Happy New Year 2017

It’s a new year full of new opportunities and none more so than for SCPO.

In February we will host an event at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the Meet Your MSP project and encourage more people to take part. To find out more about the project click here and keep an eye out for publicity around the event.

Church leaders from denominations across Scotland have been taking part in the project and encouraging their local churches to take part. Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, recently met with one of his Edinburgh MSPs Ruth Davidson recently. He said:

“At a time when politicians are not always trusted, one of the values of the Meet Your MSP project is the opportunity it creates to see someone face to face, to hear about their cares and concerns, to learn about what they do and what they cannot do, and to build a more trusting relationship.”

In November, Deputy First Minister John Swinney met with the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev David Chillingworth to promote the project in November. Mr Swinney is an MSP for Perthshire North and one of the Primus’ local MSPs as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane.

Rev Chillingworth said:

“Clergy and public representatives have different roles and functions – but they share a deep involvement with people of all kinds and with their hopes, concerns and aspirations.   

“Our meeting allowed time for discussion of some immediate concerns. I was able to share something of the positive journey of the Scottish Episcopal Church in responding to the Scottish Government’s Same Sex Marriage provisions. John Swinney was very sensitive to the way in which faith communities are challenged in their internal unity by such matters.” 

Rev David Pickering is the URC Moderator of the National Synod of Scotland. He is based in Rutherglen and along with the local URC minister Rev John Sanderson, they met a trio of MSPs including Johann Lamont, James Kelly and Adam Tomkins at Rutherglen United Reformed Church.

Rev Pickering said: 

“It is really good for churches to engage with politicians in a personal way to share their concerns. We are grateful for the Meet Your MSP project and I encourage each of our churches to engage with their local MSPs. It is important to share our aspirations with our local politicians.”