Action of Churches Together in Scotland
Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) is a national ecumenical organisation of churches in Scotland, founded in 1990. It is the successor to the former Scottish Council of Churches. Formerly based in Dunblane at the (now closed) Scottish Churches' House, its office has been relocated to Alloa at the beginning of 2006.
ACTS is one of the four national ecumenical bodies in the UK, with equivalent bodies being Churches Together in England, Cytûn in Wales and the Irish Council of Churches, plus Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
The member churches of ACTS
- Church of Scotland
- Congregational Federation
- Methodist Church
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Roman Catholic Church
- Salvation Army
- Scottish Episcopal Church
- United Reformed Church
|Christian denominations in the UK|
The Deputy General Secretary is the Revd Lindsey Sanderson of the United Reformed Church. There are also two Network officers to support the work of the four Networks of ACTS and two part time officers who serve two of ACTS ecumenical associated groups: the Racial Justice Officer - Scottish Churches Racial Justice Group (or SCRJG) and the Interfaith Education Officer - Churches Agency for Interfaith Relations (or CAIRS).
The previous General Secretary (1999-2007) was the Reverend Dr Kevin Franz (of the Scottish Episcopal Church), who moved to work for Quaker Peace & Social Witness in 2007.
Working as Churches Together
ACTS is a place where churches meet, experience, reflect, share and act together. There are a number of projects which ACTS coordinates across Scotland. It is not intended that ACTS should develop into a "superchurch". Prior to 2003, four member churches of ACTS were part of the "Scottish Churches Initiative for Union" (which sought institutional unity - project which ACTS was not part of), but a negative vote at the General Assembly in 2003 entailed the withdrawal of the Church of Scotland from SCIFU. Henceforth, greater emphasis has been placed on the development of Local Ecumenical Partnerships.
The principle of being Churches Together is of central importance to the work of ACTS. Essentially, this is known as the "Lund Principle" (which was adopted in Lund by churches at the third world conference on Faith and Order in August 1952.) This states:
"the churches should act together in all matters ... except those in which deep difference of conviction compel them to act separately"
Scottish Churches’ Forum
The agenda of ACTS is set at a national level by the church denominations through their representatives on the "Scottish Churches’ Forum". The Church of Scotland and Catholic Church each have four representatives on the Forum; other member churches have two representatives each. The Forum has a Convener and two Vice Conveners.
ACTS has four Networks, which are central to the work of ACTS. These are:
- Church Life (focusing on worshipping together)
- Church and Society (serving the community together)
- Faith Studies (studying together)
- Mission (proclaiming together)
Associated Ecumenical Groups
The Associated Ecumenical Groups (AEGs) are bodies of the Scottish Churches’ which each have a specialist subject area and remit. There are currently seventeen.
- Conference of European Churches
- Scottish Churches Industrial Mission
- Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office
- Society, Religion and Technology Project
- The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ)
- World Council of Churches