Past Events

Past Events

Christians For Independence played an important part in the 2014 Independence referendum, and has continued to be active ever since. Read on for a selection of what we have done.


Talk by Rev Dr Doug Gay

On Saturday 23rd September we hosted a talk by Rev Dr Doug Gay on “What just happened?  Reflections on a difficult year”.
Dr Gay is a senior lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow and a prominent independence supporter.  His address dealt with the need for integrity and co-operation in politics and on how we can ahieve independence. The event was filmed by the Indy Podcasters, and you can watch it on YouTube at  The audio version is also available as a podcast from the Indy Podcasters’ website:, and from Apple, Google and Podbean.
The event was held in the Renfield Centre in Glasgow and was chaired by our Convener, Dave Thompson.

Edinburgh march

Many of our members took part in the march and rally for independence on 2nd September in Edinburgh. It was organised by Believe in Scotland and Yes for EU and was attended by around 25,000 people. Marches are an important way to show both Scots and the rest of the world that we still firmly intend to regain our independence as soon as possible. And by joining in such events, Christians for Independence demonstrate our strong belief that only when our country is free from Westminster rule will it be able to implement the Christian policies which will bring justice, fairness, equality, compassion and prosperity to all our people.


AGM  2023

Our AGM was held by Zoom on Wednesday 28th June.  We heard reports on the last year’s activities and accepted the accounts for last year, and discussed plans for the future. Elections were held for office-bearers and committee members (see our About Us page for details).

CFI at Alba party conference

We held a fringe event at the Alba party conference on Saturday 13th May in the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. This took the form of a talk by CFI Convener Dave Thompson on Religion and Politics  –  a Christian perspective. Dave is a former MSP and an elder in the Church of Scotland.

Dave’s talk

The meeting was chaired and prayers offered by Rev Edward Andrews.

The subject of the talk is one which has caused considerable controversy recently. A lively discussion after the talk showed a variety of views on how people with a religious faith can take part in politics. Among the

(l-r) Chris McEleny, Dave Thompson, Rev Edward Andrews

audience we were pleased to welcome Alba General Secretary Chris McEleny, who is one of our members.

We also had a stall, which was visited by many conference delegates. Thanks to all who came to speak to us and got copies of our booklet Scotland the Nation  –  a Christian case for independence. And welcome to the new members who joined us!





Supreme Court ruling

Following the judgment by the UK Supreme Court on 23rd November that Scotland can not hold a referendum on Independence, CFI Convener Dave Thompson was interviewed on TWR. He explained that the ruling was in accordance with the Scotland Act, a law made by Westminster for the benefit of Westminster. The SNP has consistently won mandates for a referendum; to be refused one is a denial of democracy. Since there is apparently now no legal route to leaving the union, it can no longer be considered a voluntary union. Westminster will not let Scotland go because it depends on our resources. But this is far from being the end for the Independence movement; we can proceed with a plebiscite election, the result of which would be recognised internationally.

Many CFI members also took part in the rallies which were held all over Scotland; Dave Thompson was one of the speakers at the Inverness rally.


Friends of Yes event, Falkirk

We were invited to provide a speaker for a Falkirk Friends of Yes event, held in the Park Hotel, Falkirk on Saturday 24th. September. Neil MacLeod (far right in photo) kindly agreed to give a talk and take part in the following discussion session. Neil is a long-time member of CFI, a lawyer and an elder in the Free Church of Scotland. You can read Neil’s talk about the work of CFI and about our beliefs here. Other speakers were Grant Thoms, editor of the Scots Independent, journalist and Yes campaigner Lesley Riddoch, Falkirk SNP Councillor Emma Russell, and Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay.

Inverness march

Several CFI members  –  some from as far away as Stornaway  –  took part in the March for Independence in Inverness on Saturday 20th August. The march had the biggest turnout of any since the pandemic, estimated at up to 3000. The march led from the Bught Park through the city to Castle Heather park, where a rally was held with several speakers including SNP MP Drew Hendry, Alba MP Kenny MacAskill and Green Councillor Chris Ballance. The whole event was friendly and good-natured, and it was great to see so many different aspects of the Independence movement coming together to demonstrate for our common goal of Independence.






Talk and AGM

Our AGM in 2022 was again held online, on Thursday 23rd June.

Before the AGM we had a very stimulating talk by Western isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, entitled: “Using an election for independence if a referendum can’t happen”.  This was followed by a questions / discussion session, which brought up many interesting ideas. The talk was open to non-members, and there were many contributions to the discussion.

Our activities have necessarily been curtailed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions it  brought. We moved all our meetings online, and managed to continue to put our case for Independence. With no party conferences or Independence marches to attend, we were able to concentrate on work on our booklet, Scotland the Nation – a Christian Case for Independence, which was published in November 2020.


Service at Alba Conference

CFI were invited to hold a Time for Reflection type service at the first Alba party conference, which was held in Greenock in September 2021.  CFI Convener Dave Thompson took the service on the Sunday morning, with a contribution from Muslim Shaykh Rehan Raza. It was a great chance to show that Christians have a part to play in politics, as well as to provide conference delegates with a opportunity to worship.


Ken Gordon: Obituary

We are very sad that Canon Ken Gordon, a prominent and highly respected member of CFI,  died in June 2021.  We have written a short obituary for him.

  2014  to  2020

Since the 2014 referendum, we did not give up hope but continued to be very active in the campaign for Independence.

We have held fringe events at SNP conferences, sometimes a service of worship, sometimes a talk or debate on an important issue. Here are details of some of our events:

2015 Aberdeen conference

2018 Aberdeen conference

2018 Glasgow conference

2019 Edinburgh conference

2019 Aberdeen conference

In 2015 our Convener, Dave Thompson wrote an essay for a book, Christians in Parliament, by Andy Flanagan, and also gave a talk in Edinburgh on Christians in politics:

Our members have taken part in several Independence marches, organized by All Under One Banner:

Bannockburn June 2018

Inverness July 2018

Edinburgh October 2018

Edinburgh October 2019

Inverness January 2020



AGM 2021

Held online on 16th June 2021, you can read a short report on it here.

AGM 2020

Held online on 24th. June 2020, you can read a short report on it here.


AGM 2019

Our AGM was held on Wednesday, 19th. June 2019 at 7 pm in the Iona Room of the Augustine United Church, 41 – 43 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL.  You can read a short report on it here.

AGM  2018

 Our Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 19th. June at 7pm in the Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House, in Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.  You can read a short report on it here.

Members’ meetings

The decision was taken at our meeting in June 2019 to try to make our meetings accessible to more of our members. We therefore held a members’ meeting in Perth on 31st. August, as we hoped that this more central location would enable more members to attend. Our meeting in the Salutation Hotel was well attended, and as well as receiving the usual reports on our activities and future events, members discussed a number of issues and made suggestions for what we should be doing. Following meetings were also held in Perth, until the covid pandemic forced a change to online meetings.


CFI supports Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes MSP delivers the Scottish Government’s budget, 6th. February 2020


In an article in The National (20th. February 2020), Christians For Independence has backed the appointment of Kate Forbes as Finance Secretary. It had been reported that unnamed sources were concerned about her wariness over proposed changes to the Gender Recognition laws, and that her Christian faith could make her unsuitable for a senior government position. Her links to former SNP MSP Dave Thompson, whom she succeeded in the constituency of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, were also mentioned; Dave Thompson is also a committed Christian and a founder member and Convener of Christians For Independence (CFI).

In the article, Dave Thompson dismissed concerns about Miss Forbes’ suitability for office, saying that those who questioned it showed “a distinct lack of understanding of the Christian faith”. He also said that CFI welcomes all Christians believers, and that its core belief is Christ’s command to love our neighbours as ourselves, with independence giving Scotland the chance to build a “fair, just and compassionate society”.

He also explained that “As Christian views are very diverse, we do not take a position on those matters which are particularly controversial such as gay marriage, GRA, abortion and assisted suicide, which are left to the conscience of our individual members”.

The full text of the article can be found at

General  Election  Press Release

It was decided at our meeting on 23rd. November 2021 to issue a press release prior to the General Election on 12th. December, urging Christians to vote for an independence-supporting party. The press release was written by Dave Thompson, our Convener, and sent to as many as possible of all the Scottish media outlets. You can read the full text here.


Theology  Working  Group

In 2019 we set up a Theology Working Group to research arguments showing that a belief in Scottish independence is wholly compatible with Christian doctrine, and to formulate these arguments in a way that can be easily expressed in a leaflet for distribution amongst Christians. The first meeting took place in Edinburgh on 10th. August 2019, and a brief report was produced on its proceedings (see Theology Working Group page, link above).

The work of the group has resulted in the booklet: Scotland the Nation: a Christian Case for Independence, published in November 2020.




In 2019 the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) set up a new campaign organization, with the stated aim of raising support for independence to over 50% (and hopefully much higher), and getting the Yes movement to a place in the opinion polls where we can successfully call for a referendum. The launch of the new organization took place in Edinburgh on 25th. April 2019.



Christians For Independence is a long-standing, voting member of the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC); our Convener, Dave Thompson, retired in August 2019 from his office as  Vice-Convener of the SIC and Director  of the SIC’s new campaigning company, Voices for Scotland.
In April 2019 the SIC published an update on its work: read the full report here.


CFI Convener Dave Thompson took part recently in a radio panel discussion which was broadcast on 11th. February 2019 by TWR UK, entitled Is it time Church leaders voice their views on Brexit?  He was debating with Jonathan Tame, Director of the Jubilee Centre (a Christian social reform organisation) and David Robertson of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and minister of St. Peter’s Free Church, Dundee.  As well as being a founder member of CFI, Dave is an elder in the Church of Scotland and was until recently Vice-Convener of the Scottish Independence Convention.  The discussion dealt with issues surrounding Brexit, as well as the general question of Christian involvement in politics.

The broadcast can be heard on, and can also be accessed via TWR’s Facebook page:

OBITUARY  –  Rev. Laurence Whitley

1949  –  2018

Rev. Laurence Whitley

CFI members were sad to learn of the death on 4th. November 2018 of Rev. Laurence Whitley, an eminent churchman and Scottish patriot.  Read the full text of the obituary.

2014 –  the Referendum Year

Christians For Independence played a big part in raising support for Independence during the months leading up to the Referendum.

In February 2014 we welcomed the Church of Scotland’s report Imagining Scotland’s Future: Our Vision, which called for the referendum debate to focus on issues such as social justice.

In April a video was published on You Tube in which Dave Thompson and Dennis Canavan were interviewed about Independence and freedom of religion.

In May Dave Thompson took part in a debate on the STV programme Scotland Tonight.  And CFI committee member Neil MacLeod gave an address to the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, emphasizing the important role of the Christian churches in Scottish life, and the place Christianity must have in the constitution of Scotland after Independence.

In June CFI held a series of meetings all over mainland Scotland to give Christians the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of Independence, and in July meetings were held in the Western Isles:

The meetings were well received and stimulated useful disussion, as was shown in reviews they received in local papers.

Also in July, an article by Dave Thompson suggesting why Christians should vote Yes in the forthcoming Independence referendum was published in the Church of Scotland magazine Life and Work.

Later in 2014 CFI inspired two full-page advertisements in the Sunday Herald newspaper. The first, in August, was a list of names of Church of Scotland ministers, the second, in September, a list of names of Scottish Catholics: all signed up to the statement: “We believe a Yes vote in the referendum makes possible a more socially just Scotland”.

Church of Scotland Ministers for YES

Scottish Catholics for YES


Several high-profile Church of Scotland ministers, including a former Moderator of the General Assembly and the then leader of the Iona Community also gave statements to the press, explaining why they were voting Yes.

And at the end of August a worship event entitled Let Love Shine was held, with activities for all ages. One of the stated aims was to “explore the Yes vision and how it fits with the Church”.

Launch of Christians for Independence 2014

Christians For Independence has been in existence since 2009, but in the run-up to the first Independence Referendum in September 2014 it registered itself with the Electoral Commission as a “permitted participant” in the Yes campaign. A launch event was held on 24th. February 2014 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. Various prominent Christian supporters of independence spoke of their reasons for supporting independence and explained how it fitted in with the Christian ethos.  The event was widely reported in the press and served to bring the Christian perspective on independence to the notice of the public.  As the Herald reported it: “Today is the day that Jesus enters the constitutional debate”.

Photos and speeches from the Launch


Before the Referendum

Christians For Independence was actually set up in 2009, and was active long before the announcement of the 2014 Independence referendum, mainly with services and meetings at SNP conference fringes. At the  March 2013 conference, for example, we held an event entitled Scotland the Compassionate, about overseas aid and asylum seekers, with speakers from Christian Aid and SCIAF.

Dave Thompson (CFI), Cathy Galloway (Christian Aid), Humza Yusaf, Patricia Chale (SCIAF)