Church service of ‘unity’ to be held in Edinburgh

Scottish independence: A MESSAGE of unity will be delivered to Scotland’s political leaders at a special church service three days after the independence referendum.

The service will be held at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Picture: Scott Louden
The service will be held at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Picture: Scott Louden

Around 1,000 people, including shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander and Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney, are expected to attend tomorrow’s event at St Giles Cathedral in the heart of Edinburgh.

Church of Scotland moderator the Rt Rev John Chalmers, who will lead the service, will ask Scots to put their differences aside and work together to redefine the country’s place within the UK.

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He is expected to tell the gathering: “The Church here and in congregations across the country is playing its part in making it a little easier to stretch out that hand of friendship to those who are our fellow Scots who did not support the side we supported.

“How we voted on one particular day does not define who we are.

“How we work together to put in place the democratic will of the Scottish people will be defining - both for us as individuals and for us we as we work to redefine our place within the United Kingdom.”

Politicians of all parties are expected to attend the Sunday morning service.

As part of the event, they will light a single candle, symbolising a commitment to work together. Mr Swinney and Mr Alexander will each give a reading.

Similar sentiments are expected to be aired at churches around Scotland tomorrow after the Moderator wrote to the Kirk’s 800 ministers asking them to share similar thoughts.

In his letter, he said: “As a national Church, I think it is important that, across the country, we should take the lead in marking the result of the referendum and praying for unity of purpose as we begin to shape Scotland’s future in accordance with the will of the people of Scotland.

“We cannot let ourselves be defined by which side we have been on, on the 18th of September; instead we have to take the opportunity to define ourselves by our commitment to working together to build Scotland’s future with shared purpose and shared values.”