In the course of the past 12 months Scotland has celebrated a 'Year of Homecoming' culminating in a wide variety of celebrations on St Andrew's Day. Our homecoming year has seen ex-patriot Scots and many thousands of members of the Scottish Diaspora 'come home'. We have been glad to welcome them and hope they will return.
It is my hope that now and in the years to come, we here in Scotland will experience our own 'homecoming' in which Scots 'come home' to their faith and rediscover the Christian convictions upon which our nation was built and which the generations who came before us upheld.
I hope 2010 will see a return home to Christian values and beliefs in our country. To those Christians who have left their church and lapsed from their faith I say – make 2010 the year to rediscover the eternal truths of the Christian message. To those of no faith I urge you to make this coming year the one in which you discover what the Christian message says and how it is relevant to your life. To our fellow Scots of other faiths, I hope you will take time in the course of 2010 to learn something of the Christian faith which has so shaped the society in which you now live.
Ultimately, I wish everyone in our country a very peaceful and happy Christmas and a successful New Year.