This portal is for anyone aged 18 and over. We have a range of information and interactive materials including quizzes, radio programmes, videos and activities that we hope will increase your knowledge on sectarianism in Scotland.

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

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