On Sunday evening, at a meal held in her honour at Archbishop Cushley’s residence, in the presence of all the Bishops of Scotland, Very Rev Dr Sheilagh Kestingwas invested as a Dame of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great, by Pope Francis. The Order is one of five Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See and the Damehood was granted by Pope Francis, at the request of Archbishop Cushley, in recognitionn of Sheilagh’s exceptional service to the Holy See as a result of her commitment to Ecumenism in Scotland. It is rare for this prestigious award to be bestowed on non-Catholics. Sheilagh received a special ribbon and medal and would be formally invited to attend gatherings during any future visit of the Pope to Scotland.
It is believed that this is the first time that such an award has been bestowed on a member of the Church of Scotland.
Rev Dr John L McPake
Church of Scotland