This year’s Donald Gorrie Lecture will be given by Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, former Moderator and Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland.
John Chalmers’ lecture and discussion will challenge negative attitudes to disability.
Speaking from personal experience, he will make the case that in sharing in the lives of the differently-abled we may be surprised by grace and beauty and even change our view of so-called ‘normality.’
How could we become a truly inclusive community? What ethos and values would underpin this transformation?
The lecture will be interpreted in BSL (British Sign Language)
Free entry, open to everyone
About the speaker
John Chalmers will draw on his unique personal experiences to help us understand disability in a different way. John’s older sister June had Down’s Syndrome and he has spent most of his life supporting Enable, the charity which aims to improve the lives of people who live with learning disabilities. For twenty years he was a member of the Board of Donaldson’s, the National School for the Deaf, serving 8 years as Chairman.
In 2011 John’s son John-James was injured in Afghanistan while serving with the Royal Marines. Dr Chalmers says at that time they experienced the Church as a healing and supportive community.
The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers was Moderator of the General Assembly in 2014 – 2015, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly from 2010 – 2017 and prior to that served as Depute Secretary to the Board of Ministry and as the Church’s Senior Pastoral Adviser. In the early 1980s he was a minister in Renton Trinity Parish in West Dunbartonshire and from 1986 to 1995 he was the minister of Palmerston Place Church. He says “I enjoy telling the story of a Church which cares about the values by which Scotland lives, which cares about the conditions in which people live and which puts its money where its faith is, in the work it does amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised.”