Clergy line up for Scottish elections
Five Stirling clergymen have thrown their dog collars into the ring to stand in the Scottish parliamentary and local elections line reports The Times.
Party allegiances have divided along religious lines, with two Episcopalian priests flying the flag for the Liberal Democrats and three Church of Scotland ministers backing Labour.
Church leaders have entered the political arena in the past but it is believed that this year Stirling has the highest ever concentration of clergy candidates.
Canon Kenyon Wright, 70, a veteran devolution campaigner and retired Episcopalian priest, said that his decision to stand was based on the hope that as a clergyman he might inspire trust for politicians in an ever more disenchanted electorate. He has pledged to donate half his MSPís salary of £48,000 to local charities if elected.
The other four clergymen are all standing for election to Stirling Council against sitting Tory councillors.
The Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, 36, Rector of St Saviourís Episcopal Church in Bridge of Allan, said: ìPeople are fed up with the same old politicians. Clergy are particularly well placed to serve their communities in this way. They know them first hand.î
The oldest and most experienced of the political hopefuls is the Reverend Dr Ian Fraser, 85, who was a town councillor in Dunfermline in the 1950s. ìThe idea that you canít mix faith and politics is just nonsense,î he said yesterday. ìWe are human beings like everyone else.î
The candidates are the Reverend David Bowker, Labour, standing for Dunblane East; the Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, Lib Dem, Bridge of Allan; the Reverend Maxwell Craig, Labour, Dunblane West; the Reverend Dr Ian Fraser, Labour, Campsies; and Canon Kenyon Wright, Lib Dem, Stirling constituency.