Source: Edinburgh News
On July 31, 2006 Edinburgh News reported, "Multi-faith religious services for people who do not go to church are to be held in Edinburgh for the first time. Four interfaith ministers are to run a fortnightly 'universal service of worship' in a Newington community centre. They expect the congregation to consist mainly of people who believe in God but have become disillusioned with existing religions. It follows on from Scotland's first marriage carried out by an interfaith minister, which took place at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden last October. Rather than being based around stories about Jesus Christ, Muhammed or Buddha, the sermons will focus on universal themes such as love, how people can conduct their lives in a peaceful manner, support one another and respect the planet. There will be prayers, chanting, meditation, inspirational and motivational talks and music... All of the ministers involved in the services have undergone a two-year-long course at London's Interfaith Seminary, where they learned about all the different religions and also were taught how to write up interfaith 'scripts' for events like marriages or baby name-giving services. The ministers themselves come from a range of different backgrounds... Among the other ministers involved are people with Buddhist, Christian and Shemanic backgrounds. The services, which start on September 17, will run on the first and third Sunday evening of every month and will be hosted by two ministers each day. The Interfaith Seminary was set up in London in 1996 by Miranda Holden, who trained at New York's 'New Seminary.' There are now around 250 interfaith ministers in the U.K., most of whom operate in England."