RELIGION: St Giles’ Minister steps down

By Sarah Phemister

The Kirk Session of St Giles’ Cathedral has received from its Minister, Calum I MacLeod, a letter in which – after thirty years of ministry, the last nine of which have been at St Giles’ – he has expressed the wish to seek demission from his appointment.

Calum has led St Giles’ during periods of almost unprecedented challenge. The global coronavirus pandemic had catastrophic consequences for the whole world; for St Giles’, it meant long periods when the fellowship that lies at the core of our congregational community could only be, at best, remote; and the visitor income that is crucial to our survival as a national monument as well as a place of worship vanished overnight.

More recently, the role of St Giles’ as the High Kirk of Edinburgh was brought to the fore on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the presentation of the Honours of Scotland to His Majesty King Charles.

In his letter to Mark Batho, Session Clerk of St Giles’, Calum said, “Being the Minister of St Giles’ has been a great honour for me and the Kirk Session and congregation have been faithful fellow travellers on the journey.”

Mark said in response, “It falls to me to thank Calum for his efforts on behalf of St Giles’, the Church of Scotland and the wider Church community throughout the world. We wish him well and hold him in our prayers as he now seeks to discern his next steps in faith and service.”

Calum’s decision has been received and discussed by the Kirk Session, which is in the process of establishing a timeline for appointing a new Minister. In line with standard Church of Scotland procedure, it is expected that an Interim Moderator will be appointed to St Giles’, to assist the Kirk Session in navigating the transition period until a new Minister is appointed.

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