Elizabeth to relish Moderator role

Elizabeth Morton
Elizabeth Morton

A woman from Dalkeith has become the first female elder to take on the role Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s Lothian Presbytery.

Elizabeth Morton (62), a resident of Newbattle Abbey Crescent, was elected on April 30 when Presbytery met in Musselburgh.

The married mother has been an elder at Dalkeith’s St John’s and Kings Park Church since 1999.

The presbytery’s business committee chose Mrs Morton from just a handful of names.

This week she spoke of her pride at being offered the role that will see her take part in special services such as the inductions and ordinations of new ministers.

Ahead of her official installation in September, she told the Advertiser: “I am very proud to be the Moderator, female or otherwise.

“I’m proud to have been chosen but all the fuss has been a bit overwhelming, especially about being female - women have been doing wonderful and amazing things for years!

“I’m really looking forward to taking on the role. I feel extremely privileged and will relish the responsibility.”

She sees the work of being Moderator as “ensuring that Presbytery members have the opportunity to discuss the wider work and business of the church and how we will continue to keep the church relevant to all.”

She will also chair meetings of the presbytery - which looks after parishes in the Lothians.

The Lothian Presbytery represents Church of Scotland congregations across Mid and East Lothian.

A retired primary school learning assistant, Elizabeth is a former member of the Royal Bank and St Nicholas Buccleuch Church choirs and still enjoys singing, as well as a spot of Scottish Country dancing, in her spare time.

Born in 1952, Elizabeth was brought up in East Calder before moving to Edinburgh as a child. She and her husband, Graham, have two children, Gillian and Ian, and four grandchildren. Succeeding current Moderator Rev Sandy Horsburgh, she will carry out the role for 2015-16.

Prior to her ordination she had worked at churches across the city including Liberton Kirk, Granton Parish Church and the original Stockbridge Church.

With more than 400,000 members, the Church of Scotland is one of the largest organisations in the country.