Former church moderator takes up role with homelessness charity

Dr Russell Barr

Dr Russell Barr

Homelessness campaigner and former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Very Rev Dr Russell Barr is to join Scottish Churches Housing Action as its associate convener.

Announcing the appointments at the charity’s Annual General Meeting last week, Rev Graeme Wilson, convener of SCHA, said: “We are delighted that Russell has taken up our invitation, alongside all his other commitments. His passion has been an inspiration to all of us working on homelessness. We look forward to being part of Russell’s continued contribution to the cause of helping homeless people throughout Scotland.”

Dr Barr was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2016-17. During his moderatorial year, he constantly highlighted Scotland’s problems of homelessness. In his farewell address to the General Assembly, in the presence of the First Minister, he said that at best Scotland was managing homelessness, and had lost the vision that it can be eradicated.

Dr Barr was invited by the minister for housing and local government, Kevin Stewart MSP, to join the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, established on October 5.

On his appointment as associate convener, Russell Barr said: “I have a long association with Scottish Churches Housing Action, going back to the early days of Fresh Start in Edinburgh. I’m pleased to take on this more formal role. During my moderatorial year, I wasted no opportunity to raise the problems of homelessness with politicians and others. I’ll be using the connections within the Action Group to make sure that the churches’ voice is heard.”