House of Commons recognition for climate change activism as Moderator meets political and faith leaders in London

The Church of Scotland's contribution to the climate change debate has been recognised in the House of Commons.

Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, has lodged an Early Day Motion which acknowledges its ambition to be carbon net zero by 2030 and continuing role to advocate for change and action.

Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster. Deniz Fuchidzhie

It recognises that Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, was a delegate at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow and calls on the UK Government to "continue to engage with faith groups and civil society" on care for the environment issues.

London Calling

The news comes as he arrives in London today for a week of meetings with a wide range of religious, political and charity leaders.

Lord Wallace is expected to raise issues of mutual interest and concern to the Church with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack MP, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, and Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

The Moderator will meet Very Rev Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster Abbey and Shona Fleming, chief executive of the Borderline/Scotscare charities.

Lord Wallace of Tankerness
Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC has been a Kirk elder since 1981.

Lord Wallace is preaching at a service at the Church of St Margaret at Westminster, which is known as the Church on Parliament Square.

He said: "I am looking forward to meeting a wide range of different people with whom we share concerns about the kind of society that we all live in.

"The meetings that we're taking part in, with ecumenical partners, civic and political leaders, remind us that the mission of the Church is ‘in the world' and building strong relationships and lines of communication is key.

"As part of that, I'll be assuring those we meet with that we are upholding them in prayer through what continues to be a tough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges around poverty and the climate crisis."

House of Commons

Lord Wallace will be accompanied by Rev Dr George Whyte, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly; Rev Dr John McPake, Ecumenical Officer of the Church of Scotland; David Bradwell, Parliamentary Officer for the Church of Scotland; and his wife, Lady Wallace, on the week long engagement.

They are expected to compare notes with faith leaders on how churches have responded to the pandemic over the last 21 months as well as their response to the climate crisis and decisions made at COP26 in Glasgow.

Lord Wallace will be given an insight into the work of Scotscare, a charity that supports Scots and their families in London, and Borderline which supports Scots who are homeless in the city.

He is visiting St Paul's Cathedral to meet the Dean, Very Rev Dr David Ison, and will hold talks with representatives of Christian Aid, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church.

Lord Wallace will attend Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons and a House of Lords reception to mark the centenary of the Church of Scotland Act, 1921, which led to the birth of the Kirk today.

He is preaching at St Columba's Church of Scotland in Knightsbridge and will meet staff, volunteers and service users of the congregation's night shelter.

He will also address the congregation of Crown Court Church of Scotland in Covent Garden.

Dr Whyte said: "I am looking forward to being with the Moderator as we meet leaders in church, politics and charities.

"It is vitally important that we talk to those who share our concerns for the wellbeing of our neighbours across the four nations of the United Kingdom."

Very Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly 2020-21, took part in online London Week meetings last year due to the COVID-19 lockdown.