Church raises concerns over white paper omission

Church leaders have raised concerns over the omission of the role of religion in the SNP's white paper. Picture: TSPL
Church leaders have raised concerns over the omission of the role of religion in the SNP's white paper. Picture: TSPL
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Religious leaders have warned against the prospect of a “secular constitution” after independence amid concerns that the white paper fails to mention role of church in society.

The document does not discuss the “historical compact” between the State and Church to work for the “Christian good” of Scotland, according to the Free Church of Scotland.

“We hope that this is because the Scottish Government does not propose any alteration to the current arrangements,” a spokesman said.

“However, we are slightly disappointed that the role of the Church in society was not properly recognised - particularly as many churches are involved in key support and caring ministries at the heart of vulnerable communities, as well as providing moral and spiritual guidance.”

The Free Church has backed key measures announced including 30 hours of childcare per week in term time for all three and four-year-olds and vulnerable two-year-olds, as well as the abolishment of the ‘bedroom tax’.

But the spokesman added: “Ultimately, we believe that the best foundation for the nation is the Christian faith, and we cannot approve a secular constitution.”