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28 September 2017

Together Serving Scotland

Together Serving Scotland

This month members of the Scottish parliament from across the political spectrum joined together to celebrate the work local churches are doing in communities across Scotland.  

Around 30 MSPs attended a member’s business debate brought by Kate Forbes MSP to highlight the work of Serve Scotland, a coalition that Evangelical Alliance Scotland helps to facilitate. Serve Scotland brings together Christians who are passionate about social transformation in local communities through churches demonstrating the gospel. 

Twelve MSPs spoke in the main chamber of the parliament during the hour long debate, highlighting story after story of the good work Christians are doing across Scotland. Research carried out by Cinnamon Network estimates that this work provides around 9,000 projects in Scotland, involving nine million volunteer hours and nearly £100 million of economic value. An important moment in the debate was the recognition by the Scottish government that often churches are the first to speak up on issues of social justice and inequality, following up by setting up projects to take action to deal with the issues.  

A Serve Scotland exhibition for MSPs in Holyrood ran during the week of the debate. The exhibition was sponsored by John Mason MSP and was visited a total of 60 MSPs – almost almost half of the 129 MSPs in the Scottish parliament. Visitors included the first minister Nicola Sturgeon, presiding officer Ken Macintosh and party leaders or senior politicians from all five political parties represented at Holyrood. 

Fred Drummond, Scotland director at the Evangelical Alliance and chair of Serve Scotland, said: “Christians are good news for their communities and it’s time to celebrate those who selflessly give of their time to love and serve their neighbour. We are delighted to have worked with so many others to help support and bring these events to the parliament and showcase the vast amount that Christians do in communities across Scotland.”  

Almost three-quarters of Scotland’s churches run projects that meet local social needs. Serve Scotland has uncovered more than 250 local projects in every Scottish constituency working to support those who find themselves marginalised in society. Projects include running food banks, debt advice, night shelters, refugee support, addiction recovery, prison rehabilitation and services for younger and older people in local communities.  

To find out more about Serve Scotland on to register your projects on the ever-growing Serve Scotland database please visit http://www.servescotland.org/ or contact the Scotland office on 0141 353 0150 and scotland@eauk.org

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