A FORMER Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The Very Reverend Dr Lorna Hood has been recognised for her “exceptional and long service to the Church of Scotland and promoting tolerance and understanding” through the Remembering Srebrenica charity.
Dr Hood, of Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded the Scottish board after more than 8,000 people were killed in the Balkans genocide in July 1995.
She said: “I am gob-smacked and totally taken aback that I have been made an OBE.
“I am dedicating the award to the Mothers of Srebrenica, an amazing group and those who bravely talk about the rape camps.
“It is an immense privilege to be able to take people out to Srebrenica to meet with survivors and hear their stories.
“It is so important that we share them in Scotland to tackle hatred and intolerance because if genocide can happen there, it can happen everywhere.”
The retired parish minister, who was Moderator in 2013-14 and is one the Queen’s personal chaplains, said it was a “privilege” to be the chairwoman of the charity.
She stepped down from her role at Renfrew North Parish Church last October after 37 years and first visited Srebrenica in 2013 when she was Moderator.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale all said they are thrilled and delighted at her honour.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Like countless other Scots, it is through Lorna’s efforts that I was able to personally visit the Potocari Memorial Cemetery and have been inspired to help raise awareness of the 1995 genocide.
“But her wider commitment to Scottish society over many years – to giving our young people a brighter future, and to building a constructive, respectful dialogue between people of diverse backgrounds – is an inspiration to all of us.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “Lorna Hood’s OBE recognises her exceptional and long service to the Church of Scotland and promoting tolerance and understanding through the Remembering Srebrenica charity.
“The award is thoroughly deserved.”