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A Future with Hope: Resurrection Not Restoration

For catering purposes, registration for the event is now closed. To attend without catering, please contact Alison Jack

A Conference on the Future of the Kirk and the Churches in Scotland 

This is a follow-up conference to the highly successful Future with Hope event with David McCrone held at New College last November, reflecting on the issues raised by his sociological analysis of a changing Scotland. 

Speakers include Will Storrar, Fiona Tweedie, Sheila Akomiah-Conteh and Sandy Forsyth. There will be Case Studies and Ecumenical Panel discussions with John Armes, David Cameron, James Eglinton, Gerry Hand, Ruth Harvey, Tommy MacNeil, Catriona Morrison, Gillian Patterson, Marc Prowe, Lina Toth and others. 

The Conference fee is £10. Refreshments from 9.30am and lunch are included.

The event is generously supported by the Hope Trust.


Rev. Professor William Storrar

Honorary Professor, School of Divinity, New College

William Storrar is currently Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton NJ, an independent nonprofit corporation with an international visiting scholar program for interdisciplinary research. A minister of the Church of Scotland, he taught practical theology at three Scottish universities, following parish ministry and before moving to the USA. His focal interest is in professional practice, especially the reflective practice of collaboration, whether in ordained ministry in the church, interdisciplinary research in the academy, or public life in civil society.

Rev. Dr Fiona Tweedie

Ordained Local Minister, Statistician at Brendan Research

Rev. Dr Fiona Tweedie is the founder of Brendan Research and has a PhD in Statistics. Having worked as a Lecturer in Statistics for the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Fiona went on to be a Mission Facilitator, Senior Researcher, Mission Statistics Coordinator, and Statistician with a variety of Church organisations.

Dr Sheila Akomiah-Conteh

Research Associate at Brendan Research

Dr Sheila Akomiah-Conteh has a PhD in Divinity from the University of Aberdeen, where she researched the changing landscape of the church in post-Christendom Britain, with a focus on new and emerging churches in Glasgow. Sheila is experienced in qualitative and mixed methods research design.

Rev. Dr Sandy Forsyth

Minister, Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church; Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh; and Vice-Principal of New College 

Sandy was appointed as the Vice Principal of New College in January 2024. Sandy began his part-time post as Senior Teaching Fellow in 2021, in conjunction with parish ministry in the Church of Scotland at Mayfield Salisbury in Edinburgh. His teaching and research interests are in Practical Theology, in particular missiology, church and society, pioneer ministry and 'fresh expressions of church', ministry training and the interactions of religion with the civil law.


Conference Schedule


Coffee and tea available from 9.30am in the Rainy Hall


10-11am Radical Hope: Reimagining Church & Society in Scotland

A Response to David McCrone’s sociological analysis of a changing Scotland now, compared to his post-modern analysis at the Aberdeen Conference on the Future of the Kirk in 1996.

Will Storrar with Responses from Richard Frazer and Scott Rennie


11-11.15am Coffee break


11.15- 12.15am Resurrection not Restoration: Local Case Studies

Gillian Patterson- Methil

Tommy MacNeil- Stornoway

Catriona Morrison and Marc Prowe- Invergowrie, Abernyte, Inchture and Longforgan


12.15-1pm Resurrection Not Restoration: Ecumenical Reflections

Panel discussion with Lina Toth (Baptist), Gerry Hand (RC), James Eglinton (Free Church), John Armes (SEC), Ruth Harvey (Iona Community)


1-1.45pm Lunch in the Rainy Hall


1.45-2.30pm Reimagining the Local Church: The Congregation in the Community

Fiona Tweedie and Sheila Akomiah-Conteh


2.30-3.30pm Reimagining our Common Mission: Tell Scotland Now

Sandy Forsyth with Response from Doug Gay


3.30-4pm Reflections on the Day: Going out with Hope

Panel Discussion with Russell Barr, Gillian Couper, David Cameron, Liam Fraser (tbc)