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First Minister and churches consider common concerns

First Minister Alex Salmond met with senior figures from 11 Scottish Churches to discuss current issues facing society and the Church. Matters discussed included the proposed changes to marriage law on which views from across the churches were expressed. The Church leaders and representatives highlighted the transformational work done by churches in the community and welcomed the First Minister’s assurance that there is a continuing role for faith in Scottish society.

This annual meeting illustrates the increasingly active engagement between Churches and civic society in Scotland, both nationally and locally.

Lieutenant Colonel Alan J Burns, Secretary for Scotland for The Salvation Army, said:

"I am always pleased that our meetings with the First Minister gives Church Leaders the chance to discuss the role that the Churches play in creating the kind of society in Scotland that reflects our values and faith.  The Salvation Army is known for its passion to serve people who suffer, and who are vulnerable with no voice.  We valued the opportunity  at this meeting to share with Mr Salmond some examples of the projects that we and other Christian churches share in serving people our communities and to set it in the context of 'belief in action.  Mr Salmonds endorsement on our work and his encouragement to faith communities is appreciated by us all."

First Minister Alex Salmond, said: “The contribution made to Scottish society by all of its churches is outstanding and I was delighted to recognise that again today at the annual meeting with their leaders and representatives.  

“All over Scotland, churches work tirelessly in their communities tackling some of the biggest issues that we face.  Whether it is alleviating poverty, improving education or making our society fairer, Scotland’s churches share many of the Scottish Government’s aims for our country, and I was very pleased to discuss these in some depth today.

“While we will not always agree on every issue, it is only by open and cordial discussions like we have had today will we be able to work together and ensure that everyone’s views are taken into account when deciding upon the best way forward.  I have always been absolutely clear that people in Scotland should be able to express their faith openly so that the full range of opinions can be considered in the debates that we have on the kind of country we aspire to be.”