General Assembly votes to support Speak Out: 10,000 voices for change

Speak Out image
An artist's impression of the seven themes that emerged from the Speak Out 10,000 voices for change consultation.

The General Assembly has voted to support the Church and Society's Speak Out strategy intended to guide the Council's work for the next 5-10 years.

The Council reached out to 10,000 people, from September to December 2015, asking people to identify what needed to change for Scotland to be a fairer, juster society in a fairer, juster more equal world.

The consultation identified seven focus areas that will be used to guide the work of the Council:

  1. Ensuring the health and well-being of all
  2. Investing in our young people
  3. Building local communities where people flourish
  4. Doing politics differently
  5. Creating an economy driven by equality
  6. Building global friendships
  7. Caring for creation

You can find out more and follow the Speak Out campaign. The new page reflects the seven themes of the campaign and includes a new video about Speak Out.

In her final act as Convener of the Church and Society Council, Rev Sally Foster Fulton presented the results to the General Assembly Tuesday morning, saying:

"We've asked people in churches and schools, gone to Citizen's Advice bureaus and job centres, spoken to politicians and teachers, mother and toddler groups and civic organisations – we've been in city-centres and the Highlands and Islands, people have responded on-line and through the post as well. We had initially hoped for 10,000 responses and we got nearer 11,000 voices for change. It has been a time to listen."

"Speak Out – 10,000 Voices for Change, has been a year-long process of engagement, founded on the firm belief that the best people to set the priorities for making the kind of changes we need to make in Scotland are the people who live, work, love and learn here, especially listening to those who have to live with the results of our upside-down economic system, whose lived experience of poverty sheds light on the dark corners we need to clean up if all are to flourish.

"This deep-breath thinking-time approach is also based on the understanding that transformation takes time. One of the great strengths in the institution of the church is that we do not have to respond with short-termism, we have the potential to keep plugging away, walking a particular path with the destination firmly in sight.

"By making this change in the way we work, the Council believes we can move from being responders to change, to drivers of it."

Mrs Foster-Fulton is now standing down as Church and Society convener and has been appointed to lead Christian Aid Scotland.

After the General Assembly Rev Dr Richard Frazer, minister at Greyfriars Kirk will be the new Convener of the Church and Society Council.

View the full speech from Rev Sally Foster-Fulton Church and Society Convener.