DUNFERMLINE ABBEY will welcome a royal visitor today (Wednesday) to mark its 950th anniversary.

The Princess Royal is to visit the city landmark for the event, with more than 300 representatives from the community, churches, ecumenical partners, and heritage organisations also invited to attend.

A new piece of music was even commissioned for the occasion, which falls on the Feast Day of Saint Margaret of Scotland, with a grant from Creative Scotland.

An opportunity was also available to sign the St Margaret Declaration, a historic mark of friendship between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland.

According to the Church of Scotland, named after the 11th century Scottish Queen who is buried in the abbey, the document is the culmination of years of ecumenical relationship building between the two Churches which recognise each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

It will be signed by Most Revd Leo Cushley, Roman Catholic Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrew and Edinburgh, who will preach during the service, and Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly.

Dr Greenshields said: "I am deeply honoured and privileged to be one of the signatories of the St Margaret's Declaration at Dunfermline Abbey in its 950th year and on St Margaret's Day.

"This new friendship agreement has been many years in the making and is aptly named after a Scottish Queen who was venerated for her missionary Christian faith and her kindness and generosity to poor people.

"The declaration reflects the steadfast desire of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland and the Church of Scotland to continue to journey together and to see the healing of division within our nation.

"Friendship is a very deep relationship, a relationship of conscious and deliberate choice in which individuality is respected but there is room for disagreement.

"This is a relationship in which we stand alongside one another, support one another, rejoice together and weep together, pray for and with each other, and work together.

"I would want people across Scottish society to look at this new relationship between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church and take away a powerful message – there is more that unites us than divides us as we strive to be an ever more united Christian voice in this land.

"May the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ be in us and between us, may the living hope of the Gospel inspire us and may the deep, enduring, inspiring, renewing and eternal love of God in Jesus sustain us."

A service led by the Abbey minister, Rev MaryAnn Rennie, will take place at 2.15pm and is due to be streamed live online here.

She told the Church of Scotland: "The celebration of the 950th anniversary of the priory at Dunfermline and the legacy of St Margaret of Scotland is an opportunity to notice that faith in Jesus Christ is sustained even in the changing patterns of church design, church reform and the challenge of growing secularisation.

"As the current congregation on the site, we are aware that we are tenants who at this time have the task of sharing Christ's story.

"As Christian people, we are inspired by the presence of Christ we see in Margaret of Scotland, as her story speaks of her piety, compassion, and commitment to others.

"These are values that we hope we continue in the activity of our church.

"But we also recognise the important role that this site has played in the life of the city offering a home and place of worship and refuge for royalty, city residents and visitors."

The Abbey is closed to the public today while the event takes place.