Imagining Scotland’s Future report goes on tour

The Church of Scotland’s historic report on the future of the nation is being presented at venues across the country, kicking off in Ayrshire today.

Imagining Scotland’s Future: Our Vision has gathered the views of over 900 people who attended 32 community events aimed at gauging opinions on what a future Scotland should look like. The report provides a unique perspective on the referendum debate.

The report tour, which begins today at Livingstone Church Guild in Stevenston, will involve those involved in authoring the report presenting its findings and listening to the views of attendees.

Examples of the conclusions in the report included:

• The referendum is about far more than the simple question “what is in it for me?” The idea that being £500 better off or worse off would affect how people vote was conspicuous by its absence in all the 32 events. Instead participants prioritised the building of local communities on the principles of fairness, justice and sharing of resources

• Dissatisfaction with the political system at all levels, not just Westminster or Holyrood also featured strongly. Participants wanted to see integrity, accountability and transparency, being able to hold politicians accountable between elections and for the party system to be less powerful

• Call for radical changes including far greater local decision-making and for politicians to see themselves as public servants in a more participative democracy

• A modern, successful economy needs limits placed on free market forces; business models should be more focused towards the employee and more value driven. There was a willingness to consider alternative and more progressive models of taxation to build a better society

• There was a strong expression of the need for prayer and for the Church to be involved in social action and in promoting Christian values such as love, hope, respect and forgiveness, as the fundamental building blocks to contributing towards the common good.

To book a speaker to come to your church, please visit the Speak Out section of the Church of Scotland’s website.

Venues confirmed so far for the report tour are:

March 11: Livngstone Church Guild
March 12: Dalgety Parish Church
March 13: St Andrew’s Presbytery Guild
March 26: Denny Old Parish
March 31: Forfar East and Old Church
April 12: Dunfermline St Margaret’s
April 29: Cumbernauld Kildrum
May 27: Perth Action of Churches Together
August 28: Slateford Longstone Church