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News reports
Under the above headline, the Church of Scotland has just issued the following Press Release:-

THE CHURCH of Scotland and the Free Church are looking into the possibility of creating closer links after branding the divisions within the Scottish Presbyterian family a “scandal.”

In a joint report which is being brought by the Ecumenical Relations Committee to this year’s General Assembly they claim it gives a bad Christian witness to the world to have separate congregations within the same community with ministers who have little to choose between them theologically.

The joint report entitled “A Conversation with the Free Church of Scotland”, includes several examples in the North of Scotland where good working relations have been established between the two denominations.

Although the conversation has been seen as a huge step forward for both parties, with both Church’s Ecumenical Relations Committee s addressing each other’s Assembly, it looks unlikely that a merger could happen in the near future.

Controversy and division were common in the Church between 1750 and 1850, when there was considerable concern about the Church’s relations with the State, particularly over the intervention in the appointment of ministers.

The largest division was the Disruption of 1843, a major split which saw about one third of the Kirk breakaway to form what became the Free Kirk.

The Church of Scotland is part of several worldwide movements, including the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches and details of the work of these bodies are given in the report. The report also praised the amount of local co-operation between churches of different denominations across Scotland.


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Editor 07/05/2009 10:07