The Free Church of Scotland currently has over 140 congregations in Scotland, as well as 2 in London and 5 in North America, and sister churches founded by mission work in India, Peru and South Africa. The Church also has a full time college in the heart of Edinburgh for the training of ministers and other Christian workers and sustains an extensive Missionary programme relative to the size of the church.
The Free Church of Scotland is a mainstream church dating from 1843 but with its roots in the Reformation. It owes its distinctive title to its historical struggle to remain 'free' from state interference in its internal affairs.
It has close and active relations with many other Reformed churches of Jesus Christ throughout the world and stands firmly in the tradition which accepts the Bible in its entirety as the Word of God and, therefore, derives its forms of teaching, worship, ministry and government from it.
The Free Church of Scotland is committed to the following core truths:
- The only true God exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- God has created the universe and sovereignly controls it
- Humanity fell into a state of sin through disobeying God and rebelling against him with the result that we are alienated from God and liable to eternal punishment
- God provided his son, Jesus Christ (who is both fully human and fully Divine) as a Saviour
- Jesus Christ provides salvation through his life, death and resurrection, thus making a new reconciled relationship between God and humanity
- We need a personal faith in Christ in order to be brought into this new relationship with God and to be saved from sin and its consequences
- The Holy Spirit is the author and sustainer of the spiritual life necessary for such a relationship with God in Christ
- The return of Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the final judgement are coming events when the destiny of all shall be sealed either in heaven or in hell
All these Bible truths are affirmed in the ancient creeds of the catholic Christian Church as well as the Westminster Confession of 1643, to which the Free Church is commited.
How does the Free Church worship?
The worship of the church follows the New Testament model and is characterised by simplicity. Because of the fundamental importance of God's Word, primary place is given in worship to the reading and preaching of it. The congregation responds to these first by hearing and then by offering itself to God in the other acts of worship which are prayer, the singing of inspired songs and the giving of offerings. The worship is concluded with the benediction. The Lord's Supper is held on a regular basis, although not weekly, and baptism is also administered as needed.
How does the Free Church engage in ministry?
As the New Testament teaches, all members of the church are called to use whatever divinely granted fits they have received by serving the congregation, the wider church, and the community.
This use of gifts is seen in such activities as the provision of Sunday schools and other activity groups for children; special meetings, clubs and a national programme of summer camps for young people as well as many specific local ministries to particularly vulnerable groups, including drug addicts, the homeless and asylum seekers