders and members of the Church from all the presbyteries. He or she is an ambassador for the Church nationally and internationally for one year before being succeeded by the next Moderator.

Originally chosen as Moderator for the year 2014/2015, Rt Rev Dr Morrison unexpectedly had to withdraw from the role due to illness, making history as the first Moderator to ever withdraw from the position. After a full recovery, Angus was chosen again as Moderator for 2015/2016 and this documentary follows him throughout the busiest year of his life.

From opening the Royal National Mòd in his hometown of Oban to meeting members of the Boys’ Brigade, and from visiting the Scottish Parliament to meet the leaders of the political parties to being at the helm of a lifeboat, his experiences are hugely varied and colourful.

During filming of the documentary, Angus was accompanied on presbytery visits to home territory in Argyll and Lochaber and to London to make history as he addresses the Church of England’s equivalent General Assembly, the General Synod.

Not only is Angus the first representative of the Church of Scotland to address the Synod but his address contributed to the Synod passing the Columba Declaration, which is a historic formal recognition of the relationship between both churches.

As a Gaelic-speaker, Angus is passionate about the Gaelic language and making advances in developing the language in the Church.

A year like no other, the documentary explores how Angus’s life is changed beyond recognition as he travels the length of the country as Moderator.

From Minister to Moderator, produced by Caledonia TV for BBC ALBA, will be broadcast on the channel on Thursday, May 12, at 9pm to 10pm. It will be repeated on Wednesday, May 18, at 11pm and will also be available to view on BBC iPlayer.