List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is a complete list of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the present day. Some listed below also currently have their own article. The location of the parish or other post during the Moderator's year in office is also listed (in brackets).

Since 1714 the General Assembly has normally been held annually every May. Moderators-designate are nominated in the October of the previous year; a formal vote is taken at start of the General Assembly (in May), then the new Moderator takes the chair. He/she holds office for one year; his/her final act is to formally open the following year's General Assembly and preside over the formal election of a successor.

The Moderator of the current year (when a minister) is styled "The Right Reverend", while past Moderators are styled "The Very Reverend".[1]

16th century

17th century

No General Assembly until 1638

No General Assembly after 1653 until the restoration of Presbyterianism in 1690. Gabriel Cunningham (now very old) acted as Interim Moderator in 1690 (as though there had been no gap) until Kennedie was chosen to succeed him.

18th century

19th century

Post Disruption

The "Disruption" in the Church of Scotland took place in 1843, with approximately one-third of the ministers leaving to form the Free Church of Scotland. The Moderator in this critical year was Duncan Macfarlan DD (High Church of Glasgow)

20th century

The union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland occurred in 1929, the newly reunited church henceforth being known as the Church of Scotland.

21st century

Family Connections

It is noted that several Moderators have family connections:

Moderators who were later Moderators of the Free Church

See also



  • Church of Scotland Yearbook 1908 edition, 1933 edition, 1966 edition and 2003-04 edition ISBN 0-86153-353-4. The 1908 yearbook entries (1560-1908) were compiled by the late Rev Dr Robert W. Weir.


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