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A Future With Hope: Ministry in a Changing Scotland

Join the sociologist David McCrone and a panel including Rev Dr Richard Frazer and Rev Prof Will Storrar to discuss his social analysis of a changing Scottish society over the last thirty years and their creative response in a range of local ministries. This New College event is an opportunity to map a future with hope for ministry in Scotland in light of social change and innovative practice.

The event will be followed by a reception in the Rainy Hall.



David McCrone, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Edinburgh

David McCrone is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, and co-founder of the University of Edinburgh's Institute of Governance in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He coordinated the research programme funded by The Leverhulme Trust on Constitutional Change and National Identity (1999-2005), and on National Identity, Citizenship and Social Inclusion (2006-2012). He was co-director of the ESRC-funded Scottish Election Study (1997), a principal investigator in the Scottish Parliamentary Election Study (1999), and has held a number of research grants over the years from ESRC, Leverhulme, Rowntree, and Nuffield.

Richard Frazer, Minister of Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

Rev Dr Richard Frazer has been the minister of Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh since 2003 and is one of the Church of Scotland Chaplains to the University. He founded and chairs the Grassmarket Community Project, which supports some of the city’s most vulnerable adults, and also established the Greyfriars Charteris Centre, a place for wellbeing, social enterprise and building community. Richard has a passion for pilgrimage walking and his recent book, 'Travels with a Stick' (Birlinn 2019), charts his journey on the Camino de Santiago. 

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.

Alison Jack, Principal of New College

Since studying the New Testament as an undergraduate at New College with Professor John O'Neill, Alison has been fascinated by the ongoing influence of biblical texts and the way they have teased and puzzled their readers. Throughout her academic career she has tried to integrate her interest in English and Scottish literature with my study of the Bible, and this has led her to focus on the fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Alison's work in various parishes alongside her academic studies has offered her much fruitful engagement with committed and interested  readers of these biblical texts, in a wide variety of circumstances. The combination of roles has been stimulating and challenging. Other areas of research in Religious and Moral Education in primary and secondary schools have offered fresh insights into contextual readings of the Bible and other sacred texts. 

Gillian Couper, Ministry Candidate

Gillian works as a Parish Associate at Greyfriars Kirk, getting involved in projects and partnerships that serve the needs of the local community, through social engagement, support for health and wellbeing, developing practical skills and spiritual exploration. She has been studying divinity at New College for three years, and has recently become a candidate for ministry with the Church of Scotland. When she doesn't have her head stuck in a book, she's generally on a mountain or hanging out with her dog.