Church of Scotland Nominates First Female Moderator

( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2003 10:34 AM EST

Scotland -- The 53-member General Assembly of the Church of Scotland nominated the first female moderator in its history, early October. Dr. Alison Elliot, 54, from Edinburgh will succeed the Reverend Iaian Torrance beginning next May.

"This is an historic day for the Church and for Scotland and reflects the changing face of Scottish society,” said the First Minister Jack McConnell. "I am sure Dr Alison Elliot will represent Scotland as well as the church and I look forward to working with her in the future."

Dr Elliot, of Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk, also leaves a mark as the first Kirk to be nominated as moderator since the 16th century.

"I think the question of history is certainly in the air,” said Dr. Elliot. "I'm very touched that the church has thought fit to entrust this job to me for the year. I'm looking forward to it tremendously.”

The main role of the moderator includes heading the Assembly, leading daily worship, ruling on points of order and signing documents on behalf of the Assembly. Each term lasts for 12 months.

Dr. Elliot currently directs the Edinburgh University’s center for theology and public issue.