The Church of Scotland is one of the largest organisations in the country. We have over 400,000 members, with more regularly involved in local congregations and our work. Within the organisation, we have around 800 ministers serving in parishes and chaplainces, supported by more than 1500 professional and administrative staff.

Most of our parishes are in Scotland, but there are also churches in England, Europe and overseas. Central to the Church of Scotland is our love and worship of God through following the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ. We express our love for God by our love and practical care for each other and for those we live with and encounter in our daily lives.

Church of Scotland parish churches play a crucial part across a range of communities, from remote villages to deprived urban areas where shops, banks, schools and other institutions have disappeared.

Statement: Christians of all traditions have more that unites us than divides us. It does not matter from which place on the theological spectrum you are, or which part of the country you live in. All over Scotland people are working out their differences, overcoming disagreements, and working together to care for one another and to serve, pray and learn together.

Aggression, violence, prejudice, discrimination, bigotry – these attitudes and behaviours associated with sectarianism are a residue of past tribalism in Scotland which we, the members of the Church of Scotland in the 21st century, repudiate and renounce. There are those on both sides who will try to stir things up or try to make trouble of wrongs that should long ago have been laid to rest.

By working with communities to create feelings of self-worth and identity we can help each other to find inspiration which lifts us out of sectarian ideas and gives us a different vision of our future together.

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener, Church and Society Council The Church of Scotland

Definition of Sectarianism: Sectarianism is…a complex set of attitudes, actions, beliefs and structures at personal, communal and institutional levels, which involves religion and typically involves a negative mixing of religion and politics. It arises as a distorted expression of human needs, especially for belonging, identity and the freedom of expression of difference, and is expressed in destructive patterns of relating. (From Joseph Leichty, Irish School of Ecumenics)

Resources: Church & Society Council A Report for the Church of Scotland General Assembly May 2012 Sectarianism

Name: David Bradwell

Address: The Church of Scotland 121 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4YN


Telephone: 0131 225 5722

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Are you doing work that tackles sectarianism?

The action you have taken could inform and enable others to do the same. We are reaching out across Scotland to find examples of projects, videos, music, session plans, cartoons, toolkits and any other resources that you think will help others to take action on sectarianism.

If you would like to contribute, please get in touch at

Get Involved

Get support for sectarianism

If you have experienced or witnessed any form of sectarianism you can get information on the support available in the guidance sections of the young people and adults pages. If you need to report a hate crime you can do so by contacting Police Scotland or through a Third Party Reporting Centre. More information on this is available in our Guidance pages.
Tel 0131 313 2488 Email

Do something in your community

If you want to take action and do something to tackle sectarianism in your community you can find out how others have been successful in our Directory and Library pages. There is lots of information there to use as inspiration.
If you are doing something, tell us about it and we will feature your good news and events on the website and through our social media channels. Also get in touch if you need support or guidance.
Tel 0131 313 2488 Email

Have resources to upload?

Have you created an amazing resource that helps to tackle sectarianism in your community? Then why not share it with us and let others access it and learn from your good practice.To submit a resource, event or news article email or call us at the details below.
Tel 0131 313 2488 Email

Watch our Talking Heads - a collection of video interviews real people, expressing their real views.