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BBC Scotland's James Cook
"On the first Sunday of the century the great and the good gathered for an ecumenical service at St Giles, Edinburgh"
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Sunday, 2 January, 2000, 17:39 GMT
United in prayer to mark millennium

St Giles Hundreds joined the Princess Royal at St Giles

Church leaders, politicians and distinguished guests gathered at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh to take part in a special millennium service.

The Princess Royal read from the gospel according to St Luke during the hour-long event which featured prayers, readings and hymns.

Rt Rev John Cairns Rt Rev John Cairns: Looking forward
The service was designed to celebrate the 2000 anniversary of the birth of Christ and mirrored similar gatherings throughout the UK.

The Queen was at St Paul's Cathedral in London, where the Archbishop of Canterbury preached.

At the Tabernacl Baptist Church in Cardiff, Prince Charles attended with his sons William and Harry, and the Waterfront Hall in Belfast also held a special millennium service.

The Right Reverend John Cairns, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, spoke about a bright future.

Princess Royal The Princess Royal read a lesson
He said: "As we enter this new era make a renewed promise for a renewed society in a new Scotland."

"In all our division there has remained unity, in all our darkness there has been light and in all out humility there has been a purpose."

The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics, Cardinal Thomas Winning, delivered a critique of modern living, urging people to seek a better, fairer happier world:

"In every century, Christians have been willing to go against the grain of power seeking selfishness; been ready to give up their comfort for the sake of goodness and ready to defend the weak, the humble and the defenceless.

Cardinal Winning Cardinal Thomas Winning: "Better world"
"Let us go forth to celebrate cheerfully our heavenly father's goodness and seek more fervently a better, fairer and happier world."

He asked that every child be allowed to grow in trust and skill and for everyone give in love.

Correspondents say the presence of a leading Catholic prelate at the heart of the staunchly Protestant Church of Scotland says much for the determination of the churches themselves to make a new start for the new millennium.

Other members of the Royal Family have attended millennium services, with the Earl and Countess of Wessex due to visit Winchester Cathedral for an hour-long service of celebration and dedication.

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See also:
02 Jan 00 |  UK
Millennium message of love and faith
02 Jan 00 |  Wales
Prince attends Songs of Praise celebration
02 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Andrew joins millennium service
01 Jan 00 |  Wales
Archbishop's millennium message
30 Dec 99 |  UK
The new year's resolution
01 Jan 00 |  UK
Archbishop's praise for unsung heroes
31 Dec 99 |  World
Pope bids farewell to old millennium
25 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Churchmen call for end to prejudice

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