Scottish Episcopal Church News for February 2015

The following news can be reproduced on other websites and in church magazines. Sign up to have news like this delivered each month by email here:

Lent Appeals

The Scottish Episcopal Church is having a co-ordinated Lent Appeal in each of its dioceses this year in aid of the Scottish Episcopal Institute. The Institute is a relatively new training body which was formed last year following an inspection of its predecessor, TISEC – the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church. (The inspectors indicated that they had no confidence in several aspects of TISEC including its ability to engage in formation with candidates for ministry). Unlike the Train a Priest fund in England, this appeal appears to be to support the institution rather than aiding candidates for ministry directly with grants. A leaflet has been published and it being customised for each diocese – the Brechin one is available online here:

Liturdi Albannach 1982 (Gaelic Liturgy 1982)

A new online resource has been made available by The Gaelic Society of the Scottish Episcopal Church. It consists of a parallel English-Gaelic text of the 1982 liturgy and sound recordings to help Gaelic learners. The texts and recordings can be found on the website of the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles.


Tribute to Ivor Guild

The Rt Rev Ted Luscombe, retired Bishop of Brechin has published a tribute to the late Ivor Guild CBE:

Ivor Guild was in the long line of distinguished Scottish lawyers who have given devoted service to the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was a faithful and devoted communicant member of St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee, where he was brought up, and then for the rest of his life “an eight o’clock man” at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Despite holding a number of high profile public offices – Procurator Fiscal of the Lyon Court; Bailie of the Palace of Holyrood House and Chairman of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland amongst them – he was essentially a very private person.

He gave an immense amount of his time, his legal expertise and his common sense to the Councils of the Church. For forty years he was Registrar of the Episcopal Synod where his wisdom was implicitly relied on by successive holders of the office of Primus. He served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Edinburgh for ten years and as Chancellor of St Andrews for thirteen years. For the last thirty-odd years he was a Director of Scottish Episcopal Church Nominees where his wide experience of Investment Trusts was invaluable and he was one of the five Trustees of the Episcopal Church. He was regarded – and rightly regarded – as one of the Elder Statesmen of Episcopacy.”

Murals at St John’s Church in Edinburgh

At the end of last year a mural was painted outside St John’s Church in Edinburgh. Like many of the previous murals, this one was controversial enough to cause some considerable comment. (A typical example of the outrage being on “Archbishop Cranmer”‘s blog.

The Rector of St John’s, the Rev Markus Dünzkofer has now published a reflection about the various murals that have occupied the spot.

Thirty years ago the murals were created as a response to this prophetic tradition. Not unlike Hosea and Nathan they are at times rather uncomfortable and at other times really affirming. Most of the times they are somewhere in between. And sometimes they miss the target. It all depends on the subject matter and on one’s particular viewpoint. But all the time the murals strive to set a question mark amongst the indifference and the fears of our world. And at times these question marks have to be most powerful. This is why the murals are appreciated by many.

The full reflection can be found here:

Response of College of Bishops to letter regarding their Guidelines

The College of Bishops has responded to a letter of concern from over 50 clergy and lay readers in response to guidelines regarding changed to marriage law published by the College in December 2014.

Writing on behalf of the College, the Primus, The Most Rev David Chillingworth has said:

As bishops, we are acutely aware that the issues which are part of the wider discussion of human sexuality and are touched on in the Guidance issued by the College are not abstract matters of policy. They affect deeply the lives and relationships of members of our church, both clergy and laity. It is regrettable, therefore, that some have been upset by the style and tone of our Guidance
document; this was not our intention. We are aware that what we say should be expressed in a way which is compassionate and which honours the depth of the feelings involved.

The full letter can be read here:

Around the Church

New Year Message from Bishop Gregor Duncan

The Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway has published (on 26 January 2015) a new year message from Bishop Gregor. It can be found here:

Moray Diocesan Anniversary Banner

The year 2014 marked the 900th anniversary of the Diocese of Moray and the 150th anniversary of the uniting of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. A banner has been produced to mark this event and a booklet published containing details of the banner. More here:

New Congregation formed in Fife

A new congregation has been formed in Fife incorporating the congregations of Aberdour, Burntisland and Inverkeithing. It meets in Inverkeithing High School.  More details here:


The congregation of St John’s, Forfar seeks a Rector – closing date 6 February 2015. Full details on the Scottish Episcopal Church website:





  1. Thank goodness for a decent update!

  2. The bishop’s response is very welcome, if only for its complete change of tone. However, as an all-too-typical member of the LGBT community, I do not think that ir goes far enough, The attitudes expressed in the bishop’s original letter were, quite apart from the bits of archaic doctrine, expressed in a demeaning and homophobic manner, and the doctrine itself is not open to justification by any reasonable scriptural interpretation. When expressed at the higher echelons of our society, homophobia can have a terribly pervading influence, for example on friendships, family relationships, and attitudes by employers towards LGBT employees. The crass homophobia expressed over the years by the Roman Cathoiic Church has doubtlessly caused by ripple effect, lots of discrimination, and even violence in the streets towards gay people, I think that the bishops should more explicitly apologize for their crass homophobia, and retract their original document. I guess that I may be representing the views of many of my friends in the LGBT community, believers and non-believers alike, when I respectfully call upon the bishops to proffer their apologies forthwith.

  3. Would somebody like to respond to my previous comment? Where are the brave?

  4. I think in this case, Thomas, silence gives consent. Fash not, there are no shortage of brave readers of this blog inspired by its writer. In case any feel your religiously inspired “violence in the streets” comment is overdone, the Cloud of Witnesses section of my book, sadly, bears you out:

Speak Your Mind