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After worship the Report of the Church and Society Council was received, with a tight schedule in place to control managing the debates on the different sections of the Deliverance. As a result, some items perhaps did not receive as much time as Commissioners may have wished for, and the Assembly managed to lose ten minutes with an early break for lunch, but in the whole it meant that all proposed amendments were debated rather than being lost in a guillotine as last year’s debate had so unsatisfactorily ended.

Many worthy issues were discussed and resolved upon. Although evangelicals and indeed even the Covenant Fellowship Scotland trustees would not be of one mind on political matters, it was good to see evangelicals engaging positively with the debate. A reaffirmation of opposition to trident passed without demur, but the wider issue of nuclear weapons saw an interesting discussion on whether the weapons themselves were evil or if it was the use and ownership of them that was evil – the latter view eventually rescued by an intervention from the former Moderator Dr Alison Elliot.

Alistair May successfully added a motion calling on HM Government to set up a Global Envoy on Religious Freedom reporting directly to the Foreign Secretary, a post that looked to have been lost with the election of a Conservative majority government, but which the former Shadow Secretary, Douglas Alexander, had been keen to champion.

Dr John McPake successfully moved an addendum calling for a constitutional convention, and further calling on the national churches to engage in these debates, as a result of the changing political scene in recent years. It is my own personal view that it is vital that we encourage Christians of all the main political views in Scotland to engage with their respective political parties at this time of significant change for the now minority parties in Scotland, and in the currently ascendant SNP – that the reforming of these parties might be informed by Christian engagement within them.

The Joint Report on Tenure passed without significant comment or challenge, and was followed by the report of the Iona Community Board. Their leader was invited to address the Assembly and felt he had to welcome the result of Saturday’s vote and was looking forward to being able to solemnise people in same-sex marriages in the not too distant future.

The day’s business concluded with the Safeguarding Committee, which noted the need to ensure that the PVG arrangements were concluded in Kirk Sessions and properly overseen by Presbyteries. These are essential but not controversial matters, and the Assembly was able to finish with an hour to spare before a presentation on John Knox linked to a major new book that has been published.