Moderator to preach at University Chapel

Published: 22 January 2020

Moderator to lead service at University memorial chapel at 6pm Tuesday 28 January. Service open to all.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev Colin Sinclair will lead a service at the University Memorial Chapel on Tuesday 28 January at 6pm.

The University Chaplain Rev Stuart MacQuarrie said, ‘We are delighted that the Moderator has agreed to preach at the University on Tuesday 28 January. The service is open to anyone who wishes to attend – and all will be assured of a very warm welcome.

Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev Colin Sinclair with his wife, Ruth

My Glasgow News spoke with Mr Sinclair and asked him what, as Moderator, he hopes to have achieved by the end of his year in the role?

"My first role was to “moderate” the General Assembly, i.e. chair the meeting of some 700 commissioners over a week back in May in Edinburgh as well as lead worship at the beginning of the day. For the rest of the year I am an Ambassador for the Church, to civic society, other denominations and other faith group and an Ambassador to the Church as my wife, Ruth, and I travel round the country. My theme this year has been “Jesus said, ‘Follow me’” – encouraging people to engage in an adventure of faith. I hope that Ruth and I will be able to learn, share, encourage and open doors to others and have the privilege of real conversations with people from every walk of life."

What does it mean to be a Christian in 21st Century Scotland?

"It means to a follower of Jesus and will be as varied in practice as there are Christians. We are not religious anoraks but let our faith touch every part of life, enriching it, challenging it and transforming it. We are called to love God with our minds as well as our hearts."

What role should the Church play in civil society?

"Christians should be found in every part of civic society and should play their part fully, be they MPs, academics or whatever. The Church should pray and encourage those in leadership but not be afraid to speak truth to power. It has a prophetic as well as pastoral responsibility. During my year I have met politicos at Westminster, Holyrood and at local authority level."

How did you become a Christian yourself and how has your faith changed over the years?

"I grew up in a Glasgow, went to school at Glasgow Academy. One day at school I heard about SU holidays (Scripture Union) I went on the holiday and enjoyed it so much I returned the next year. The leaders, students, teachers etc all took their faith seriously and I wanted what they had. I listened carefully as they told the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection, and responded in faith and started fitfully to follow Jesus. That was over 50 years ago and I have never regretted it. It has taken me all round the world and I have met people from palaces to prisons and everything in between."

You grew up in Glasgow but have worked mostly in Edinburgh.  How different are the two cities?

"It is said the hardest place for a Glaswegian to be a minister is at the other end of the M8! I have been Minister of Palmerston Place Church near Haymarket for over 23 years and have found it an immense privilege. Perhaps Edinburgh folk do not open up as quickly or as deeply as Glaswegians, at least as first but they are just as good (and no doubt as bad!) as folk from the west. My son who was at Glasgow University is now a minister in Partick Trinity."

What will you preach about when you come to the Memorial Chapel on 28 January?

"I will be leading a short reflection on what it means to Follow Jesus and then leading communion."


First published: 22 January 2020