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Scotland

Working for a just society

 

Equal Marriage

AUC strongly supports and celebrates the Same Sex Marriage Bill passed in Jan 2014 in Scotland. We believe this will not only make a more just society but will positively transform our understanding of marriage in Scottish culture.

JULY 2016 UPDATE: We are very excited to say that following the URC General Assembly in July 2016, ministers of the URC can now celebrate same-sex marriages. Our minister would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to discuss this possiblity!

UPDATE: Following the URC General Assembly in July 2014, AUC wishes to affirm their commitment to equal marriage. We welcome weddings of couples of any gender combination to take place within our building once the legislation in Scotland enables us to do this. 

 

Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office exists to engage churches with the Scottish Parliament. In the run up to the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, they have produced an excellent reference document for churches and their congregations - Explore: Faith and the Scottish Elections 2016. Please see related documents on the right hand side of this page. 


Human Trafficking Bill

AUC has written to MP Jenny Marra to support her developing legislation to protect people who are trafficked. This is our letter in response to the consultation paper:

Dear Ms Marra,

The members of Augustine United Church (an Edinburgh congregation of the United Reformed Church in the UK, within the Synod of Scotland), as Christians, have a firm and unassailable belief in God’s love and justice for all, and that this can be achieved by empowering those weak and vulnerable in society and challenging those who cause injustice - ensuring that all people are respected and treated equitably, irrespective of who they are. Dehumanising people and making them into “commodities to be traded” has no part in what Christians believe God wishes for humanity. Peoples of other faiths and many people of no faith also believe that all should be treated with respect and justice, and we would wish to work with them to achieve a fairer society.

We agree that it is vital to have a coordinated national approach and to clearly define human trafficking within Scots Law (taking steps to draw on ‘best practice’ from international law) to ensure maximum prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking (“Crystallise in Legislation”).                                                          

It is necessary to effectively tackle trafficking by involving as many parts of Scottish society as possible (including Government, the criminal justice system and civil groups); to enable easier reporting to the authorities of any suspected instances of trafficking, traffickers or the victims of trafficking; and to help raise awareness of how individuals and organisations within Scottish society might unintentionally be complicit in human trafficking by fuelling a demand. (eg by continuing to buy cheaply produced goods and cheap services).                                                                                                                                                                            2. It is vital also that those forced or coerced into illegal activities, including illegal immigration into the UK, (and who are thus “victims”) are not criminalised.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Those who become such victims should receive at least a defined minimal standard of care within a survivor’s service.

We would welcome future opportunities “down the line” to support your Bill to enable Cross Party support.

                Yours Sincerely,

 

Working for Justice Together                  

The URC is part of the Joint Public Issues Team which combines the expertise of the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church in the area of public issues, enabling the three denominations to work together in living out the gospel of Christ in the church and in society. To find out more visit www.urc.org.uk/what_we_do/church_and_society/home_page 

Some of the topics currently explored by the Church and Society groups are Dying with Dignity and the right to end of life, Blessings of Civil Partnerships, Economic Issues, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Climate Change.

We also have links with the Scottish Church Parliamentary Office. The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office enables them to:

  • Engage effectively in the new political process;
  • Translate their commitment to the welfare of Scotland into Parliamentary debate; and
  • Contribute the range and depth of their experience, and their faith reflection on that, to the decision-making process.