SCOTLAND'S national church should embrace imaginative new initiatives to promote the use of Gaelic, according to the man who will next lead the Kirk.

Rev Dr Angus Morrison, the Moderator Designate of the Church of Scotland, will speak at a conference in Glasgow next month to encourage the use of the language in the church. He is urging those with an interest in promoting Gaelic to register for the event.

The minister of Orwell and Portmoak Church in the Presbytery of Perth, Mr Morrison was born in Glencoe and is a Gaelic speaker himself. He will take up the position of Moderator at the General Assembly in May.

Mr Morrison had been forced to withdraw from the role last March due to ill health.

He said: "We believe the time is now opportune to encourage new initiatives in promoting the use of Gaelic both in the context of traditional worship services and in imaginative ways that take account of the developing needs of the Gaelic-speaking, and Gaelic-learning, community in Scotland.

"The conference will give concerted and concentrated thought to issues relating to the future development of Gaelic in the Church."

His church career began when he was ordained in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1979. After ministries in Oban and Edinburgh he transferred into the Church of Scotland, became the minister of St Columba's Old Parish Church in Stornoway before moving to his present charge.