On Wednesday 23 February 2011, the Revd John Humphreys (pictured), moderator of the United Reformed Church’s Synod of Scotland, along with nine ecumenical colleagues, met first minister Alex Salmond to discuss some common concerns. Agenda items included restorative justice, the socially just economy, and churches, communities and volunteering.
The Church leaders also proposed a Gospel message in tackling economic adversity and spiritual poverty.
The conversation was open and cordial: addressing difficult issues and sharing examples of good practice from across the country.
This annual meeting illustrates the increasingly active engagement between churches and civic society in Scotland, both nationally and locally.
First minister Alex Salmond said: "The Scottish Government greatly values the contribution that churches and all of our faith communities make to the social, economic and cultural life of Scotland and their important work supporting communities across the nation. Today’s meeting was open and constructive and I welcome the Scottish Government’s ongoing dialogue with our churches."
Alongside Mr Humphreys, those attending the meeting from the churches were: The Revd Alan Donaldson, general director of the Baptist Union of Scotland; The Right Revd John Christie, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; The Revd Malcolm Muir, chair of the Congregational Federation of Scotland; The Revd Alexander MacDonald, representative of the Free Church of Scotland; The Revd Lily Twist, chair of the Methodist Synod in Scotland; Cardinal Keith O’Brien, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland from the Roman Catholic Church; Mr Leslie Stevenson, representative friend from the Religious Society of Friends; Lt Col Alan Burns, Scotland secretary of the Salvation Army and the Revd Robert Owens, moderator of the General Assembly of the United Free Church. Unfortunately the Most Revd David Chillingworth, primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church was unable to be present.
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