Latest Take a Pew hears MSP talk about her faith

In the latest Take a Pew video, the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP talks about her faith and being a Church of Scotland member. In conversation with former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood, Ms Davidson talks about her upbringing in the church and about the challenges she has faced in reconciling her faith with her sexuality. She speaks honestly about the different reactions she received on the recent announcement of her engagement to her partner.

The conversation took place outside the Scottish Parliament in early June, following a longer video discussion about how the church responds to our changing society which has already been made available to view. The Take a Pew initiative seeks to share a wide range of views from people across the church and Scottish society, and this latest video offers a personal insight into the life of one of Scotland’s most high profile Christians who is living out her faith in the public eye.

Ms Davidson, a churchgoer and former Sunday school teacher, is regarded by political commentators as a ‘rising star’ in UK politics. She is open about her sexuality and recently announced her engagement to her female partner. In the Take a Pew video, she reveals she received many thousands of messages of congratulations, but also received a number of abusive comments including some from people within the church.

Very Rev Dr Lorna Hood and Ruth Davidson MSP

She says “The accusatory nature that people take, the hurtfulness, the kind of venom that is behind it, and sometimes it does feel venomous, is much more against the teachings of the church that I’m a member of, and of the faith that I profess.”

At the end of the conversation, Dr Hood responds “We have to recognise the hurt that has been caused to you. It must have been very difficult at times but the important thing has been your faith throughout that.”

The current Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, has welcomed the frankness of Ms Davidson’s comments in the Take a Pew conversation as an important step in helping the church recognise those people reconciling their faith with their sexuality.

He says “I recently met Ruth Davidson at a private event and was pleased to congratulate her on her engagement. The General Assembly has made quite clear its pastoral support for people whatever their sexuality and so I was delighted to learn that Ruth and her partner have found such love and friendship in one another that they have chosen to take this important step together. Our Take a Pew initiative aims to take in a very wide range of views across the spectrum of our Church, and Ruth’s honesty in speaking about her faith and her sexuality is very much to be welcomed.”

You can find out more about Take a Pew and sign-up for updates on the Tomorrow’s Calling website. You can find out more about how the Church engages with all of Scotland’s political parties through the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office.