Moderator to meet with Scottish Catholic bishops during London Week
Published on 20 November 2023
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton will be in London this week where she will meet with a wide range of religious, political and charity leaders.
The Moderator, the Principal Clerk Rev Fiona Smith arrived in London yesterday, accompanied by the Church's ecumenical and parliamentary officers.
Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: "I am looking forward to joining in worship with ecumenical partners at Westminster, to discussions with political leaders based within the UK Parliament and to our meetings with Interfaith and charity partners.
"I am keenly aware that last week marked one year since the signing of the Saint Margaret Declaration between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church, a landmark in the history of ecumenical relations in this country.
"The Church is committed to fostering unity, be that between faiths, denominations, or political parties, as part of our duty as Christians spreading the message of love.
"To effect positive change it is essential that leaders from diverse backgrounds come together for the common good."
Visits to charities and charity events are a key feature of London Week.
This year the Church of Scotland delegation will attend the Christian Aid annual lecture which comes from Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group Amina J. Mohammed.
Ms. Mohammed will look at the impact of climate change on women and girls and why it's vital to focus on their advancement and leadership.
The Moderator will also visit Scotscare, a London-based charity that supports first and second generation Scots and their children, and read a lesson at a charity dinner to support their work.
Highlights of the visit
Highlights of the London Week agenda include discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury, HE Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer.
A day spent with the Catholic Bishops of Scotland will feature a reception in the House of Lords, hosted by Bishop John Inge, Church of England Bishop of Worcester.
The event will focus on International Aid to South Sudan, where the humanitarian situation remains dire due to continuing armed conflict, food insecurity and sexual violence.
The discussion will be followed up later in the week at a meeting with South Sudanese Ambassador Agnes Oswaha.
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 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."
Worship highlights will include the Moderator preaching at a parliamentary service in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft attended by some of the Catholic Bishops of Scotland.
At the end of the week the Moderator will travel to Guernsey where on Sunday she will preach at Guernsey St Andrews.
Other ecumenical highlights include attending a Presbytery of England event as well as discussions with the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle MBE, and with leading figures in the Methodist and United Reform churches.
On the political side, Mrs Foster-Fulton will spend time with the SNP Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn MP, the leader of the Lib Dems, Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP, and the Speaker of the House of Commons Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle.