Our Vision: Church calls for community to be at heart of referendum debate

Posted on 27/02/2014 by


our vision

The Church of Scotland has called for community and integrity to be at the heart of the debate the country’s future. The call is made in ‘Scotland’s Future: Our Vision’, a report based on the views of over 900 people who attended 32 community events run by the Kirk across Scotland as an alternative national debate on the referendum. 

While the 28-page report does not come down on either side of the yes/no debate, ‘Our Vision’ is an interesting insight into Scots’ views on the future of our country and is another welcome contribution towards wider debate. Among the conclusions:

• The referendum is about far more than the simple question “what is in it for me?” The idea that being £500 better off or worse off would affect how people vote was conspicuous by its absence in all 32 events. Instead, participants prioritised the building of local communities on the principles of fairness, justice and sharing of resources

• Dissatisfaction with the political system at all levels, not just Westminster or Holyrood also featured strongly. Participants wanted to see integrity, accountability and transparency, being able to hold politicians accountable between elections and for the party system to be less powerful

• Call for radical changes including far greater local decision-making and for politicians to see themselves as public servants in a more participative democracy

• A modern, successful economy needs limits placed on free market forces; business models should be more focused towards the employee and more value driven. There was a willingness to consider alternative and more progressive models of taxation to build a better society

• There was a strong expression of the need for prayer and for the Church to be involved in social action and in promoting Christian values such as love, hope, respect and forgiveness, as the fundamental building blocks to contributing towards the common good.

Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society said: “It is an inspiration to see that people in communities across Scotland are challenging the political status quo. The Church of Scotland is committed to finding ways to transform our political debate to ensure that wellbeing and values, such as justice, cohesion and sustainability become the measures for economic activity.”

Click on link (below) to read the report in full: