Churches' response to homosexuality
The Church of Scotland & homosexuality
About the Church of Scotland and other religions in Scotland:
Following the union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603 CE,
attempts were made to forcibly conform the Church of Scotland to
the Church of England (Anglican) model. The resultant conflict
ended in 1690 with the establishment of the Church of Scotland as a
Presbyterian denomination. It is referred to as The Kirk. The government
recognizes The Kirk as the national church of Scotland. However it "... is
not an established church and is independent of state control." 1
The Scottish Government reports in its 2001 census that:
Just over two-thirds (67%) of the Scottish population identified
themselves with a religion. 65% of the population considered themselves
Christian (65%). This includes 42% members of the Church of Scotland, 16% Roman Catholics and
7% Other Christian.
||None of the non-Christian religions total more than 1% of the population
27.6% of the population state that they have no religion. 2
The Church of Scotland's membership is in decline.
||Almost 50% of those identifying themselves as being of The Kirk are over
the age of 50.
||Although 47.3% of those responding to the 2001 census report that they
were brought up in that faith, only 42.4 identify themselves with it today.
Church attendance is also in decline. Christian Research, a part
of the Bible Society, estimated that the average weekly attendance
at all churches would decline from 751,000 in 1990 to 457,600 in 2015; the
latter figure would be less than 10% of the population. The Church of
Scotland's weekly attendance averaged 320,800 during 1990, 208,400
during 2005, and is expected to drop to 145,700 by 2015. Still, Scotland's
church attendance is higher than that elsewhere in the UK. By 2010, church
attendance is expected to be 9.9% in Scotland, 5.5% in England, and 5.8%
in Wales. 3
A Church of Scotland congregation in Aberdeen appointed Rev. Rennie,
who is openly gay, to be their minister. The selection was confirmed by
the local presbytery. It was accepted by the denomination's General
Assembly during 2009-MAY after a debate. At the 2011 General Assembly, a previous general ban on lesbian and gay clergy who are in loving, committed same-sex relationships was lifted.
Topics covered in this section are:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Religion in Scotland," Wikipedia, read 2009-MAY-26, at:
"Analysis of religion in the 2001 census: Summary report," The Scottish
Christopher Claire, "Cathoolic church moves into Pole position," Scotland
on Sunday, 2008-MAY-25, at:
Copyright © 2000 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-JAN-21
Latest update: 2011-JUN-11
Author: B.A. Robinson