Events mark 450 years since Reformation


First Minister Alex Salmond will take part in a series of events this week to mark the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.

The programme will commemorate the enduring legacy that helped shape modern Scotland and celebrate the role that the Kirk and all of Scotland’s church and faith communities play in shaping the life of our nation, past and present.

On Wednesday, the FM will make the opening speech at a conference organised by the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church of Scotland at the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.

Scottish Reformation – Marking the Legacy, Imagining the Future will be jointly convened by Rev Dr Alan Falconer and Archbishop Mario Conti. The speakers include Rev Dr Alison Peden from the Scottish Episcopal Church, historian Professor Tom Devine and the Very Rev Dr Sheilagh Kesting.

Later, Mr Salmond will attend an ecumenical service and read a lesson at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Government will host a multi-faith reception at Edinburgh Castle following the service. Guests will include leaders and representatives of all of Scotland’s faith communities, academics, historians and party leaders.

Mr Salmond said:

“The Scottish Reformation was one of the most significant periods in our country’s history and its impact is felt to this day.

“Scotland’s single greatest invention is universal education and the Kirk had a crucial role in the creation of the world class education system that we have today. The education that focused on enabling everyone to read the bible, contributed to our intellectual achievements in the Enlightenment and the open mindedness that has made today’s Scotland a welcoming home to so many faiths and cultures.

“I will be attending a programme of events to mark the Reformation’s 450th anniversary and I am delighted that the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church have joined together to commemorate the occasion.

“The Scottish Government is hosting a reception at Edinburgh Castle to show our appreciation for the role that the Kirk – and all Scotland’s churches and multi-faith communities – play in shaping our nation. I am delighted that representatives from many of Scotland’s faith communities will be participating in the event which will mark the enduring legacy of the Scottish Reformation and the contribution that all faith communities make to the tartan tapestry of our social, cultural and economic wealth.”
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