The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Churchtells the Irish Times he has not yet made up his mind how he will vote in this week’s Scottish referendum,
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane tells the Irish Times he has not yet made up his mind how he will vote in this week’s Scottish referendum, but his natural inclination as a citizen of the Republic of Ireland is against the unionist ideal. However, his experience as rector of Seagoe Parish in Portadown, Co. Armagh during the Orange Order Drumcree parades controversy has left him quite cold to the hypernationalism express by some independence supporters. “I react very badly to flags being used as electioneering symbols. I react very, very badly to that. I am quite distressed by it,” he said. Members of the Scottish Episcopal Church are divided over the campaign, he said. “The feelings we are experiencing even in the church are complex. Some people are strongly in favour, others are deeply apprehensive. “I meet people with house brochures for the northeast of England, preparing to leave. I meet people with a deep personal antipathy for Alex Salmond. All of that has been disturbing and unsettling and will take time to settle,” but he added “I don’t expect to see half my congregation at Edinburgh’s Waverley railway station.” The primus said whatever the outcome of the vote, Scotland’s future was uncertain. “If it’s No, I would have some concerns that the situation would not settle. “Those who have been made insecure would say that the other side will come back for another go in a few years, so there will be continuing destabilisation.” Most Scots will accept a Yes vote “and move on”, but it is unclear whether the Scottish government is up to the challenges of independence.