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Sunday, 26 May, 2002, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Scottish church greets Queen
Queen and Boys' Brigade
A Boys' Brigade guard of honour is inspected
The Queen has attended a special church service in Edinburgh as she continued her Golden Jubilee tour of Scotland.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen was joined by hundreds of worshippers at St Giles' Cathedral to mark the start of the Church of Scotland's week-long General Assembly.

About 100 well-wishers waiting in the rain outside the 11th-century cathedral as the Queen arrived.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse Guard met the royal party before the Queen and Duke inspected a Boys' Brigade guard of honour.

Queen fan in the rain
A well wisher seeks protection from the rain

First Minister Jack McConnell greeted the royal party on the steps of the cathedral before leading them into the church.

During the service, the Queen listened to a sermon given by the new Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Reverend Dr Finlay Macdonald.

He said it was fitting the Royal guests should attend such a service.

"With this service we have come, sovereign and subjects of the church and state, to this ancient place of worship at the heart of our nation," he said.

He talked about how all faiths had to work hard to understand and co-operate with each other.

And he told how he thought it was imperative for the church to believe in its worth in today's society.

Rev Macdonald said he would encourage people throughout Scotland to worship during his year as Moderator, as well as tackle topics such as sectarianism and racism.

Subjects which he said were "real issues" the church should be concerned about.

Scottish dimension

During the opening of the General Assembly on Saturday, the Queen paid tribute to the Scottish people.

She said: "My last visit to this building, in 1999, was on the historic occasion of the opening of the Scottish parliament.

"I expressed then and reaffirm now, my profound affection for Scotland and the importance of the Scottish dimension to my life and the lives of my family.

"My visit here today affords me an opportunity to thank the people of Scotland for their support after the deaths of my mother and sister.

"I have been so touched by the kindness shown by so many of you over these recent months."


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