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Sacred Scotland – website with world appeal

More than 1200 churches of every denomination over the whole of Scotland are to feature on a new national website to be launched by church leaders on December 10th in Edinburgh.

The project, the most comprehensive of its kind ever undertaken in Scotland, will be in place for the start of the Year of Homecoming 2009 and is the work of Scotland’s Churches Scheme with funding support from Historic Scotland and the Church of Scotland.

Every church in the scheme will have its own detailed entry which can include updated information on events, special activities and services. There will be links to individual church websites and to national heritage and visitor sites.

The website has been designed and delivered by Greenparka- Graphic Partners Ltd of Edinburgh for the scheme, which was set up fifteen years ago to promote visitor welcome in church buildings and assist congregations to become more of a focus in their own communities.

The scheme works across all traditions and, uniquely, has a network of local representatives in every area providing advice and assistance.

On December 10, at the official launch at Scotland’s Storytelling Centre, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, The Rt Rev David Lunan, Cardinal Keith O’Brien of the Roman Catholic Church and the Most Rev Idris Jones, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church will be principal guests with representatives from every denomination. Government ministers and MSPs will also be present.

Director of SCS, Dr Brian Fraser, said that already over a million people visit Scotland’s religious sites annually and the growth worldwide of “spiritual tourism” means the services of the scheme are now in even greater demand.

The scheme’s guide book with full information on member churches has existed since it began and further publications are planned.

Dr Fraser commented: “In addition to the comprehensive website we will be producing, with Saint Andrew Press, a series of regional guides to our places of worship.”

The first three of these, Sacred South West Scotland, Sacred Edinburgh and Sacred Fife and Forth Valley are due out in the Spring and follow Sacred Highlands which was published to great acclaim to coincide with the Year of Highland Culture.

• Full story at the Church of Scotland.

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