Moderator Networking Across London and Beyond.

We have been so busy these last few days that it has been difficult to keep the blog up to date. Anyway I'm back ready to tell you more about our adventures here in London. Last Wednesday we were the guests of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Unfortunately Michael Moore was unable to be with us as he had a speaking engagement in Edinburgh. However we were well looked after by the Rt Hon David Mundell. This was an opportunity to conduct a service in St Mary's Chapel, which is in the crypt of the House of Common. This is a service traditionally conducted by the Moderator of the General Assembly to celebrate St Andrew's Day. After the service we attended Dover House for a lunch which was followed by a visit to Prime Minister's Question Time, followed by a visit to the Lords. It is at this point I feel I have to comment. What a disappointment to be sitting in the gallery of the House of Commons and witness politicians behaving in such a rude manner to each other. The Speaker of the House is continually bringing them to order to allow the questions to be answered , or not answered as the case may be. I find myself joining the thousands of voices in the country asking is this the best way to do politics? One thing for certain, it certainly paints our political leaders on both sides of the House in a very poor light. Our visit to the House of Lords was very cordial we were met by Crossbench peer Baroness (Frances) D'Souza who was elected to be the new Speaker of the House of Lords, succeeding Labour peer Baroness (Helene) Hayman in 2011.Baroness D'Souza, a scientist and human rights campaigner who became a peer in 2004, was previously the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers. We had a most interesting conversation, which ranged over a wide area of topics allowing me to talk about some of the issues that the Church is seeking to gain support on. In particular highlighting the significant contribution that Credit Unions can bring to the present economic crisis, especially in capping the interest rates that pay day loan companies are charging.; [youtube][/youtube] In the evening it was off to Lambeth Palace for the Ecumenical farewell reception for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Once again it was great to meet up with Archbishop Gregorios of the Orthodox Church. It is important to represent the Church of Scotland at these ecumenical events because it reminds the world church of the contribution that Scotland has made to the cause of mission. However it also helps us as a church to understand that we are a small Christian community compared with the larger Christian denominations. I think it allows us to have a proper sense of our place in World Church affairs, rejoicing that God can use the small and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. I'm always amazed at the high esteem we in the Church of Scotland are held in by our Christian partners throughout the world.
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