Moderator calls for Church to turn tide of fading faith in Scotland

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has issued an urgent rallying call for the Church to connect with the next generation or risk faith fading from society.

Rt Rev John Chalmers told the General Assembly: “A tide has to be turned because a generation of people out there are being invited to live a life of disbelief – if not unbelief.

“And there is no justification for that.

“This Church of ours has to stop its navel gazing, get out under subjects that no one is actually talking about and get out there and capitalise on the fact that people still want purpose and faith in their lives, they just need it to be: accessible, relevant, generous and forgiving.”

He also highlighted the success of the independence referendum debate, held on Wednesday at the General Assembly, which received plaudits across the country for being a model of debate for others to follow.

He added: “This has been a momentous week in the life of our Church.

“We have made an important contribution to the discussion about Scotland’s future and positioned ourselves to be a relevant force for helping to unify the people of Scotland and helping to heal hurts that may be left behind in a post referendum Scotland.”

The General Assembly’s vote in favour of a proposal which could eventually lead to the ordination of ministers in civil partnerships was also commented on.

Mr Chalmers said: “We have dealt with our own internal struggles and we have sent to our Presbyteries an Overture which may pave the way for a period of Church life when we will set the issue of human sexuality to one side and focus on the urgent business of mission, ministry and service to the people of Scotland.”