Members of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland will visit Westminster this week, on Wednesday 22 November, where they will join the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in a joint pilgrimage.
The Church leaders will meet Scottish MP’s attend Prime Minister’s Questions as well as a reception in the House of Lords, which will focus on International Aid to South Sudan.
Archbishop Leo Cushley, of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the UK Government and our Westminster MPs to discuss matters that are important to Christians and people of Faith in Scotland, but in a UK-wide context.
“A personal encounter is the best way to strengthen relationships with our elected representatives and I am grateful for this opportunity.
“I’m especially pleased to do this in the company of the Rt Rev Sally Foster Fulton and our friends from the Church of Scotland, particularly in light of the Declaration of Friendship that we signed with them last year.”
Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan said:  “This visit presents a fantastic opportunity for the bishops of Scotland to meet MPs representing Scottish constituencies, to strengthen relationships and discuss important issues.

Church of Scotland Moderator Sally Foster-Fulton, the Rev. Fiona Smith Principal Clerk to the Assembly and former Dumbarton MP Lord McFall, the Lord’s Speaker.

“I am delighted that the bishops will be joined by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for much of Wednesday’s programme and that they will lead the celebration of Mass in the beautiful chapel of St Mary-Undercroft.”

The delegation from the Catholic Church will include Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Archbishop William Nolan Archbishop of Glasgow, Bishop John Keenan Bishop of Paisley and Bishop Joseph Toal Bishop of Motherwell.The Church of Scotland delegation will include the Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly and the Rev. Fiona Smith Principal Clerk.

The delegations will attend Prime Minister’s Questions followed by a lunch with John Lamont MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Scotland Office.

This will be followed by a reception in the House of Lords, which will focus on South Sudan, hosted by Bishop John Inge, Church of England Bishop of Worcester.

The Catholic Bishops will also meet with former Dumbarton MP Lord McFall, the Lord’s Speaker, and celebrate Mass, in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft.

The purpose of the joint pilgrimage is to:

• Demonstrate the Churches’ shared commitment to each other, and to our continued involvement in national life, and social and political issues,
• Remind politicians of the active concern and regular prayers offered by Church members for MPs, Peers and those working parliament in government.
• Strengthen relationships between political leaders and senior representatives of the Churches through personal encounter and conversation
• Offer a pastoral conversation in a relatively private space for individuals who have to operate in the public eye and make difficult decisions
• Listen to the priorities of Scotland’s political representatives and reflect on the wider role of the Churches in how together we can serve the common good

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