We believe that God, in his forgiving love, became a human being as the person Jesus of Nazareth in order to redeem us. We believe that Christ alone, by his death and resurrection, cleanses the human soul from sin and enables us to live in the power of his Holy Spirit. We believe that God is sovereignly in control of the whole universe and not only that he is personally present and active in the world but also that he has a keen interest in our lives.
The Church of Scotland allows much liberty of doctrinal opinion but our doctrine is rooted in the classical understanding of Christian faith.
That understanding is coloured especially by teachings of the early church fathers who were most influential in the development of orthodox teaching in the first few centuries of the New Testament. The Kirk, though, owes its distinctive character to the Reformers of the 16th Century Roman Catholic Church, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin.
The Reformer who most influenced Scotland was, of course, John Knox. He did more than anyone to establish the theological confession of the Church of Scotland. Not only was Knox interested in theology but he was socially active in pushing for a school in every parish, as he saw education as beneficial for all. Indisputably, it was thanks to the Reformers and their successors that Scotland’s schooling became a beacon for other nations, as the University of Edinburgh reminds teachers in training. From the 18th century onward parish and burgh schools provided many Scots with a good standard of education, leading to Scotland at that time having the highest standard of literacy of any European nation.
Our church government is Presbyterian, which means that it is ruled by a system of courts rather by individual bishops.
We believe what is confessed in the Apostles’ Creed and in the Nicene Creed and, except for some negative references to the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope, take the Westminster Confession of the Faith as our confessional standard, subordinate to the Word of God.
All Elders and Ministers of the Church of Scotland sign a formula in which they confess their reliance upon the Westminster Confession as a rule of conduct, subject to the Bible.
Membership of our Congregation is open to all who are prepared to take the five vows of membership, shown above. Preparation for admission to membership requires:
- regular attendance at services,
- completion of a course of classes about the Christian faith
and, of course,
- living faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Do you believe in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and do you confess Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord?
- Do you promise to join regularly with your fellow Christians in worship on the Lord’s Day?
- Do you promise to be faithful in reading the Bible, and in prayer?
- Do you promise to give a fitting proportion of your time, talents and money for the Church’s work in the world?
- Do you promise, depending on the grace of God, to confess publicly your loyalty to Jesus Christ, to serve him in your daily work, and to walk in his ways all the days of your life?