Church of Scotland urges politicians to attend service of reconciliation after referendum vote

Leading figures from the Better Together and Yes Campaigns will be invited to attend a service at St Giles’ Cathedral on Sunday September 21st, three days after the historic vote, when the focus will be on healing divisions and building the future together.

The service will focus on the need to put differences aside and begin working together, whatever the outcome of the referendum. It is hoped that similar services promoting healing and reconciliation will be held throughout the country.

It is anticipated that leading figures from the different sides of the referendum campaign will join together in the service, which will emphasise the need for people to bring the best of their aspirations for Scotland together in the building of the country’s post-referendum future.

The Moderator Designate, Rev John Chalmers, is grateful to St Giles’ for making it possible for him to preach at the service which will promote healing where there has been hurt and unity where there has been division. He said: “Once the referendum vote has taken place, we shall have neither utopia nor unity. In the coming months there is a danger the referendum will set people against each other, in their own community, their own street – even their own family.

“It will be important for each side of this campaign to be magnanimous whatever the outcome and the Church of Scotland, as a national church, is well placed to bring people back together in a spirit of reconciliation. Politicians represent the people, and it is my hope that by joining together in worship after the referendum they will send the clearest possible message that everyone has a role to play in building Scotland’s future.”

Mr Chalmers also pledged that he would work with other churches, other faiths and with non-faith groups who were committed to working for social cohesion and the greater good of Scotland. He takes up office as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on May 17.