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The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the
national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
church in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. The Church of Scotland traces its roots back to the beginnings of Christianity in Scotland, but its identity is principally shaped by the Reformation of 1560. It is
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, A ...
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
, having no head of faith or leadership group and believing that God invited the church's adherents to worship
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
. The church adheres to the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
and the
Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster is a district in central London, central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, includin ...
. The Church of Scotland celebrates two
sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marria ...
,
Baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

Baptism
and the
Lord's Supper The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...
, as well as five other
rite A rite is an established, ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be pre ...

rite
s, such as
confirmation In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and wi ...

confirmation
and
matrimony Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other Significant other (SO) is colloquially used as a term ...
. It is a member of the
World Communion of Reformed Churches The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Calvinist churches in the world. It has 230 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming an estimated 80 million people, thus being List of the largest Protes ...
. In the 2019 Scottish Household Survey, 20% of the Scottish population reported themselves as adherents of the Church of Scotland. According to the Church of Scotland, in 2013 its membership was 398,389, or about 7.5% of the total population, dropping to 380,164 by 2014, 336,000 by 2017, and 325,695 by 2018, representing about 6% of the Scottish population.


History

Presbyterian tradition, particularly that of the Church of Scotland, traces its early roots to the church founded by
Columba Columba, gd, Calum Cille, sco, Columbkille, gv, Colum Keeilley, non, Kolban or (7 December 521 – 9 June 597) was an Irish abbot Abbot (from Aramaic: ''Abba'' "father") is an ecclesiastical title A title is one or more words use ...

Columba
, through the 6th century
Hiberno-Scottish mission Fresco of Saint Columbanus in Brugnato Cathedral">Brugnato.html" ;"title="Saint Columbanus in Brugnato">Saint Columbanus in Brugnato Cathedral The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a series of missions and expeditions initiated by various Irish cleri ...
. Tracing their apostolic origin to
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( arc, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ, ; he, יוחנן בן זבדי, ; grc, Ἰωάννης; cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ; la, Ioannes; ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́a ...
, the
Culdees The Culdees ( ga, Céilí Dé,  "Spouses of God") were members of ascetic Christian monastic Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ...
practised
Christian monasticism Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of Christians who live Asceticism#Christianity, ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, mo ...
, a key feature of
Celtic Christianity Celtic Christianity ( kw, Kristoneth; cy, Cristnogaeth; gd, Crìosdaidheachd; gv, Credjue Creestee/Creestiaght; ga, Críostaíocht/Críostúlacht; br, Kristeniezh) is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrah ...
in the region, with a
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
exercising "authority within the institution, while the different monastic institutions were independent of one another." The Church in Scotland kept the Christian feast of
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
at a date different from the
See of Rome The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is gene ...
and its monks used a unique style of
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioch ...

tonsure
. The
Synod of Whitby In the Synod of Whitby in 664, King Oswiu of Northumbria Oswiu, also known as Oswy or Oswig ( ang, Ōswīg) (c. 612 – 15 February 670), was King of Bernicia from 642 and of Kingdom of Northumbria, Northumbria from 654 until his death. He is no ...
in 664, however, ended these distinctives as it ruled "that Easter would be celebrated according to the Roman date, not the Celtic date." Although Roman influence came to dominate the Church in Scotland, certain Celtic influences remained in the Scottish Church, such as "the singing of metrical psalms, many of them set to old Celtic Christianity Scottish traditional and folk tunes", which later became a "distinctive part of Scottish Presbyterian worship". While the Church of Scotland traces its roots back to the earliest Christians in Scotland, its identity was principally shaped by the
Scottish Reformation The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, ...
of 1560. At that point, many in the then church in Scotland broke with Rome, in a process of Protestant reform led, among others, by
John Knox John Knox ( – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear dis ...

John Knox
. It reformed its doctrines and government, drawing on the principles of
John Calvin John Calvin (; Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family The Indo-European languages are a language fami ...

John Calvin
which Knox had been exposed to while living in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
, Switzerland. In 1560, an assembly of some nobles, lairds and burgesses, as well as several churchmen, claiming in defiance of the Queen to be a Scottish Parliament, abolished papal jurisdiction and approved the ''
Scots Confession The Scots Confession (also called the Scots Confession of 1560) is a Confession of Faith written in 1560 by six leaders of the Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) ...

Scots Confession
'', but did not accept many of the principles laid out in Knox's ''
First Book of Discipline First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the first instance of a particular achievement Arts and media Music * 1$T, American rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ, ...
'', which argued, among other things, that all of the assets of the old church should pass to the new. The 1560 Reformation Settlement was not ratified by the crown, as
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to ...

Mary I
, a Catholic, refused to do so, and the question of
church government Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), market, or by a social network, netw ...
also remained unresolved. In 1572 the acts of 1560 were finally approved by the young
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...

James VI
, but the Concordat of Leith also allowed the crown to appoint bishops with the church's approval. John Knox himself had no clear views on the office of bishop, preferring to see them renamed as 'superintendents' which is a translation of the Greek; but in response to the new Concordat a Presbyterian party emerged headed by
Andrew Melville Andrew Melville (1 August 1545 – 1622) was a Scottish scholar, theologian, poet and religious reformer. His fame encouraged scholars from the European continent to study at Glasgow and St. Andrews. He was born at Baldovie, on 1 August ...

Andrew Melville
, the author of the ''
Second Book of Discipline The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the SI base unit, base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) (French: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a day – this factor d ...
''. Melville and his supporters enjoyed some temporary successes—most notably in the Golden Act of 1592, which gave parliamentary approval to Presbyterian courts. James VI, who succeeded to the English throne in 1603, believed that
Presbyterianism Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form ...
was incompatible with monarchy, declaring "No bishop, no king" and by skillful manipulation of both church and state, steadily reintroduced parliamentary and then diocesan
episcopacy An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") in which the chief local authorities are called bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christi ...
. By the time he died in 1625, the Church of Scotland had a full panel of bishops and archbishops. General Assemblies met only at times and places approved by the Crown.
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
inherited a settlement in Scotland based on a balanced compromise between Calvinist doctrine and episcopal practice. Lacking the political judgement of his father, he began to upset this by moving into more dangerous areas. Disapproving of the 'plainness' of the Scottish service he, together with his
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
,
William Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a clergyman in the Church of England, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic ...

William Laud
, sought to introduce the kind of liturgical practice in use in England. The centrepiece of this new strategy was the Prayer Book of 1637, a slightly modified version of the Anglican ''
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
''. Although this was devised by a panel of Scottish bishops, Charles' insistence that it be drawn up in secret and adopted sight-unseen led to widespread discontent. When the Prayer Book was finally introduced at
St Giles Cathedral St Giles' Cathedral ( gd, Cathair-eaglais Naomh Giles), or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is a parish church in North Devon, England Image:St Lawrence's Church nave and chancel, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.jpg, Inside the parish church o ...

St Giles Cathedral
in Edinburgh in mid-1637 it caused an outbreak of rioting, which, starting with
Jenny Geddes Jenny Geddes (c. 1600 – c. 1660) was a Scottish people, Scottish market-trader in Edinburgh who is alleged to have thrown a stool at the head of the Minister (Christianity), minister in St Giles' Cathedral in objection to the first public ...
, spread across Scotland. In early 1638 the
National Covenant The National Covenant () was an agreement signed by the people of Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of G ...
was signed by large numbers of Scots, protesting at the introduction of the Prayer Book and other liturgical innovations that had not first been tested and approved by free Parliaments and General Assemblies of the Church. In November 1638, the General Assembly in Glasgow, the first to meet for twenty years, not only declared the Prayer Book unlawful, but went on to abolish the office of bishop itself. The Church of Scotland was then established on a Presbyterian basis. Charles' attempt at resistance to these developments led to the outbreak of the
Bishops' Wars The 1639 and 1640 Bishops' Wars were the first of the conflicts known collectively as the 1638 to 1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which took place in Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland, Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland. ...
. In the ensuing civil wars, the Scots
Covenanters Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
at one point made common cause with the English parliamentarians—resulting in the
Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster is a district in central London, central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, includin ...
being agreed by both. This document remains the
subordinate standard A subordinate standard is a Reformed confession of faith, catechism or other doctrinal or regulatory statement subscribed to by a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement ag ...
of the Church of Scotland, but was replaced in England after the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
. Episcopacy was reintroduced to Scotland after the Restoration, the cause of considerable discontent, especially in the south-west of the country, where the Presbyterian tradition was strongest. The modern situation largely dates from 1690, when after the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
the majority of Scottish bishops were
non-jurors The Non-juring schism was a split in the State religion, established churches of England, Scotland and Ireland, following the deposition and exile of James II of England, James II and VII in the 1688 Glorious Revolution. As a condition of office, ...
, that is, they believed they could not swear allegiance to and
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Gr ...

Mary II
while
James VII James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...
lived. To reduce their influence the Scots Parliament guaranteed Presbyterian governance of the church by law, excluding what became the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer ...
. Most of the remaining Covenanters, disagreeing with the Restoration Settlement on various political and theological grounds, most notably because the Settlement did not acknowledge the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant, also did not join the Church of Scotland, instead forming the
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland is a small, Scottish, Presbyterian church denomination. Theologically they are similar to many other Presbyterian denominations in that their office-bearers subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Fa ...
in 1690. Controversy still surrounded the relationship between the Church of Scotland's independence and the
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
of Scotland. The interference of civil courts with church decisions, particularly over the appointment of ministers, following the
Church Patronage (Scotland) Act 1711 The Church Patronage (Scotland) Act 1711 or Patronage Act is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (10 Ann. C A P. XII). The long title of the act is ''An Act to restore the Patrons to their ancient Rights of presenting Minis ...
, which gave landowners, or patrons, the right to appoint ministers to vacant pulpits, would lead to several splits. This began with the secession of 1733 and culminated in the
Disruption of 1843 The Disruption of 1843, also known as the Great Disruption was a schism or division within the State religion, established Church of Scotland, in which 450 evangelical ministers of the church broke away, over whether the church or the state is the ...
, when a large portion of the church broke away to form the
Free Church of ScotlandFree Church of Scotland may refer to: * Free Church of Scotland (1843–1900), seceded in 1843 from the Church of Scotland. The majority merged in 1900 into the United Free Church of Scotland; historical * Free Church of Scotland (since 1900), remai ...
. The seceding groups tended to divide and reunite among themselves—leading to a proliferation of Presbyterian denominations in Scotland. The
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
passed the
Church of Scotland Act 1921 The Church of Scotland Act 1921 is an Act of Parliament, Act of the British Parliament. The purpose of the Act was to settle centuries of dispute between the British Parliament and the Church of Scotland over the Church's independence in spiritua ...
, finally recognising the full independence of the church in matters spiritual, and as a result of this, and passage of the Church of Scotland (Property and Endowments) Act 1925, the Kirk was able to unite with the
United Free Church of Scotland The United Free Church of Scotland (UF Church; gd, An Eaglais Shaor Aonaichte, sco, The Unitit Free Kirk o Scotland) is a Scottish Presbyterian denomination formed in 1900 by the union of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland The Unite ...
in 1929. The United Free Church of Scotland was itself the product of the union of the former
United Presbyterian Church of Scotland The United Presbyterian Church (1847–1900) was a Scottish Presbyterian denomination. It was formed in 1847 by the union of the United Secession Church and the Relief Church, and in 1900 merged with the Free Church of Scotland to form the U ...
and the majority of the Free Church of Scotland in 1900. Some independent Scottish Presbyterian denominations still remain. These include the
Free Church of ScotlandFree Church of Scotland may refer to: * Free Church of Scotland (1843–1900), seceded in 1843 from the Church of Scotland. The majority merged in 1900 into the United Free Church of Scotland; historical * Free Church of Scotland (since 1900), remai ...
—sometimes given the epithet The Wee Frees—(originally formed of those congregations which refused to unite with the United Presbyterian Church in 1900), the
United Free Church of Scotland The United Free Church of Scotland (UF Church; gd, An Eaglais Shaor Aonaichte, sco, The Unitit Free Kirk o Scotland) is a Scottish Presbyterian denomination formed in 1900 by the union of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland The Unite ...
(formed of congregations which refused to unite with the Church of Scotland in 1929), the
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland ( gd, An Eaglais Shaor Chlèireach, ) was formed in 1893. The Church identifies itself as the spiritual descendant of the Scottish Reformation The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland ...
(which broke from the Free Church of Scotland in 1893), the
Associated Presbyterian Churches The Associated Presbyterian Churches (APC) is a Scottish Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the same kind ...
(which emerged as a result of a split in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in the 1980s) and the
Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages, ...
(which emerged from a split in the Free Church of Scotland in 2000). The motto of the Church of Scotland is ''nec tamen consumebatur'' (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
)—"Yet it was not consumed", an allusion to Exodus 3:2 and the
Burning Bush The burning bush is an object described by as being located on Mount Horeb Mount Horeb (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. ...
.


Theology and practice

The basis of faith for the Church of Scotland is the ''Word of God'', which it views as being "contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament". Its principal subordinate standard is '' The Westminster Confession of Faith'' (1647), although here liberty of opinion is granted on those matters "which do not enter into the substance of the faith" (Art. 2 and 5). (The 19th century Scottish distinction was between '
evangelicals Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel Gospel originally meant the Chr ...
' and '
moderates Moderate is an ideological category which designates a rejection of radical politics, radical or extremism, extreme views, especially in regard to politics and religion. A moderate is considered someone occupying any mainstream position avoiding ext ...
'.) There is no official document in which substantial matters and insubstantial ones are clearly demarcated. The Church of Scotland has no compulsory
prayer book A prayer book is a book containing prayer Prayer is an invocation An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of: * Supplication, prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seek ...
, although it does have a hymn book (the 4th edition was published in 2005). Its ''
Book of Common Order The ''Book of Common Order'' is the name of several directories for public worship, the first originated by John Knox for use on the continent of Europe and in use by the Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; ...
'' contains recommendations for public worship, which are usually followed fairly closely in the case of sacraments and ordinances. Preaching is the central focus of most services. Traditionally, Scots worship centred on the singing of metrical psalms and paraphrases, but for generations these have been supplemented with
Christian music Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christianity, Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary ...
of all types. The typical Church of Scotland service lasts about an hour. There is normally no sung or responsive liturgy, but worship is the responsibility of the minister in each parish, and the style of worship can vary and be quite experimental. In recent years, a variety of modern song books have been widely used to appeal more to contemporary trends in music, and elements from alternative liturgies including those of the
Iona Community The Iona Community, founded in 1938 by George MacLeod, is an ecumenical Christian community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural sy ...
are incorporated in some congregations. Although traditionally worship is conducted by the parish minister, participation and leadership by members who are not ministers in services is becoming more frequent, especially in the Highlands and the Borders. In common with other
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
denominations, the church recognises two
sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marria ...
:
Baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

Baptism
and Holy Communion (the
Lord's Supper The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...

Lord's Supper
). The church baptises both believing adults and the children of Christian families. Communion in the Church of Scotland today is open to Christians of whatever denomination, without precondition. Communion services are usually taken fairly seriously in the church; traditionally, a congregation held only three or four per year, although practice now greatly varies between congregations. In some congregations, communion is celebrated once a month. Theologically, the Church of Scotland is Reformed (ultimately in the
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, A ...
tradition) and is a member of the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) was a fellowship of more than 200 churches with roots in the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, Reformation, and particularly in the theology of John Calvin. Its headquarters was in Geneva, Switzerla ...
.


Ecumenical relations

The Church of Scotland is a member of ACTS (
Action of Churches Together in Scotland Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) is a national ecumenical organisation of churches in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and ...
) and, through its Committee on Ecumenical Relations, works closely with other denominations in Scotland. The present inter-denominational co-operation marks a distinct change from attitudes in certain quarters of the church in the early twentieth century and before, when opposition to Irish Roman Catholic immigration was vocal (see ). The Church of Scotland is a member of the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
, the
Conference of European Churches The Conference of European Churches (CEC) was founded in 1959 to promote reconciliation, dialogue and friendship between the churches of Europe at a time of growing Cold War political tensions and divisions. In its commitment to Europe as a whole ...
, the
Community of Protestant Churches in Europe A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term " unit of observation" in that the former refer ...
, and the
World Communion of Reformed Churches The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Calvinist churches in the world. It has 230 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming an estimated 80 million people, thus being List of the largest Protes ...
. The Church of Scotland is a member of
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) is an ecumenical Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relations ...
and, through its Presbytery of England, is a member of
Churches Together in England Churches Together in England (CTE) is an ecumenical Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relationships among t ...
. The Church of Scotland continues to foster relationships with other Presbyterian denominations in Scotland even where agreement is difficult. In May 2016 the Church of Scotland ratified the Columba Agreement (approved by the Church of England's General Synod in February 2016), calling for the two churches to work more closely together on matters of common interest.


"God's Invitation"

While the Bible is the basis of faith of the Church of Scotland, and the
Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster is a district in central London, central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, includin ...
is the subordinate standard, a request was presented to a General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for a statement explaining the historic Christian faith in
jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The conte ...
-free non-theological language. "God's Invitation" was prepared to fulfil that request. The full statement reads:
God made the world and all its creatures with men and women made in His image. By breaking His laws people have broken contact with God, and damaged His good world. This we see and sense in the world and in ourselves. The Bible tells us the Good News that God still loves us and has shown His love uniquely in His Son, Jesus Christ. He lived among us and died on the cross to save us from our sin. But God raised Him from the dead! In His love, this living Jesus invites us to turn from our sins and enter by
faith Faith, derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...
into a restored relationship with God Who gives true life before and Eternal life (Christianity), beyond death. Then, with the power of the Holy Spirit remaking us like Jesus, we—with all Christians—Christian worship, worship God, enjoy His friendship and are available for Him to use in sharing and good works, showing His love, justice, and peace of God, peace locally and globally until Second Coming of Christ, Jesus returns! In Jesus' name we gladly share with you God's message for all people—You matter to God!
It was approved for use by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 1992.


Social and political issues


Women's ordination

Since 1968, all ministries and offices in the church have been open to women and men on an equal basis. In 2004, Alison Elliot was chosen to be Moderator of the General Assembly, the first woman in the post and the first non-minister to be chosen since George Buchanan (humanist), George Buchanan, four centuries before. In May 2007 Sheilagh M. Kesting became the first female minister to be Moderator. There are currently 218 serving female ministers, with 677 male ministers.


Homosexuality

Currently, the Kirk allows pastors to enter into same-sex marriages and civil partnerships while also still defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and with ongoing discussions on how the issues surrounding LGBT sexuality should be addressed. In May 2009, there was opposition to an attempt to install as minister an openly homosexual man who intended to live with his partner once appointed to his post. In a landmark decision on 23 May 2009 the General Assembly (GA) ratified by 326 to 267 the appointment of Scott Rennie, the Kirk's first out, non-celibate gay minister. Rennie had won the overwhelming support of his prospective church members at Queen's Cross, Aberdeen, but his appointment was in some doubt until extensive debate and this vote by the commissioners to the assembly. The GA later agreed upon a moratorium on the appointment of further non-celibate gay people until after a special commission has reported on the matter. (See: LGBT clergy in Christianity) As a result of these developments, a new grouping of congregations within the church was begun "to declare their clear commitment to historic Christian orthodoxy", known as the Fellowship of Confessing Churches. In May 2011, the GA of the Church of Scotland voted to appoint a theological commission with a view to fully investigating the matter, reporting to the General Assembly of 2013. Meanwhile, openly homosexual ministers ordained before 2009 would be allowed to keep their posts without fear of sanction. On 20 May 2013, the GA voted in favour of a proposal that allowed liberal parishes to opt out of the church's policy on homosexuality. Since 2008, 25 out of 808 (3%) ministers had left over the issue. It was reported that seceding congregations had a combined annual income of £1 million. In 2015, the Church of Scotland's GA voted in favour of recommending that gay ministers be able to enter into same-sex marriages. and allowing pastors to enter in same-sex civil partnerships. On 21 May 2016, the GA voted in favour of the approval for gay and lesbian ministers to enter into same-sex marriages. In 2017, there was a report to be debated at the Kirk's General Assembly in May that proposed "having a church committee research allowing nominated ministers and deacons to carry out the ceremonies, but...to retain the ability for 'contentious refusal' from those opposed to same-sex marriage." A Theological Forum report calling for the approval of same-sex marriage, and an apology to homosexuals for past mistreatment was approved by the General Assembly on 25 May 2017. In 2018, the Kirk's assembly voted in favour of drafting a new church law to allow same-sex marriages and to give ministers the option of performing same-sex marriages. The Kirk was expected to vote on a final poll in 2021 but, after being considered at a GA in May 2021, a draft plan might still be being considered by commissioners prior to being shared with all presbyteries for their consideration under the Church of Scotland’s Barrier Act 1697 and being brought back to a future General Assembly. Many Kirk congregations and clergy affirm the full inclusion of transgender and other LGBTI people within the church through Affirmation Scotland.


Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In April 2013, the church published a report entitled "The Inheritance of Abraham: A Report on the 'Promised' Land" which included a discussion of Israeli and Jewish claims to the Land of Israel. The report said "there has been a widespread assumption by many Christians as well as many Jewish people that the Bible supports an essentially Jewish state of Israel. This raises an increasing number of difficulties and current Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians have sharpened this questioning", and that "promises about the Land of Israel were never intended to be taken literally". The church responded to criticism by saying that "The Church has never and is not now denying Israel's right to exist; on the contrary, it is questioning the policies that continue to keep peace a dream in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This report is against the injustices levelled against the Palestinian people and how land is shared. It is also a reflection of the use or misuse of scripture to claim divine right to land by any group" and says it must "refute claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory". The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities sharply criticised the report, describing it as follows: "It reads like an Inquisition-era polemic against Jews and Judaism. It is biased, weak on sources, and contradictory. The picture it paints of both Judaism and Israel is barely even a caricature. The arrogance of telling the Jewish people how to interpret Jewish texts and Jewish theology is breathtaking." The report was also criticised by the Anti-Defamation League and the Israeli envoy to the United Kingdom. In response to criticism, the church quickly replaced the original version with a modified one, stating that criticism of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians "should not be misunderstood as questioning the right of the State of Israel to exist".


Abortion and euthanasia

The Church of Scotland is generally anti-abortion, stating that it should be allowed "only on grounds that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve serious risk to the life or grave injury to the health, whether physical or mental, of the pregnant woman." The Church of Scotland also opposes euthanasia: "The General Assembly has consistently stated that: 'the Christian recognises no right to dispose of his own life even although he may regard those who commit or may attempt to commit suicide with compassion and understanding rather than condemnation'. The church has frequently stressed its opposition to various attempts to introduce legislation to permit euthanasia, even under strictly controlled circumstances as incompatible with Christianity." The church is associated with the Care Not Killing organisation in "Promoting more and better palliative care./ Ensuring that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed during the lifetime of the current Parliament./ Influencing the balance of public opinion further against any weakening of the law."


Capital punishment

Historically, the Church of Scotland supported the death penalty; the General Assembly once called for the "vigorous execution" of Thomas Aikenhead, who was found guilty of blasphemy in 1696.Andrew Hil
Thomas Aikenhead
Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography monograph at website of Unitarian Universalist Association, c.1999
Nowadays, the Kirk strongly disapproves of the death penalty: "The Church of Scotland affirms that capital punishment is always and wholly unacceptable and does not provide an answer even to the most heinous of crimes. It commits itself to working with other churches and agencies to advance this understanding, oppose death sentences and executions and promote the cause of abolition of the death penalty worldwide."


Divorce

The Church of Scotland does not consider marriage to be a sacrament, and thus not binding forever, and has no moral objection to the remarriage of divorced persons. The minister who is asked to perform a ceremony for someone who has a prior spouse living may inquire for the purpose of ensuring that the problems which led to the divorce do not recur.


Position in Scottish society

At the time of the 2001 United Kingdom census, 2001 census, the number of respondents who gave their religion as Church of Scotland was 2,146,251 which amounted to 42.4% of the population of Scotland. In 2008 the Church of Scotland had around 995 active Minister of religion, ministers, 1,118 Wiktionary:congregation, congregations, and its official membership at 398,389 comprised about 7.5% of the population of Scotland. Official membership is down some 66.5% from its peak in 1957 of 1.32 million. In the 2011 national census, 32% of Scots identified their religion as "Church of Scotland", more than any other faith group, but falling behind the total of those without religion for the first time. However, by 2013 only 18% of Scots self-identified as Church of Scotland. In 2019, according to the Scottish Household Survey, 20% of Scots self-reported themselves as adherents of the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland Guild, the Kirk's historical women's movement and open to men and women since 1997, is still the largest voluntary organisation in Scotland. Along ethnic or racial lines, the Church of Scotland was, from historic times to the present, overwhelmingly white or light-skinned in membership, as have been other branches of Scottish Christianity. According to the 2011 census, among respondents who identified with the Kirk, 96% are white Scots, 3% are other white people, and 1% is either ethnically mixed; Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British; African; Caribbean or black; or from other ethnic groups, which broadly reflects Scotland's demographic make-up. Although it is the national church, the Kirk is not a state religion, state church; this and other regards makes it dissimilar to the Church of England (the established church in England). Under its constitution (recognised by the Church of Scotland Act 1921, 1921 act of the British Parliament), the Kirk enjoys complete independence from the Sovereign state, state in spiritual matters. When in Scotland, the British monarchy, British monarch simply attends church, as opposed to her role in the English Church as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Supreme Governor. The monarch's accession oath includes a promise to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government". She is formally represented at the annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, General Assembly by a Lord High Commissioner unless she chooses to attend in person; the role is purely formal, and the monarch has no right to take part in deliberations. The Kirk is committed to its 'distinctive call and duty to bring the ordinances of religion to the people in every parish of Scotland through a territorial ministry' (Article 3 of its ''Articles Declaratory of the Constitution of the Church of Scotland, Articles Declaratory''). This means the Kirk in practice maintains a presence in every community in Scotland. The Kirk also pools its resources to ensure continuation of this presence. The Kirk played a leading role in providing Universal education, universal education in Scotland (the first such provision in the modern world), largely due to its teaching that all should be able to read the Bible. Today it does not operate schools, as these were transferred to the state in the latter half of the 19th century.


Ongoing decline

The Church of Scotland faces many current difficulties. Between 1966 and 2006, the number of members fell from over 1,230,000 to 504,000, reducing further to 446,000 in 2010 and 325,695 by 2018, representing about 6% of the Scottish population. The Scottish Church Census reported that only around 137,000 people worship on an average Sunday in a Church of Scotland, approximately 41% of the stated membership. At one point the church faced a £5.7 million deficit amid costly upkeep of many older ecclesiastical buildings. In response the church decided to 'prune to grow', reducing ministry provision plans from 1,234 to 1,000 funded posts (1,075 established FTE posts, of which 75 will be vacant at any one time) supported by a variety of voluntary and part-time ministries. At the same time the number of candidates accepted for full-time ministry has reduced from 24 (2005) to 8 (2009). Since 2014, the number of full-time candidates accepted into training each year has been in the range of 13 to 16. At the 2016 General Assembly the Moderator pointed to issues such as: 25% of charges without a minister; all but two ministers over the age of 30; falling clergy numbers over the coming six years (anticipated that for each newly recruited minister there will be four retirements). This lack of those in training towards ministry has threatened the viability of the Kirk's theological training colleges. During the 2019 General Assembly, the Ministries Council announced that they were looking to reduce the number of Academic Partners who train current ministry students from five, to either one or two. The five current academic partners are University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, University of Aberdeen, University of St Andrews and, most recently, Highland Theological College. In 2018, the Ministries Council predicted, that on current trends, the Church of Scotland would have only 611 Full-Time Equivalent Ministers in post due to the age profile of the ministry, and the shortfall in new candidates, down from the 775 in post at that time. This would result in some Presbyteries likely to have less than half of their positions filled.


Governance and administration

The Church of Scotland is
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
in polity and
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
in theology. The most recent articulation of its legal position, the ''Articles Declaratory of the Constitution of the Church of Scotland, Articles Declaratory'' (1921), spells out the key concepts.


Courts and assemblies

As a Presbyterian church, the Kirk has no bishops but is rather governed by elders and ministers (collectively called presbyters) sitting in a series of courts. Each congregation is led by a Kirk Session. The Kirk Sessions in turn are answerable to regional Presbyterian polity#Presbytery, presbyteries (of which the Kirk currently has List of Church of Scotland synods and presbyteries, over 40). The supreme body is the annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, General Assembly, which meets each May in Edinburgh.


National Youth Assembly

The National Youth Assembly, often shortened to NYA, was an annual gathering of young people aged between 17 and 25 years old within the Church of Scotland. It ran from 1994-2019 and was run by the Mission & Discipleship Council of the Church, as part of Church of Scotland Youth (CoSY). The NYA discusses different topics every year and determines what they wish to say on these topics through the medium of debate (deliberately akin to that of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, General Assembly).


Moderator

Each court is convened by the 'Moderators and clerks in the Church of Scotland, moderator'—at the local level of the Kirk Session normally the parish minister who is ''ex officio'' member and Moderator of the Session. Congregations where there is no minister, or where the minister is incapacitated, may be moderated by a specially trained elder. Presbyteries and the General Assembly elect a moderator each year. The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Moderator of the General Assembly serves for the year as the public representative of the church, but beyond that enjoys no special powers or privileges and is in no sense the leader or official spokesperson of the Kirk. At all levels, moderators may be either elders or ministers. Only Moderators of Kirk Sessions are obliged to be trained for the role.


Councils

At a national level, the work of the Church of Scotland is chiefly carried out by "Councils", each supported by full-time staff mostly based at the Church of Scotland Offices in Edinburgh. The Councils are: *Council of Assembly *Church and Society Council *Ministries Council *Mission and Discipleship Council *Social Care Council ''(based at Charis House, Edinburgh)'' *World Mission Council The Church of Scotland's Social Care Council (known as CrossReach) is the largest provider of Social work, social care in Scotland today, running projects for various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups: including care for the elderly; help with alcoholism, drug, and mental health problems; and assistance for the homeless. The national church has never shied from involvement in Scottish politics. In 1919, the General Assembly created a Church and Nation Committee, which in 2005 became the Church and Society Council. The Church of Scotland was (and is) a firm opponent of nuclear weaponry. Supporting devolution, it was one of the parties involved in the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which resulted in the setting up of the Scottish Parliament in 1997. Indeed, from 1999 to 2004 the Parliament met in the Kirk's General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, Assembly Hall in Edinburgh, while its own building was being constructed. The Church of Scotland actively supports the work of the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office in Edinburgh. Other church agencies include: *Assembly Arrangements Committee *Committee on Chaplains to HM Forces *Church of Scotland Guild *Committee on Church Art and Architecture ''(part of the Mission and Discipleship Council)'' *Ecumenical Relations Committee *Stewardship and Finance Department *General Trustees ''(responsible for church buildings)'' *Legal Questions Committee *Panel on Review and Reform *Department of the General Assembly *Safeguarding Service ''(protection of children and vulnerable adults)''


Church offices

The Church of Scotland Offices are located at 121 George Street, Edinburgh. These imposing buildings—popularly known in church circles as "one-two-one"—were designed in a Scandinavian-influenced style by the architect Sydney Mitchell and built in 1909–1911 for the United Free Church of Scotland. Following the union of the churches in 1929 a matching extension was built in the 1930s. The offices of the Moderator, Principal Clerk, General Treasurer, Law Department and all the Church councils are located at 121 George Street, with the exception of the Social Care Council (CrossReach). The Principal Clerk to the General Assembly is George Whyte. Each Council has its own Council Secretary who sit as a senior management team led by the Secretary to the Council of Assembly, currently Martin Scott.


Publications

The following publications are useful sources of information about the Church of Scotland. * ''Life and Work (magazine), Life and Work'' – the monthly magazine of the Church of Scotland. * ''Church of Scotland Yearbook'' (known as "the red book") – published annually with Statistics, statistical data on every parish and contact information for every minister. * ''Reports to the General Assembly'' (known as "the blue book") – published annually with reports on the work of the church's departments. * ''The Constitution and Laws of the Church of Scotland'' (known as "the green book") edited by James Weatherhead, James L. Weatherhead, published 1997 by the Church of Scotland, ' and which has now replaced the venerable *''Practice and Procedure in The Church of Scotland'' edited by James Taylor Cox, published by The Committee on General Administration, The Church of Scotland, 1976 (sixth edition) ' * ''Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae'' – published irregularly since 1866, contains biographies of ministers. * ''Book of Discipline (Church of Scotland), The First and Second Books of Discipline'' of 1560 and 1578. * ''The
Book of Common Order The ''Book of Common Order'' is the name of several directories for public worship, the first originated by John Knox for use on the continent of Europe and in use by the Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; ...
'' latest version of 1994.


Bodies to which the Church of Scotland is affiliated

*
Action of Churches Together in Scotland Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) is a national ecumenical organisation of churches in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and ...
*
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) is an ecumenical Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relations ...
*
Conference of European Churches The Conference of European Churches (CEC) was founded in 1959 to promote reconciliation, dialogue and friendship between the churches of Europe at a time of growing Cold War political tensions and divisions. In its commitment to Europe as a whole ...
*
Community of Protestant Churches in Europe A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term " unit of observation" in that the former refer ...
(Leuenberg Church Fellowship) *
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
*
World Communion of Reformed Churches The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Calvinist churches in the world. It has 230 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming an estimated 80 million people, thus being List of the largest Protes ...


See also

* Marrow Controversy * Religion in the United Kingdom * International Presbytery * List of Church of Scotland synods and presbyteries * Ministers and elders in the Church of Scotland * Moderators and clerks in the Church of Scotland * List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland * Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland * Bishops in the Church of Scotland *
Iona Community The Iona Community, founded in 1938 by George MacLeod, is an ecumenical Christian community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural sy ...
* Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office * Society, Religion and Technology Project * Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707 *
Church of Scotland Act 1921 The Church of Scotland Act 1921 is an Act of Parliament, Act of the British Parliament. The purpose of the Act was to settle centuries of dispute between the British Parliament and the Church of Scotland over the Church's independence in spiritua ...
*Scots Hotel


References


External links

*
Official Church of Scotland website



website of Action of Churches Together in Scotland

Church of Scotland daily news monitor and links at Scottish Christian.com
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Church Of Scotland Church of Scotland, Members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches Presbyterian denominations in Europe Presbyterian denominations in Scotland Reformed denominations in the United Kingdom National churches Organisations based in Edinburgh Presbyterianism in Scotland Religious organisations based in Scotland Reformed denominations in Europe, United Kingdom Protestantism in the United Kingdom Religious organizations established in the 1560s 1560 establishments in Scotland