General Assembly

Free Church of Scotland 

Watch the General Assembly 2024

This year’s General Assembly took place from Monday 20th  – Thursday 23rd May 2024.

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Moderator 2024-2025

Rev. Malcolm (Callum) Macleod, will serve as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland in 2024-25.

Callum was born and brought up in Point on the Island of Lewis. He came to know the Lord in 1979 and professed faith in the congregation of Point in October 1980. He subsequently served as a Deacon and an Elder in the congregation.   

He worked as an installation engineer with BT from 1974 until 1997. Callum is married to Catherine, and they have two sons. Graeme is married to Mairi, and they have two children, Lucas and Jessica, and live in Garrabost, Isle of Lewis. Stuart is married to Shona, and they live in Inverness. 

He studied in what was then the Free Church College from 1997 to 2000. He was ordained and inducted to the congregation of Shawbost on 27th October 2000 and has served in Shawbost since then. He served as Clerk to the Presbytery of the Western Isles for twelve years. He served the Central Church in the following roles – as a member of the Training of the Ministry Committee (now the Board of Ministry), as a member and Chairman of the Sustentation and Ministry Committee, as a member and Clerk of the Home Missions Board, as a member of the Mission Board, and as a member of the Board of Trustees.  

He was appointed Assistant Clerk of the General Assembly in May 2015 and then appointed Principal Clerk of the General Assembly in May 2016 and is still serving in that capacity.   

Commenting on his nomination, Callum said: “It has been my privilege to serve the Church in various capacities over the years. I feel honoured now to be nominated as Moderator-Designate of the 2024 General Assembly.” 

Rev. Malcolm Macleod

Moderator

Lord High Commissioner

The King has approved that Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh be appointed as His Majesty’s Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland in 2024.

The Lord High Commissioner is the Sovereign’s personal representative to the Annual General Assembly. He attends on behalf of the Sovereign and this year will make a speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday 22nd May at 12 noon.

The Lord High Commissioner first addressed the General Assembly in 1925. The position has a reduced role within proceedings, largely maintaining a symbolic connection between the secular and sacred through the adherence to the Establishment Principle by the Free Church. 

Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh

Lord High Commissioner

About the General Assembly

The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body in the Free Church of Scotland and meets for a week in Edinburgh every May to discuss church business and set policy. 

Normally there are around 80 commissioners, made up of Free Church ministers and elders from different Presbyteries and congregations across Scotland, as well as missionaries from overseas. 

The business is chaired by the Moderator, who is appointed for a one-year term. 

There will usually be an address from the Lord High Commissioner – His Majesty The King’s representative to the General Assembly – as well as speeches from esteemed guests from other organisations.

Assembly Report & Minute Archive

Each year, the main Boards and Committees present Reports to the General Assembly. These are written to inform the church about the work that has been taking place and the plans that are being made for the future. The Reports also contain a ‘Deliverance’, which is a list of items to be incorporated into our church’s legislation. You can download the Reports from recent General Assemblies below.

Meeting minutes are also recorded during the sessions of the General Assembly. You can download the Minutes from recent General Assemblies below.

Search Acts of Assembly in Force

This section contains a Digest of Assembly legislation which are in force and relevant. Any amendments have been incorporated into the Acts. 

  • You can use the search box for a general search.
  • You can search by subject (e.g. Presbyteries) or by year. 
  • You can find a list of repealed acts of assembly here. (Please note, if you wish to view the Acts (in full) that have been repealed, go to the section above.)

Standing Orders and Conflicts of Interest Policy

Our Standing Orders, outlining the procedural framework of the General Assembly, and our Conflict of Interest Policy are practical tools designed to support the General Assembly in maintaining the highest standards of integrity.

Download these documents using the links below