Church of Scotland welcomes debate on social justice

Published March 15, 2012

Church of Scotland says the transfer of power from Westminster to Holyrood must improve society according to Christ’s teachings. Photo: Kim Traynor

The Church of Scotland is urging the debate on its constitutional future to focus on real issues affecting the country rather than on the transfer of power from London to Edinburgh.

Any constitutional change must bring about social justice benefits through reducing poverty and improving health and education, said the church in its written response to a request from the UK’s secretary state for Scotland and the UK Consultation on Scotland’s Constitutional Future.

“We would also like to see cultural change that builds better neighbourhoods, removes prejudice that feeds things like sectarianism and welcomes strangers without qualification.” said the Rev. Ian Galloway, convener of the denomination’s Church and Society Council. He added that “the critical questions in this debate will be about values which reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ: that is, more about poverty, health, education and all the other aspects of human flourishing than about a transfer of some, more or all powers from one parliament to another."

The Church of Scotland also recommends that the process be managed by an independent body with experience in handling referenda, and that the timetable for the referendum allow sufficient time for the important issues to be fully debated.

To see the full response, go to


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