Belfast Telegraph

Edinburgh church service helps healing process begin between rivals

By Sara Neill

Three days after it was revealed Scotland would remain part of the UK, parties from both sides of the referendum divide gathered at an Edinburgh cathedral to emphasise reconciliation.

Around 1,000 people attended yesterday's post-referendum service of unity at St Giles' Cathedral, just yards from Holyrood Castle, the Queen's official residence in Scotland.

Better Together leader Alastair Darling joined MSP John Swinney from the Yes campaign as Rt Rev John Chalmers spoke about healing the divisions after the vote.

But there was little sign of animosity as Yes politicians lit candles and read from the Bible alongside those who campaigned for the No vote.

In a city where a majority voted against independence, the congregation was encouraged to shake hands and embrace their neighbours.

Rev Chalmers said every voice must be listened to in the talks which lie ahead, deeming the high turnout in the referendum a victory for engaging many in politics for the first time.

The minister said: "How we work together to put in place the democratic will of the Scottish people will be defining – both for us as individuals and for us as we work to redefine our place within the UK.

"Although it is not possible for the result to be reversed so that the first shall be last and the last shall be first – there is an imperative that we make the last feel like they are first."

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