A landmark event for the future of Gaelic in the Church of Scotland was held in Glasgow at the weekend.
The first ever conference exploring how the Church of Scotland can nurture the Gaelic language was described by those attending as a “miracle” and a “milestone” within the Gaelic speaking world.
The event was organised after Moderator-Designate, Rev Dr Angus Morrison, and Council of Assembly Secretary, Pauline Weibye, identified the urgent need for the Church to do more to promote Gaelic.
Speaking after the conference, Dr Morrison said: “It was a significant moment in the history of Gaelic use and provision in the Church of Scotland. I believe we can only go forward from here.
“The conference was clearly appreciated greatly by those who attended.”
Hosted by well-known Gaelic broadcaster Cathy Macdonald, an audience of over 50 people enjoyed presentations from Margaret Mary Murray, Head of Service at BBC Alba, and the Rev John Urquhart, who has been developing contemporary and traditional Gaelic worship materials in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye.
They were also joined by Professor Donald Meek who talked about the development of Gaelic resources, Assistant Editor of The Scotsman Donald Walker who looked at the Gaelic print media, and Rev Hugh Stewart who provided a minister’s perspective.
Titled ‘An Ciad Ceum’ (first step) the aim was to identify ways to develop the Gaelic language for future generations.
Some of the ideas discussed included harnessing the power of online resources, conducting a national survey to assess how the Church is equipped to provide Gaelic worship and encouraging presbyteries to include Gaelic provision within their presbytery plan.