Eleven church leaders and representatives accepted the Scottish Government's invitation to meet at Holyrood on Thursday, June 19, 2008 as part of the National Conversation on choosing Scotland's future.
After a day of reflection, the following statement was agreed:
"We recognise that the Church is on a journey as well as our nation; all of us are going to struggle to get to where we need to be. But for the Church, as well as for our nation and our communities, we aspire towards these Christian values characterising our common life in Scotland:
- A nation that is shaped by the principles of love for God and for all human beings
- A nation that promotes dignity and justice for all
- A nation that promotes faithfulness in personal and community relationships
- A nation that demonstrates compassion and care for the weak and the marginalised
- A society in which the voices of all can be heard
- A people who are less concerned with their own welfare and more concerned for the well-being of others
- A nation that strives for excellence and in which all can experience life in all its fullness
- A nation that welcomes the unique contribution of those who are making the new Scotland
- A state that promotes the well-being of all its citizens without exceeding its authority
"For us, these values are rooted in Jesus and have distinctively shaped Scotland's story as it has developed over the years; where they are lived and practised, we find they resonate with people of other faiths and of none.
"Having shared together in a day of reflection as part of the national conversation on Scotland's future, we will therefore encourage all who are part of our churches to get involved in the conversations about our constitutional future, seeing these aspirations and hopes as the context for the debate."
After the meeting, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said :
"I appreciated the on-going conversation with many church leaders, bringing us all closer together as we work for Scotland's future."
Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church of Scotland's Church & Society Council, added:
"Scotland's future needs to emerge around values that inspire and challenge all its people. We have a great country and terrific people who deserve the best form of government to meet their aspirations to play a big part in making the world a better place - perhaps especially for those whose voices are seldom heard."
Pamala McDougall, from the Religious Society of Friends, spoke of how, as a representative of one of the smaller churches, it had been good to meet in such a constructive and fruitful way.
"We are encouraged in involving our own communities to contribute to the future shape of our nation through the national conversation."
Br Stephen Smyth who, as General Secretary of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), convened the meeting, said:
"ACTS is please to have helped facilitate this significant encounter of church leaders/representatives sharing together on matters of such importance to our churches, faith communities and wider civic society."
- Associated Presbyterian Church
Rev Archie McPhail, Clerk of Presbytery
- Baptist Union of Scotland
Rev Bill Slack, Director General
- Congregational Federation
Rev Malcolm Muir, Chair
- Church of Scotland
Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of Church and Society Council
- Methodist Church
Dr Bill Reid, Connexional Officer
- Religious Society of Friends
Pamala McDougall, Representative Friend
- Roman Catholic Church
His Eminence Keith Patrick O'Brien, Cardinal
- Salvation Army
Major Robert McIntyre, Scotland Secretary
- Scottish Episcopal Church
Most Rev Idris Jones, Primus
- United Free Church
Dr Donald Macdonald, Moderator of the General Assembly 2008
- United Reformed Church
Rev John Humphreys, Moderator of the Synod of Scotland
Unable to attend due to illness :
- Free Church of Scotland
Rev David Robertson, Editor, Monthly Record
ContactAction of Churches Together in Scotland
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