THE first non-religious element of a Scottish Government commemoration to mark Remembrance Weekend has taken place in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh celebrant Tim Maguire is the first Humanist to have been invited to address the Scottish Government Remembrance Day Service, at St Andrews House in the Scottish capital.

Mr Maguire, 62, who is a celebrant with the Caledonian Humanist Association said that "it seems fitting that on the 99th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the sacrifices which have been made, and which continue to be made by non-religious members of the Armed Forces are finally being recognised".

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HeraldScotland: Tim Maguire

Pictured: Tim Maguire

Tim Maguire is also the Honorary Humanist Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, said: "Contrary to popular belief, there have always been atheists in foxholes, and Humanists have long campaigned for more inclusive remembrance ceremonies, because we recognise the sacrifices which have been made, and which continue to be made by non-religious members of the Armed Forces.

"I’m very conscious that even though it’s almost 100 years since the Armistice was declared, this is the first time that a Humanist has ever been invited to speak at an official remembrance event anywhere in the UK, so it’s an honour to be here."

Omar Shaikh, founder of Colourful Heritage, which preserving South Asian and Muslim heritage in Scotland, also addressed te event, designed to be more inclusive.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A remembrance event to honour and remember those who lost their lives in conflict in the past will be held at St Andrew’s House.

"This event will include reflections from Rev Tom Gordon, Church of Scotland, Tim Maguire humanist celebrant and Omar Shaikh Project Founder of Colourful Heritage. This new format is designed to make the event more inclusive for Scottish Government staff.”