Church of Scotland leads global commemoration of WW1 outbreak

The global spotlight will be on Glasgow Cathedral on Monday as it becomes the focal point for the UK and Commonwealth's activities to mark the centenary of the start of World War I.

HRH Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond will be joined by heads of state across the Commonwealth for a special service, led by the cathedral's minister Rev Dr Laurence Whitley, to reflect on 100 years since the outbreak of a war which cost the lives of over 16 million people.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev John Chalmers, will offer a blessing during the service which will be broadcast to the world by the BBC.

He said: "All eyes will be on Glasgow again as the heads of the Commonwealth converge for this poignant service.

"It will be an opportunity for leaders of nations to learn from the past to find new ways to peace."

Mr Chalmers will then be taking part in a service at Dunfermline Abbey starting at 10pm which will culminate with candles going out one by one until a single candle is left as the anniversary of war being declared passes at 11pm.

Glasgow Cathedral will host a vigil at 10pm which will be open to the public and will be timed to match the vigil at Westminster Abby. Doors will open from 9.30pm.

All 1400 of the Church of Scotland's congregations will be marking the outbreak of the conflict in their own way.