Outreach: Although we still have a few Presbyteries to visit (have we been to yours yet?!), there is significant potential for the SRT to be involved in speaking to other bodies, such as Rotary, Guilds, college and university groups, etc. We are always happy to receive invitations to engage with issues of interest to the SRT: please do get in touch of you think we can help in any way.
Energy, fuel poverty and climate change: This working group has begun to explore a number of important interlinked issues, and has received expert evidence from a number of sources. One area on which the report will focus will be the issue of rural fuel poverty.
Science festivals: The SRT event at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2015 was “And Through the Dark the Brilliant Light”, a concert celebrating the life, work and legacy of James Clerk Maxwell. This was attended by about 100 people, and elicited a lot of very positive comment. Both at that event and at the press event to highlight the concert, we were able to use a “light baton” specially designed for the 2015 UN International Year of Light.
As detailed elsewhere, Glasgow Presbytery has also arranged an event entitled “The strange power of light” during the Glasgow Science Festival.
SRT Week of prayer: Prayer is essential to the work of the SRT, as to all other aspects of the life of the church. Please put the dates for this year’s week of prayer (June 7th- 13th 2015) in your diaries, and publicise it as widely as possible. Publicity material for this is available to download from here.
Economics Commission: David Hunter, who has been leading on much of the work on Credit Unions (CUs), has now left, as his secondment has come to an end. We would like to acknowledge the work that he has done in his time with us, and wish him well in his future career. Karen Hunter has taken on responsibility for our work with CUs.
The Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) was formally launched at the Church of England Synod in London on February 11th. The CMCU website is now up and running: if you are interested in opening an account with the CMCU, please see their website, http://www.cmcu.org.uk
In addition, as a means of marking the distinctive Scottish contribution to this initiative, we held a breakfast launch of the CMCU in Scotland on 15th May. Rt Rev John Chalmers, Moderator of the General Assembly, and Sir Ewan Brown, CBE, Director of Scottish Financial Enterprise, spoke warmly of the work of the CMCU.
Good Money Week: Good Money Week runs from 18- 25th October 2015. We are planning a free half- day conference on the morning of Saturday 3rd October in St Andrews and St Georges West Church in Edinburgh. Please plan to attend if you can.
End of life issues: In addition to written evidence to the Committee, our Council Convenor gave oral evidence to the Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament in relation to proposed the Assisted Dying (Scotland) Bill. The Stage 1 debate on the proposed Bill took place on 27th May, resulting in the Bill being rejected.
We have been asked by the General Assembly to work with the Theological Commission to reflect theologically on aspects of the question of assisted dying. A “round table” discussion was held on April 28th, and a report to the General Assembly in May 2016 is planned.