Published on 22 March 2023
2 minutes read
The Church of Scotland has welcomed a new strategy from the Scottish Government that aims to strengthen communication, engagement and collaboration between the Scottish Government and Scotland’s diverse faith and belief communities.
The strategy was launched today in Glasgow by Christina McKelvie, the Minister for Equalities and Older People, along with representatives of different churches and faith groups.
The vision for the new strategy is of a diverse Scotland which is ‘peaceful, resilient and inclusive for people of all faiths, religious identities and spiritual beliefs.’
Under the plan the government will ensure ‘regular, constructive engagement’ takes place with faith and belief communities, building relationships based on trust and respect.
It introduces a new way of working that will see faith and belief communities being active partners with Scottish Government and together ‘meeting emerging societal challenges and working together for the common good’.
Rev Fiona Smith, Principal Clerk for the Church of Scotland, welcomed the new way of working, saying:
‘This strategy is a great step forward in the relationships between faith communities and government. It reflects the hard work done by all over the last few years in this space and it establishes a dynamic new way of engagement between faith communities and government that will help to enhance and support the people of Scotland in their communities.’
The strategy’s aims and outcomes include:
- Ensuring the Scottish Government has a more detailed picture of faith and belief in Scotland and uses this to inform policy development
- Widening the Scottish Government’s engagement with faith and belief communities so that the diverse voices of Scotland’s faith and belief communities are heard
- Improving religious literacy across Scottish Government so that Scottish Government officials and Ministers have a more nuanced and detailed understanding of the diverse faith and belief communities in Scotland
- Reviewing Scottish Government funding to faith and belief organisations and identifying overlap, gaps and potential for new funding and to ensure faith and belief groups are aware of relevant funding opportunities
- Supporting meaningful connections and dialogue between different faith and belief groups, and collaboration in the delivery of community projects
- Making sure faith and belief groups are embedded within Scottish Government’s work to mainstream equality and participate in contributing to policy development
The Church of Scotland contributed ideas and comments in the development of the Faith and Belief Engagement Strategy, which was developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with Scotland’s faith and belief groups.
You can find out more about the Faith and Belief Engagement Strategy on the Scottish Government website.