John Cairns (born 1942)

John Ballantyne Cairns KCVO KStJ (born 1942) is a retired minister of the Church of Scotland.

Following a career as a solicitor, he studied theology and was ordained in 1974. His first charge was as minister at the parishes of Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk. He then became minister at Riverside Parish Church, Dumbarton (1985-2001). He then served as minister of Aberlady and Gullane Parish Churches, East Lothian, until retiring in 2008.[1] In retirement, he is serving (as of 2011) as part-time locum minister at St Columba's Church, London. His formal title (following the end of his Moderatorial year) is the Very Reverend Dr John Cairns.

He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1999-2000 and was appointed Chaplain to the Queen in 1997. He became Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland in 2006. He has also held convenerships of several General Assembly boards and committees.

The General Assembly over which he moderated was uniquely held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. This was to allow the Scottish Parliament to meet in the Church's Assembly Hall.


On 12 July 2013 Cairns was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.[2] (KCVO) On 15 January 2013 he was appointed Commander of the Order of St John.[3] (CStJ) and promoted to Knight of Justice of the Order of St John. (GCStJ)[4]

Honour Ribbons:

See also


  1. Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ, Volume XI (pages 64, 67 and 193), T&T Clark Ltd, Edinburgh, 2000, ISBN 0 567 08750 6
  2. "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood". Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  3. "Order of St John". Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  4. "Order of St John". Retrieved 2019-10-12.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Alan Main
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Succeeded by
Andrew McLellan
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