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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > August 2019 > Making change

Making change

Thomas Baldwin meets Fiona Buchanan of Christian Aid, a lifelong campaigner for climate and gender justice.

IT all started in church, says Fiona Buchanan. “We did campaigns training recently where we identified where our passion or commitment comes from,” says Christian Aid Scotland’s Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator. “And I have a sense it came from church – I can’t pin it down but I think hearing the stories of mission partners and different organisations that work for justice and equality, that is probably where it comes from – as well as from my parents, who were very much committed to it as well.”

The church in question is Carrick Knowe in Edinburgh, to which Fiona has belonged all her 37 years. She has also been organist and choir director and has run the Girlguiding unit all her adult life, and was ordained as an elder when she was 28.

“It has always been part of my life,” she says. “It was very much the sense of growing up in a community, and still being part of that community.

“It’s also linked to family. My dad’s the session clerk, my mum was the Sunday School superintendent for years, and my sisters are both involved as well.

“But also having the sense of the church family as well, is something I’ve always really appreciated. One of the elders died recently in his 90s, and I always counted him as a friend. Church is a place where you can have friends in their 90s, and you can have friends who are much younger than you, which I don’t really see in other parts of my life.

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE OPENING THE HEART Experiences of retreat MAKING CHANGE Interview with Fiona Buchanan, Church elder and campaigner for climate and gender justice DISINVESTMENT DEBATE The case for taking Church money out of fossil fuels ..and much more