The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office (SCPO) was set up in 1999 as a response to the decision to re-establish the Scottish Parliament. Its vision was to build a fruitful relationship between the Churches in Scotland and the new Parliament, and to help them relate and respond effectively in the political process.
Prior to devolution in 1999, Churches in Scotland played an important role in the discussions around constitutional reform. When the Scotland Act 1998 declared, "There shall be a Scottish Parliament," it marked the beginning of a new era in Scottish politics and the Churches wanted to continue their commitment to the common good in the public square.
When the new Scottish Parliament met in 1999 until 2004, its meetings took place at the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland on the Mound in Edinburgh.
Today we maintain a broad overview of Parliamentary developments at Holyrood as well as at Wesminster on subjects of interest and concern to Scottish Churches.
In partnership with other faith communities, the SCPO helped to establish "Time for Reflection" – the weekly Parliamentary slot in which representatives of Scotland's religion and belief communities offer a reflective "Thought for the Day". Graham Blount, our first Parliamentary Officer, gave the very first "Time for Reflection" in October 1999.