Kirk Moderator Appeals to Politicians to Inspire Young People

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Alan McDonald, has appealed to politicians to inspire young people to change the world in a special service delivered at the Houses of Parliament Wednesday.

On the eve of St Andrew's Day, the Moderator urged politicians to learn from the role played by Andrew in the miracle of the five loaves of bread and two fish.

"Andrew was a good role model for those who marched through Edinburgh for Make Poverty History," he said. "You have to find a way of inspiring the Make Poverty History generations."

The service was part of the Moderator's annual St Andrewstide visit to London this week, and was joined by the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland who read St John 6:1 - 15.

The Moderator told the politicians: "We don't just need you to lead the economy well...We need you to inspire people to make a difference."

He said: "We want you ... to inspire young people in particular to be involved in public life and change the world.

"We want you to think of the big picture and feed the world, to find ways to bring peace to our troubled world, and to end poverty in Africa and Scotland."

Rev McDonald will celebrate St Andrew's Day on Thursday 30 November with a visit to the historic Caledonian Club in Belgravia, which has been a private members club since 1891 offering a social base for Scots who are in London.

Here the Moderator will be given a tour of the building including the new four-storey Morrison Wing extension. He will lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip following the official opening of the new wing by the Queen.

The Moderator will be guest of honour at the 341st St Andrews Festival Dinner held by The Royal Scottish Corporation. This unique charity provides assistance to Scots in London who are facing financial hardship. Its roots can be traced back to 1603 when King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James of England and Scots who had prospered in London helped out their fellow countrymen.

On Friday, Rev McDonald will join church leaders the Most Reverend Idris Jones of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Richard McCready of the Scottish Catholic Church when they hand in a petition with 20,000 signatures to the Ministry of Defence calling for an end to Trident.