Scotland’s faith leaders come together to support Challenge Poverty Week 2023

Our different faith communities are united in a common concern for the welfare of all people, ensuring justice and compassion are values that our society upholds and strengthens.

We share a dream of a society where no-one is marginalised or disadvantaged because of their struggle against poverty.

Our experiences of religious practice and belief give us hope that when people of good intent work together, it is possible to change the world for the better.

For Challenge Poverty Week 2023, we commend to all those involved in the life of our places of worship the key themes:

  • for a Scotland where we value our communities
  • for a Scotland where we all have safe, secure and sustainable homes
  • for a Scotland where we all have enough to live a decent and dignified life
  • for a Scotland where we can all get to where we need to go
  • and for a Scotland where no one goes hungry

In particular we reiterate the call of the Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum to the Scottish Government for the provision of free bus transport for people seeking asylum in Scotland.

Transport is often an insurmountable cost for low-income households. Not being able to travel limits people in their ability to access food and essentials, education, doctor’s appointments and a large number of other services. It also restricts people in practicing their religion as travelling to a faith community becomes unaffordable. Access to free bus travel would be positively life-changing and mentally transformative for people who might be in the asylum system for several months or even years. It would help to foster two-way integration and help build stronger and more resilient communities as it allows people to actively participate in activities such as English language practice, and religious worship and fellowship.

This Challenge Poverty Week, please remember that poverty is not inevitable. We share a vision of a Scotland free from poverty and where everyone can flourish. We invite you to add your voice, actions and your prayers to work collectively to achieve this.


Rev Bob Akroyd - Moderator, Free Church of Scotland

Zainab Alshubber - Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society

Kate Arnot - Quakers in Scotland

+Leo Cushley - Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh

Rev Bonnie Evans-Hill - Convener, Interfaith Relations Committee, Scottish Episcopal Church

Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton - Moderator of the General Assembly, The Church of Scotland

Ian Galloway - Chair, Faith in Community Scotland

Colonel Sylvia Hinton - Secretary for Scotland, The Salvation Army

Madhu Jain - Jain Community and Hindu Mandir, Glasgow

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar - Sikh Community and Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network

Acharyaji Mishra - Hindu Temple, Glasgow

David Moodie - Co-ordinator, Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

Isadora Quay - The Baha’i Office of Public Affairs (Scotland)

Rabbi David Rose - Hebrew Congregation, Edinburgh

Rabbi Rubin - Giffnock Newton Mearns Synagogue

Dr. Maureen Sier - Director of Interfaith Scotland

Joseph Sikora - Catholic Bishop’s Committee for Inter-Religious Dialogue

The Rev Mark Slaney - Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland

Linsay Taylor - Chair of Interfaith Scotland and member of the Muslim Community in Scotland

Srihari Vallabhajousula - Hindu Temple of Scotland, Rutherglen

Rev Paul Whittle - Moderator, the United Reformed Church, National Synod of Scotland

Zangpo - Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Community

Stay in the loop