Nicola Sturgeon has thanked Christians for their selfless work volunteering during the coronavirus crisis in her Easter message.
The First Minister’s Easter broadcast paid tribute to churches, Christian leaders and volunteers for “demonstrating the kindness, compassion and love” fundamental to Christianity and “any decent society”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Easter also provides a reminder of the contribution Scotland’s Christian churches, like all of our major faith groups, make to modern Scotland.
“Church leaders and volunteers so often put others before themselves to help the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities and that has been a pattern, once again, in recent weeks.
“I want to thank our Christian communities for the contributions you are making now when it is so needed, as well as throughout the year.
“You are demonstrating the kindness, compassion and love, which are central to Christianity, and which are also fundamental to any decent society.
“As the Covid-19 crisis has reminded us, these are the things that really matter in life.
“So in these incredibly unusual and difficult circumstances, I wish all of you the best Easter possible.”
‘You are demonstrating the kindness, compassion and love, which are central to Christianity, and which are also fundamental to any decent society.’First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Acknowledging that the thought of Easter services not being able to go ahead “would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago” Ms Sturgeon said she hoped many people could watch broadcasts online and on TV instead.
“I hope that you find comfort and companionship, even as you stay physically separate from friends and family,” she added.
“And I hope, above all, that you stay safe and healthy. Happy Easter.”
The First Minister’s Easter message follows praise from the Duke of Cambridge for how the Church of Scotland has “reinvented itself” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
William was due to be at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland next month having been appointed Lord High Commissioner by the Queen in January.
But the week-long event, which was due to open in Edinburgh on May 16, has been cancelled as part of the social restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Churches across the country have also closed their doors and tried to find new ways to reach parishioners including holding services online.
Ahead of Easter Sunday, the duke wrote to the Right Reverend Colin Sinclair, the outgoing moderator of the Assembly, and said: “I have no doubt that this support, as well as other means of offering help, is hugely appreciated at this extremely challenging time, particularly by the elderly, vulnerable, those economically affected and of course those who have so tragically lost family and friends.
“I am sure that this continuing connection and support will be particularly welcomed this Easter weekend.”