Moderator to bless Queensferry Crossing

Scotland’s new iconic road bridge will be blessed by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Right Rev Dr Derek Browning said he was "thrilled" to be accompanying Her Majesty the Queen who is officially opening the 1.7 mile, £1.35billion structure, which spans the Firth of Forth and connects Fife to Lothian, on September 4.

The event will include a welcome address by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a specially commissioned poem read by Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay, and live performances showcasing a cross-section of Scotland’s rich musical talent.

Derek Browning
Right Rev Dr Derek Browning

Dr Browning said: "It is a huge privilege to be involved in the opening of the Queensferry Crossing.

“Bridges provide a perfect image of what can be good in our society - the connection of individuals and communities, and opportunities for better communication.

“This new bridge, with its beautiful engineering, reminds our country and the wider world that bringing people together is what always builds a stronger society.

“It challenges all of us to look to ways in which we can build bridges within the communities where we live.

“How we connect with each other in a world that can sometimes feel isolating is one of the consistent issues facing us today.”

Walking experience

Dr Browning said bridges symbolised“togetherness and that is a good thing”.

“On a personal note I am delighted to be present at this Forth Crossing opening as I was brought as a two year old to the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in 1964,” he revealed.

The Queen's daughter Princess Anne, was the Lord High Commissioner at the General Assembly this year and she contributed to the World Mission Council's Words for the World project at the Heart and Soul Festival.

Her choice was "bridges".

The new bridge opens to traffic for the first time on August 30, prior to closing on September 2-3 for the Queensferry Crossing Experience.

A total of 50,000 members of the public have the unique opportunity to walk across the bridge.

A view of Queensferry Crossing from above
Queensferry Crossing. Andrew Cowan

Ms Sturgeon said: “It is very fitting that the Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by The Queen, exactly 53 years to the day from when she opened the Forth Road Bridge.

“Importantly, this celebratory event will recognise the thousands of people who have been involved in the construction of the new bridge.

“The Queensferry Crossing is a symbol of a confident, forward-looking Scotland and – as well as providing a vital transport connection for many years to come – it is a truly iconic structure and a feat of modern engineering.

“The Queensferry Crossing Experience attracted huge interest from across Scotland and beyond, demonstrating the widespread excitement and pride in the bridge.”