Scotland’s Referendum 2014

In advance of Scotland’s referendum on independence on 18th September 2014, we publish below some links to statements and contributions to the debate by Christian commentators, academics and bloggers. It also includes references made by the Lords Spiritual in parliament.

(Inclusion of links to other sites doesn’t necessarily imply agreement with the content of the material hosted there. We don’t expect the below list to be exhaustive but if we’ve made any inadvertent & significant omissions, please let us know. )


Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office – pages on the referendum.

Church of Scotland:

Free Church of Scotland:

UK Parliament: Parliamentary research papers on the referendum and implications of the result across a range of policy areas.

Premier Christian Radio‘s referendum webpages, containing articles and resources.

Evangelical Alliance Scotland‘s manifesto – ‘What Kind of Nation?’

Articles & Opinion

Rt Rev John Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland- ‘Moderator expands on his vision for reconciliation after the referendum’ (8/9/14). Also Church of Scotland website  – ‘Moderator of the General Assembly delivers prayer for harmony to the nation on Sunday’ (12/9/14)

Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church – ‘Churches agnostic on independence’.

Doug Gay, Church of Scotland minister & Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Glasgow –  ‘From Scotland With Love’

Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow: ‘Why saying No Thanks is the progressive option’

Dave Thompson, Christians for Independence ‘Today is the day that Jesus enters the constitutional debate.’

Iver Martin, minister of Stornoway Free Church on the Isle of Lewis & Principal of the Edinburgh Theological Seminary – ‘Preparing for the independence referendum’

Gordon Matheson, minister of Sleat & Strath on the Isle of Skye – ‘How should Christians vote in the independence referendum?’

David Robertson, minister of St Peters Free Church in Dundee & Director, Solas Centre for Public Christianity – ‘An Emotional Decision – Reflections on the Scottish Independence Referendum’

Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham: ‘Scotland: a personal view from within the Church of England’

David Barclay, Contextual Theology Centre –  ‘Better Together: God and the Union’

Jonathan Chaplin, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics: ‘Scotland Decides – but About What?’

Norman Bonney, emeritus professor at Edinburgh Napier University  – ‘the religious dimensions to Scottish Referendum’.

Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford University: ‘Scottish referendum: An appeal to the undecided’

Ben Ryan, Theos: ‘Winning the referendum is the easy part’

Church Times Leader Article (5/9/14) ‘Poor constitution’

Frank Cranmer, Law & Religion UK:

  • June 2012: ‘Did God draft the Treaty of Union?’
  • October 2012: ‘Scotland, independence, wider constitutional implications and bishops in the Lords (again)’
  • May 2014: ‘“A Respectful Dialogue”: the Church of Scotland debates independence’

Chris Knights – Livability, Community Engagement blog – ‘A church response to the Scottish Referendum’ – thoughts on the churches’ role and organising a hustings for the local community.

Ian Paul, Psephizo: ‘The real issue behind the Scottish Independence vote’

Gillan Scott, God & Politics: ‘If Scotland votes ‘Yes’ all of us will have a part wrenched out that will never be replaced’

Archbishop Cranmer: ‘If Scotland votes “Yes”, it will be John Major’s fault’

Christians on the Left:

Lords Spiritual

In the debate on the Queen’s Speech, in June 2014, the Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James, said “the Scottish referendum means that we face constitutional change, or the possibility of it, on a massive scale. I recall someone remarking that constitutional change in Britain is a bit like unpicking a ball of wool—once it unravels, it is hard to stop without creating a knotty mess. That is neither an argument against constitutional change nor against knitting but it does call for a good pattern to follow.”

The Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Peter Forster spoke during the House of Lords committee stage debate on the Scotland Bill 2012, expressing. concern about process 

Earlier, in October 2010 he spoke about the principle of consultative referendums during a Lords debate on a report from the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

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