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Independence: ‘No guaranteed role for churches’

Roseanna Cunningham told the Free Church Assembly that the government recognised the role of churches. Picture: Greg Macvean

Roseanna Cunningham told the Free Church Assembly that the government recognised the role of churches. Picture: Greg Macvean

CHURCHES will continue to have a role in Scottish life, communities minister Roseanna Cunningham told the Free Church of Scotland yesterday, but gave no guarantee about their place in any future constitution.

Addressing the Free Church of Scotland at its annual General Assembly, she said: “We recognise the important role that the Christian community play in Scotland, and recognise the importance of regular engagement with Scotland’s churches even if sometimes we take a different position on particular matters.”

Her comments followed a debate in the Church of Scotland on Tuesday on the referendum, where departing moderator the Very Rev Lorna Hood criticised the white paper, raising concerns that secularist groups would make sure the Church was excluded from any written constitution.

The Humanist Society Scotland and the Scottish Secular Society are among those who object to formally recognising the prominence of faith groups in a constitution.

Ms Cunningham, who is a Catholic, fell short of saying the Church would be written into the constitution. Free Church moderator Rev David Miller said: “The Free Church will continue to engage positively on this issue with politicians of all stripes, because we want to see a nation underpinned by Christian values.” A Kirk spokesman said: “We look forward to continuing dialogue with the other Churches on the proposed draft constitution.”

 

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