THE parish priest at two Clydebank churches has urged members of the Scottish Parliament to be a guiding light for the country's young people.

Canon Gerard Tartaglia addressed MSPs at Holyrood in the latest Time for Reflection slot.

Canon Tartaglia, parish priest at Our Holy Redeemer's and St Margaret's in Whitecrook, gave a short talk to the country's parliamentarians just before Nicola Sturgeon updated the country on Covid protection measures and the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.

Time for Reflection sees an invited speaker address MSPs at the start of business in the full Holyrood chamber each week giving their perspective on issues of faith.

Canon Tartaglia said: “It is a pleasure for me to be able to spend these few moments in reflection with you, before you get down to business.

“Reflecting is never a waste of time. So much of our life is lived at top speed, racing around, in demand, and doing what is wanted of us.

“We badly need to back off a little and confront ourselves, and why we think and live the way that we do.”

During the session - which is Holyrood’s equivalent to morning prayers in the House of Commons - the priest made time to reflect on the youth of Clydebank and Scotland as a whole.

He hailed the “tremendous gifts and qualities” that young people have and exhibit.

He added: “There is a huge compassionate heart in so many of our young people and a deep desire to know why they are here and what their lives might mean.

Our job is to guide and encourage those who are younger to be a good example.

“Our young people are in the same boat. They need to be encouraged and supported by those who are older, with a real heart and love for them.”

Contributors for the weekly Tuesday morning sermon are chosen by the parliament's Presiding Officer and are selected to represent the balance of religious beliefs according to the Scottish census.