Scottish church leaders urge truthfulness in political debate

Ten Scottish church leaders have joined together in calling for a respectful tone in the ongoing political debate - that recognises the human value in all people.

 Place of Westminster
The Place of Westminster by Adrian Pingstone

As campaigning enters the final three weeks before the General Election on 12 December, the leaders have urged people to think of the many issues that unite rather than divide.

The statement says:

“As people of faith, we believe in the flourishing of local communities and the importance of acting to make sure this can become a reality. There are many issues which divide us but many more that can unite us – and the realisation of a fairer, more equal and more just society is one of them.”

It adds:

“We are all entitled to our own opinions and strong beliefs, and debates sometimes do get passionate and vigorous. But let us ensure that truthfulness and integrity are at the forefront of what we say and do.”

The Scottish church leaders represent the main Christian denominations in Scotland including the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Here's the full text of the statement with the signatories

“As the UK General Election approaches on 12 December, we would like to remind people of the hope that we share as we approach this special time of year – of new life and a new world, and the inspiration this gives us to create a better society for us all – one in which we truly care about those around us.

“We would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to be prayerful as they vote and make decisions that will affect the future of our country.

“We would urge people to treat those who are standing for public office with respect and to use a tone in our debates that recognises the human value in all of us – even, and especially when, we disagree.

“We are all entitled to our own opinions and strong beliefs, and debates sometimes do get passionate and vigorous. But let us ensure that truthfulness and integrity are at the forefront of what we say and do.

“As people of faith, we believe in the flourishing of local communities and the importance of acting to make sure this can become a reality. There are many issues which divide us but many more that can unite us – and the realisation of a fairer, more equal and more just society is one of them.”

Signed by

  • Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
  • Most Reverend Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev John O. Fulton, Moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland
  • Revd Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland (Scotland District & Shetland District)
  • Joan M.M. Cook, President of the Scottish Unitarian Association
  • Adwoa Bittle, Clerk to General Meeting for Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Revd Dr David A. Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland
  • Lieut-Colonel Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland and Divisional Commander, East Scotland Division, The Salvation Army
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair of the Congregational Federation in Scotland