Church reaffirms neutrality on independence referendum

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has issued a statement reaffirming the Church's neutral position on the independence referendum.

Rt Rev John Chalmers said: "Recognising the broad range of views among its members and ministers, the 2014 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decided almost unanimously to remain neutral on the issue of independence for Scotland.

"In the light of a pro-independence statement from 33 serving and retired ministers, the Church has been asked to clarify what proportion of ministers this represents. There are 794 serving ministers and 1050 retired ministers, a total of 1844 so approximately 1.8% signed this statement, as is their right.

"The Church is as keen as ever to encourage wide debate and discussion on the issues which matter - social justice, poverty, education, peace – and is hosting another 'respectful dialogue' on Wednesday 3 September in St George's Tron Church, Glasgow which will be streamed live online to 10 satellite events around the country to allow people to express their views."