The moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has praised two leading politicians for the way they conducted themselves while discussing the country’s future.
The Right Rev John Chalmers said the tone of the exchanges between Finance Secretary John Swinney and Advocate General for Scotland Lord Wallace of Tankerness demonstrated that people from both sides of the debate can work together for the good of the nation.
The two men set out their arguments for and against breaking up the UK at a Kirk debate in Glasgow on Tuesday which was broadcast in churches in Aberdeen, Kirkwall and Inverness.
Before the event, Mr Chalmers said he was “disturbed by apparent increased aggression and bitterness” between opponents as the referendum date approaches.
However, he said the Kirk debate in Glasgow showed “people from both sides can be together and share opinion in a respectful manner”.
“Whatever the outcome on September 18, we will have to work together to ensure a better future for Scotland,” he added.
Mr Swinney said he wanted to see greater equality in education, and that the rise of food banks and the presence of nuclear missiles in Scotland suggested the need for a change in priorities.
Lord Wallace, a former deputy first minister and MSP for Orkney, said be believed economic disruption caused by independence would be felt hardest by the disadvantaged.
He also questioned the validity of the nuclear disarmament argument.
The Kirk is not taking sides in the debate but a group of 34 serving and retired ministers, including former chief inspector of prisons the Right Rev Andrew McLellan, have publicly stated they will be voting Yes.