The Church of Scotland is one of the largest organisations in the country. We have over 500,000 members, with more regularly involved in local congregations and our work.
Within the organisation, we have around 1200 ministers serving in parishes and chaplainces, supported by more than 2,000 professional and administrative staff. Most of our parishes are in Scotland, but there are also churches in England, Europe and overseas.
The Church of Scotland works with communities worldwide. At the heart of our work to achieve these aims is one of the largest organisations in Scotland that has a pivotal role in Scottish society and indeed religion throughout the world.
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.
Pastoral care of parishoners is an essential part of Christ’s calling to the Church, particularly in times of need. As part of their caring task, local churches also aim to resource and run projects relating to groups such as asylum seekers and unemployed people.
Worship within the Church of Scotland is for everybody, regardless of age, nationality, status or ability. Patterns of worship vary from church to church and this generally means that people can find a place of worship where they feel comfortable.
The parish minister is responsible for leading worship although increasingly, church members including deacons, elders and readers are involved in both planning and helping to lead worship. Regular services of worship are at the heart of the life of the Church, but Congregational life often includes prayer groups, Sunday schools for children, youth groups, the Guild, social activities and support groups for people facing problems.
Music is an essential part of the Church’s worship and can take a wide variety of different forms. Increasingly, multimedia, such as the use of video, is used during church services to help spread the word of God in the 21st century. Preaching is central to the Church of Scotland’s way of worshipping God. The preacher, usually the minister, will share a message drawn out of a passage from the Bible. Preaching aims to help people interpret and apply the Bible’s teaching to modern life today. Visit our worship section which includes a range of prayers, hymns, readings and other material.
Holy Communion,also called the Lord’s Supper, is open to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and have made public profession of faith.
Making a Profession of Faith
If you are enquiring into faith in Jesus Christ, or have a friend who is enquiring, or you would like to belong to Annan Old through a Profession of Faith - please speak to either the Interim Moderator or the Session Clerk
The following provides information which may answer your questions, but please feel at ease to contact the Session Clerk or Interim Moderator on the number given – see Contacts.
The usual pattern for joining the Church of Scotland is that infant children of Church members are received into the Church through Baptism. In time it is hoped that the child will come to make his or her own public profession of faith and the congregation will support the family in this task.
This public profession of faith is sometimes referred to as confirmation. It occurs from around the age of 16, and admits the individual to all the rights and privileges of Church membership. The person’s name is then added to the congregation’s communion roll and they become eligible to vote in Church meetings and be elected to offices such as the eldership. Traditionally, confirmation has involved admission to Holy Communion for the first time, which explains why the ceremony is sometimes known as Admission to the Lord’s Supper.
However, since 1992 the Church has allowed children to receive communion as part of their Christian nurture. Prior to confirmation or admission to the Lord’s Supper a course of instruction is given to the candidates. Normally, this is given by the minister through a weekly class over a period of six to eight weeks. We refer to these as communicants’ classes.
When Church members move from one congregation to another they take with them a Certificate of Transference, commonly known as ‘lines’.
Members of other denominations can also transfer to the Church of Scotland. There is no standard procedure and, in these circumstances, an approach should be made to the minister of the relevant congregation, and he or she will advise.
While infant baptism is the norm, the Church of Scotland also baptises adults. Someone seeking such believer’s baptism (also referred to as adult baptism) should approach their local parish minister who will either give specific instruction or invite them to join in the communicants’ class. They would then be baptised and confirmed in the same service and have their names added to the communion roll of the congregation.