Scotland can recover its spirit as a nation of “holy discontent” says the minister who is organising a major cultural event which will challenge some 10,000 Christians to transform the image of the church across the country.
Next week’s inaugural National Gathering marks the first time that the Church of Scotland has attempted a festival-style event. It takes as its model the country’s major annual indie music festival, T in the Park.
From 3 to 4 May, thousands of Scottish Christians from a variety of backgrounds will join together in music, dance, art and “food for thought” at the Royal Highland Showground in Ingliston, outside Edinburgh.
The Rev Albert Bogle, minister of St Andrew’s Church in Bo’ness, who is heading up the project, says he believes the event will send out a clear message to the country that the church is alive and is able to help address a growing spiritual longing among Scots.
He declared: “It seems to me that there is a holy discontent within the nation, people today are looking for more - but not just in monetary terms. They are looking for purpose, for inspiration and above all to reconnect with a faith that is relevant for everyday life.”
A number of high profile church fugures have already added their support to the event, including the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rev Sheilagh Kesting, and the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien.
The Anglican Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will be a keynote speaker on the Sunday morning.
The event forms part of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland's 'church without walls' initiative.