King Charles 'inspired' by Christian care for the poor and refugees

(Photo: Church of Scotland)

King Charles has written of his admiration for the support being provided by Christians to poor people, refugees and asylum seekers in a letter to the Church of Scotland. 

In a letter read out at the General Assembly over the weekend, the King said he was "inspired" by the care being given by the Church of Scotland and other faith groups. 

He pledged to "preserve and uphold the rights and privileges of the Church of Scotland", and expressed thanks for the many condolences paid on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II last year, and the "warmth and dignity" of the national service of thanksgiving for her life that was held in St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh.

The King went on to address current challenges and the way that the Church is responding.

"We are very conscious at this time of the pain for so many people across the world who are suffering from the vagaries of war and poverty," he said. 

"We are, as ever, inspired by the way in which the Church of Scotland, with other churches and faith communities, has expressed the Gospel imperative to the poor and made the care of refugees and asylum seekers such a priority."

However the letter acknowledged challenges withing the Church as well and said his prayers were with the Kirk as it seeks a way forward.

"We are aware of the challenges which the Church is facing as it continues the process of reform, as well as its discernment of God's will for the future shape of ministry and mission across Scotland," the letter read.

"Our prayers remain with you, and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide the Church with wisdom, grace and hope in all its decision-making."

He also commended the Church of Scotland for taking part in a historic ecumenical peace pilgrimage to South Sudan with the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury in February.

"Their messages of justice, peace and reconciliation were made all the more powerful by their visible presence which signified both the unity and diversity of the Churches," the letter said.

"These messages are equally vital in Sudan where people are again threatened by conflict.

"We pray for a swift end to the current hostilities to ease the human suffering and bring peace."

The General Assembly is taking place in Edinburgh, where Christian Aid Scotland head, Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, became its new Moderator for the next year, succeeding the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields.