The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will today (22 September 2010) preach at a historic site where the Reformation leader John Knox took communion, as part of his visit to the Presbytery of West Lothian.
In the 16th century, Knox, one of the Church of Scotland’s leading religious reformers, led the sharing of what Presbyterians call "the Lord’s Supper" at Calder House, which is adjacent to the Kirk of Calder.
This act is thought to be the first Reformed celebration of Holy Communion in Scotland.
At 7pm tonight, the Rt Rev John Christie will preach at the historic church in a special themed service as the Presbytery commemorates the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.
He will also be taking services at Livingston Old, Kirknewton and Linlithgow St Michael’s churches on his ten-day trip.
Mr Christie is expected to meet staff and patients at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, pupils from Whitburn Academy, Linlithgow Academy, Eastertoun Primary and Donaldson’s School for the Deaf, as well as visiting Addiewell Prison during his time in the area.
The Kirk Moderator will also be receiving a welcome from West Lothian Council at a Civic Reception in the new Civic Centre that embraces the Council Offices, Police Headquarters and Sheriff and High Court buildings.
There had been some controversy among hard-line Protestants over the recent Papal visit in Edinburgh and Glasgow taking place during the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.
But the Catholic Church was willing to acknowledge the occasion, and the Moderator was briefly introduced to the pontiff in London.