The Scottish Episcopal Church is a deeply Scottish Church whose history is interwoven with the whole story of Christianity in Scotland – back to the Celtic Saints like Ninian and Columba and through the Scottish Reformation and all the turbulence which followed. We are a reformed church, that maintains the orders of Bishop, Priest and Deacon, and which has continued to serve the people of Scotland ever since bishops were abolished in the Church of Scotland at the Reformation and our episcopal life continued independently. This Church is passionate about its membership of the Anglican Communion and has a global vision of its place in the worldwide Christian community.
In character, the Scottish Episcopal Church is diverse. The church celebrates diversity and values dialogue alongside dogma. It likes to think of itself as a thinking church and values a high standard of preaching. Alongside that thoughtfulness goes a deep commitment to spirituality and prayer. Much of the worship of the church is sacramental in character – its patterns of worship are full of drama and colour which links together the experiential with the intellectual. It pursues its calling to mission and ministry in the very secular and increasingly diverse context of Scotland and the rest of the world and is more a community of disciples than an institution with membership.
What we believe is important is to provide places for prayer and worship, we welcome people who wish to share with us in worship and invite people to ask for prayers and to pray with us, we try to keep our churches open, to use our buildings for community use and to use community buildings as churches in our rural communities. Our worship is centred around the Communion service and we love keeping the calendar of Scottish Saints, remembering them (as evidenced in the dedications of our churches) and celebrating their lives.
We are a church which seeks to serve God and all the people of Scotland, which means we serve people everywhere, there isn’t a place we don’t care about and a place we won’t go. We are also a church which has developed the courage to talk about the difficult issues that face our society, having conversations on human sexuality, the issues of nationhood and ecology and social justice. We are a broad church, welcoming people of many different backgrounds and religious experiences and you are most welcome to join us at any of our services or in any of our activities.
If you come from the Church of England, the Church of Ireland, or the Church in Wales, the way we do things in the Scottish Episcopal Church will seem familiar. We are also part of The Porvoo Communion, and therefore in full communion with the Lutheran churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia and Lithuania.