Chris Ringland

Chris Ringland

Chris joined the Evangelical Alliance as public policy officer for Scotland in 2021. In this role he represents our membership of churches, charities, individuals and families to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, seeking to make Jesus known. He has also completed the Evangelical Alliance's Public Leadership programme. Previously, Chris worked in the Scottish Parliament. He is originally from Northern Ireland and completed degrees in both Geography & Politics and Public Policy in Scotland, and is a massive West Ham United fan (champions of Europe 2023). He is engaged to Eilidh.

We urge the Scottish Government to re-prioritise homelessness and drug addiction recovery in upcoming Budget

15 December 2023Drug misuse accounted for 36% of the deaths, and alcohol-specific deaths were 13% of the total. Put together, essentially half of the deaths were due to drugs or alcohol. Due to the complex nature of homelessness, it is likely that all these numbers are an under-estimation. It has also been reported that there has been a 13% increase in drug deaths in the first nine months of 2023 – 103 more people have died than in the same period last year. The Scottish Government has taken action to tackle…

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*NOW CLOSED* Relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RSHP) draft statutory guidance consultation

6 November 2023What are the proposals? We are encouraging our members, parents and all those with an interest in education to engage with this consultation as it is the best chance to make your views known on this important subject. The guidance provides the framework for how teachers provide RSHP education in schools, and the Scottish Government is consulting the public on its wording “to ensure the updated statutory guidance is fit for purpose”. The main changes to the guidance are to: “...embed lesbian,…

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Focus on doing justice needs to go deeper – reflections on Scotland’s Programme for Government

18 September 2023In addressing Holyrood on his government’s plans, the first minister referred to his faith as a driving motivator for why he seeks social justice in Scotland: “Growing up in the Islamic faith, I was taught that one of the core beliefs of that faith is that you are not a true Muslim if you have a full stomach while your neighbour goes to bed hungry.” It was a powerful reflection and encouraging to hear as another person of faith. As evangelical Christians striving to reflect Jesus in all that we…

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Charities Bill in Scotland: What does it mean for you?

25 July 2023In Scotland, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) registers and regulates over 24,000 charities for the Scottish Government. Charities must be registered on its Scottish Charity Register, which includes us at the Evangelical Alliance. Since its establishment in 2005, charity law hasn’t been substantively updated and the purpose of the Charities Bill was to give OSCR more powers in its regulatory role and update the requirements of charities on the information they must publicly…

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What we need to see from our new first minister of Scotland

29 March 2023In anticipation of this shift, we engaged our member churches from all across Scotland and asked them: What are your priorities for the new leadership of Scotland? What would you like to see change? What are your concerns? And, how would you like the Scottish government to work with faith communities in future? The responses we received indicated three main concerns: poverty, education and our political culture. Poverty There is deep concern around the impact of the cost of living crisis and…

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Gender recognition & Scottish devolution: How can we respond?

23 January 2023In December 2022, after around 140 proposed amendments to the Bill were debated and voted on, the Scottish parliament voted to pass the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill into law by 86 votes to 39. In short, the Bill would make it easier for someone to successfully apply for a gender recognition certificate (GRC), a document which legally recognises someone’s changed gender identity. This means a GRC holder can change documents such as their birth certificate. The Bill alters the…

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Scotland: Government told commercial sexual exploitation must stop

9 December 2022Scotland currently legalises violence against women. This injustice must be challenged. As Christians, we reflect the nature of our Creator in seeking to end injustices against those who are exploited and vulnerable, especially and including gendered injustices. The open letter urges the Scottish government to make four key policy changes: Criminalise the purchase of sex, while simultaneously decriminalising the selling of sex, recognising that the responsibility for change must come from…

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Scottish Independence: How did we get here?

25 November 2022What did the UK supreme court decide? Dorothy Bain KC, the Lord Advocate for the Scottish government, referred the question as to whether Holyrood has the legal powers to hold an independence referendum within its devolved powers to the UK supreme court. This is because there has been no agreement between the UK government and the Scottish government to hold a referendum – it was through the Edinburgh Agreement that the 2014 Independence Referendum was able to be held. The UK supreme court has…

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Drug deaths remain unacceptably high in Scotland

3 August 2022The drug death rate is arguably the biggest challenge Scotland faces. Collectively, Great Britain has one of the worst rates in Europe. But if Scotland is measured separately, the problem is significantly worse.

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Gender recognition reform: giving evidence to Scottish parliament

9 June 2022As the law stands, someone must have lived in their acquired gender for two years and provide medical evidence of a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in order to be granted a GRC. The proposed bill would amend this by removing the requirement for medical evidence and reducing to three months the requirement of how long one must have lived in their acquired gender (though with a further three-month reflection period). It would also reduce the minimum age of application to 16 and introduce a “false…

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Scotland moves closer to tackling commercial sexual exploitation

4 March 2022Thankfully, there may finally be some changes ahead. Over the past few months, momentum has shifted in the Scottish Parliament and these issues are rising up the agenda. Two debates in the parliament (Prostitution Law Reform, 3 November 2021 and Online Pimping, 10 February 2022), have shown how farcical the current legal situation is: “Commercial pimping websites operate openly and legally, and they are fuelling sex trafficking across the country. Those highly lucrative websites make their…

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