Plea for armed forces chaplains likely to be rejected
A plea for Church of Scotland ministers to consider signing up for the armed forces as chaplains is likely to be rejected.
This year's General Assembly gathering, being held in Edinburgh, will be told that new recruits from the clergy's ranks are in short supply.
Padres are required wherever the armed forces are deployed.
Yet for the third year running, not one Kirk minister who is not already involved in chaplaincy has expressed an interest in armed services work.
In the RAF there are only four Church of Scotland chaplains - less than half the number required.
The incoming Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Alan McDonald, presiding over this year's General Assembly, recently praised controversial Christian peace campaigner and former Iraq hostage Norman Kember.
McDonald said: "Norman Kember is someone who acted out his beliefs. He put his life on the line.
"He stood up. Could I do that? Would I do that? I feel that we are all called to be peace-makers in our own way. I spend time as a peace-maker in South Africa, during the election there, just for a few weeks. I believed that I am called to be a parish minister, but I believe that we should encourage non-violence and peace-making."
Scotland's churches recently launched a joint petition urging the UK Government not to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Two years ago a report to the Church's general assembly warned that failure to find non-military means of tackling terrorism had made the world an even more dangerous place.