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26 November 2014

Press release

Churches’ reaction to new Scottish government policies

Churches’ reaction to new Scottish government policies

Evangelical Alliance Scotland has given a cautious welcome to the Nicola Sturgeon administration for new policies announced today in Holyrood. While welcoming many policies which are in sync with some of the 38 recommendations outlined in our referendum manifesto What Kind of Nation?, the Alliance has also called on the first minister to ensure reality matches her rhetoric in empowering communities across Scotland.

"We welcome much of the aspiration contained within the programme for government and the desire to include communities to build a better nation. These measures echo much of what the Evangelical Alliance has been calling for this year. In particular tackling human trafficking, domestic abuse, low pay and land reform are all to be welcomed," said Alliance spokesman Kieran Turner.

However he said that the rhetoric must be matched by a real and genuine empowerment of communities and involvement of the churches and other groups that contribute to neighbourhoods across Scotland.

"The government must engage communities and not just talk about them. The way to improve communities is to radically empower them by talking to them, listening to them, giving them real powers and taking them on board as genuine partners in the process of government.

"Now is the time for the first minister to make good on her promise to empower every community in Scotland and we, the Evangelical Alliance and our entire membership base, stand ready to help her in this task," added Turner.

The reaction of the Alliance to specific policies are:

Empowering Communities

We welcome the emphasis on strengthening communities in the empowering communities fund and land reform measures. However this must be matched by a recognition of the role churches and other groups play in the social fabric of Scotland and the inclusion of community groups in every aspect of government policy. The reality must match the rhetoric.

Human Trafficking

The Alliance welcomes the commitment to a Human Trafficking Bill however this must not be diluted from the measures contained within Jenny Marra's Members Bill that attracted such widespread support.

Living Wage

As a Living Wage employer the Alliance welcomes the promotion of this and the Scottish business pledge for businesses who promote this and engage with communities.

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.