Friday, 27 May 2011

General Assembly 2011 and 'that' report


They came, they presented deliverances, amended them, proposed counter-motions, chatted quite a bit, drank oceans of tea, they voted, they left.

And so, New College, home to both the School of Divinity and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland [well, this latter for one week per year], filled with noise and hubbub over this last week is settling back into the quiet of academia over summer.  Echoes of both undergraduates and Assembly commissioners begin to fade away.  This particular General Assembly received quite a bit of press in the run up - apparently there was only one report being presented 'that' report ... in fact, an entire day of the Assembly was given over to discussing what for some is seen as a contentious issue.  In the end, after all was said and voted on, in my mind the only contentious issue was the matter of media misrepresentation of what had been decided by the commissioners at this year's Assembly.  I was rather gobsmacked at just how utterly wrong the press got it.  This was also remarked upon on the Tuesday of the Assembly. 
So... what was it the Church of Scotland did actually decide to do on the Monday of the General Assembly?  As an historian, first port of call is to go to the primary source... and there are two statements provided on the CofS website, which helps clarify the discussion and decisions made on Monday.  The first statement is here.  And the follow up statement can be found here. 
As to my own state of play on Monday?  I decided to avoid it all and go to spend time with a friend over in Fife and play with his ninja spaniel - it seemed a much more satisfying thing to do than listen to the same chaps rehearsing the same arguments on both sides of the fence.  Would be nice not to have that fence - I kind of think He is our peace, who has broken down every wall... just wish we didn't keep putting them back up again!