Two of Scotland’s leading religious and political figures have recognised The Salvation Army for their “inspirational work” in supporting communities across the country.
Scottish Government Minister Marco Biagi and the Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, were speaking at a special event in Edinburgh yesterday to mark the 150th anniversary year of The Salvation Army, which began in London in 1865.
In Scotland, the first Salvation Army corps was opened at Glasgow’s Victoria Music Hall, Argyle Street, Anderston on Sunday March 24, 1879.
At yesterday’s event Mr Biagi MSP, the Local Government and Community Empowerment Minister, and Rev Morrison were joined by Edinburgh Lord Provost Rt Hon Donald Wilson, and members and supporters of The Salvation Army, including its UK leader Commissioner Clive Adams.
Mr Biagi said: “The Scottish government values and is inspired by the work of The Salvation Army. Few others can match the work that it does.
“For over a century The Salvation Army has provided services in the corners of the welfare state where the state is retreating.”
Rev Morrison of the Church of Scotland said: “The Salvation Army’s mission is to save souls, grow saints, and serve suffering humanity.
“That mission statement and the work of The Salvation Army is a reminder and inspiration to all churches on how help bring compassionate, practical care to the lives of people who are most in need.
“It is a joy and privilege, on behalf of the Church of Scotland, to be part of this 150th anniversary celebration.”
Salvation Army leader Commissioner Adams said: “This anniversary celebration is a fitting testimony to everyone who has been involved in the work of The Salvation Army in Scotland over the years. We give great thanks to churches, governments and communities who we partner with to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”
Lieutenant Colonel Carol Bailey, The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Scotland, said: “The Salvation Army has been transforming lives for 150 years. We think this is something worth celebrating! Our anniversary reception will be an opportunity for our partners in other churches and voluntary organisations to celebrate this important milestone with us. We will also be able to highlight our current work and some significant developments for the future.”
One of those future developments for The Salvation Army is a partnership with the University of Stirling on part of the church and charity’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy.
The event featured an update on the ground-breaking work of the strategy, which is a five-year plan to tackle the social and health effects alcohol and drugs are having on families and on the fabric of society in Scotland.
Professor Alison Bowes, Head of the School of Applied Social Science, explained: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Salvation Army to further develop their Drug and Alcohol Strategy. Through our collaboration, Stirling’s expertise and the impactful work we do in drugs and alcohol research, training and education can reach even more communities.”