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Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland

Church Moderator meets Scotland's political leaders

by Kelly Valencia

The Church of Scotland's moderator recently held meetings with representatives from all major political parties in Holyrood, reaffirming the Church's commitment to contribute actively to social and political discussions.

The discussions included prominent figures like First Minister Humza Yousaf, Douglas Ross MP MSP from the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, and Anas Sarwar from the Scottish Labour Party.

Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, along with Rev Fiona Smith and the Church's parliamentary officer, David Bradwell, met with the leaders. As part of the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office, the Church of Scotland plays a significant role in legislative matters by commissioning research and offering insightful analysis.

Earlier this year, the former moderator, Very Rev Iain Greenshields, and the Archbishop of Glasgow, Most Rev Archbishop William Nolan, signed a declaration calling on the Scottish Government to ensure all frontline care staff were paid a minimum of £12 an hour and encouraged other faith leaders to follow them in showing support for the sector.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton said: "Social care workers sensitively and professionally care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and they deserve to be paid fairly and appropriately. An immediate increase of at least £12 an hour will go some way to evidencing our commitment to this vital sector. This is also a highly gendered issue, as 87% of the work force is female. We must do better!

"Meeting our party leaders is an opportunity to thank and to challenge, and both have been welcomed across the political spectrum. Discussions on how faith communities support and continue to play our part in creating peaceful, welcoming and equitable communities fuels our determination as well. I am so inspired to be part of a country where these idea exchanges are embraced."

Rev Fiona Smith also commented: "These meetings are a reminder to the whole Church that we can all play our part in influencing the way politics is conducted and to contribute our ideas to debates for the betterment of all. I'd encourage Churches and ministers at local and Presbytery level to contact all their elected representatives and build and strengthen a dialogue with them, so that the views of the Church can be heard, and the work of the Church understood, by those with power over decisions relating to law-making and budgets."

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