Church meets MSPs to discuss concerns
A Rutherglen church is hoping to get closer to MSPs through a new project.
Rutherglen United Reformed Church are now taking part in the Meet Your MSP initiative, where they hope to speak to various MSPs about areas of concern.
Church minister Rev John Sanderson was joined by Rev David Pickering, URC Moderator of the National Synod of Scotland and a Cambuslang resident, to meet list MSPs James Kelly and Johann Lamont of Labour, and Adam Tomkins of the Conservatives.
In their meeting with the Labour MSPs, the subjects of social care, taxation and homelessness were raised, and in their conversation with Adam Tomkins they talked about foodbanks, growing the economy and carers.
Rev Sanderson said: “Initially I had reservations about the project – I wasn’t sure what would come out of it.
“But this has been a positive experience for me.
“It’s good to meet MSPs face to face in an informal setting. You see a more human side to people.
“It was good to raise concerns I had received from members of the church before our meeting, and be able to do that face to face.
“I appreciated that the MSPs took the time out to meet with us, and it is an opportunity to build on that human connection.”
Rev Pickering added: “It is really good for churches to engage with politicians in a personal way.
“We are grateful for the Meet Your MSP project and encourage each of our churches to engage with their local MSPs.
“From the national URC perspective, it is important to share our aspirations with our local politicians.
“In our meetings today, we raised particular concerns about housing and homelessness, and around support for refugees and asylum seekers.”
The project will continue with Clare Haughey MSP set to visit next Monday, January 16.
It’s good to meet in a more informal setting, you see a more human side to people
Getting to know you Rev John Sanderson (left) and Rev David Pickering meet MSPs Johann Lamont and James Kelly
Meet up Rev John Sanderson (left) and Rev David Pickering meet Adam Tomkins