Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Glendale - - 952130.jpg
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Glendale
Classification Protestant
Orientation Calvinist
Polity Presbyterian polity
Origin 1893
Separated from Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900)
Separations Associated Presbyterian Churches (separated 1989)
Congregations 45 world wide (29 in Scotland)
Members 1200 in Scotland(Based on latest census figures)

The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: An Eaglais Shaor Chlèireach) was formed in 1893 and claims to be the spiritual descendant of the Scottish Reformation.[citation needed] It is occasionally referred to as the Wee Wee Frees (not to be confused with the "Wee Frees" which is the colloquial name for a minority remnant of the Free Church of Scotland (1843–1900), the Free Church of Scotland (post 1900)).[1][2]

The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland claims to be Reformed in doctrine, worship and practice, and says that all its actions are based on the Word of God: the Bible. The subordinate standard of the church is the Westminster Confession of Faith.


Timeline showing the evolution of the churches of Scotland from 1560

In 1892 the Free Church of Scotland, following the example of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland (1889), passed a Declaratory Act relaxing the stringency of subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which was widely perceived as paving the way for unification with the United Presbyterian Church. This was met by a protest from the minister from the island of Raasay, who was later joined by one other minister. The result was that a small number of ministers and congregations, mostly in the Highlands, severed their connection with the Free Church of Scotland and formed the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, along lines they considered to be more orthodox. By 1907 this body had twenty congregations and twelve ministers.

A few years after the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPC Church) was formed, the Free Church of Scotland united with the United Presbyterian Church to form the United Free Church of Scotland, with a somewhat larger minority remaining outside the union and retaining the name Free Church of Scotland. Initially, some wondered if the two churches would merge, but this did not happen, because the grounds on which the later separation was based had been the Establishment Principle,[3] rather than the Declaratory Act, which had only been rescinded post separation by the Free Church of Scotland (post 1900).

A communion token from the Free Presbyterian Church.

The two denominations are sometimes confused, as the outward differences between them were not great.[citation needed] However, the Free Presbyterian Church considers it a sin to use public transport to go to church on the Sabbath,[4] while the Free Church does not. The Free Church permits the use of modern Bible translations, while the Free Presbyterian Church prescribes the exclusive use of the Authorized Version in public worship (by resolution of the Synod in 1961 [5]).


In 1989, a splinter group formed the Associated Presbyterian Churches "following the perceived failure of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland to put into practice chapters 20 and 26 of the Westminster Confession of Faith",[6] following the suspension of Lord Advocate Lord Mackay of Clashfern as an elder for attending the Roman Catholic funeral masses of fellow judges. The Moderator of Synod at the time was a minister from Zimbabwe, the late Aaron Ndebele, an Ndebele.

Congregations outside the UK[edit]

The Free Presbyterian Church has a Presbytery of Australia and New Zealand, with a number of congregations in both countries.[7] There are congregations in Gisborne, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Sydney and Grafton. In Ukraine, there is a congregation in Odessa.[8] In Singapore there is a congregation, and in Zimbabwe there are congregations in Bulawayo, Ingwenya, Mbuma, New Canaan and Zenka. In North America there are two congregations in Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Chesley, Ontario and one in the United States of America, Santa Fe, Texas.

List with congregations in the UK[edit]

Congregation Town Preacher Image
Aberdeen Congregation Aberdeen Rev. D. W. B. Somerset
Barnoldswick Congregation Barnoldswick, near Colne Rev. K.M. Watkins
Bonar and Dornoch Congregation Bonar Bridge Rev. G.G. Hutton Wee free - - 649378.jpg
Broadstairs Congregation Broadstairs (Kent) vacant
Bonar and Dornoch Congregation Dornoch Rev. G.G. Hutton Evelix, Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.jpg
Dingwall and Beauly Congregation DingwallBeauly Rev. Neil M Ross
Farr and Daviot Congregation Farr - Tomatin - Stratherrick vacant
Fort William Congregation Fort William vacant
Gairloch Congregation Gairloch Rev. A. E. W. MacDonald
St Jude's Church Glasgow Rev Roderick Macleod Wfm st judes glasgow.jpg
Duirinish Congregation Glendale Rev B. Jardine Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Glendale - - 952130.jpg
Gilmore Place Church Edinburgh vacant
Halkirk Congregation Halkirk vacant Chapels, Strath - - 532126.jpg
Inverness Congregation Inverness Rev. G.G. Hutton
Kinlochbervie and Scourie Congregation Kinlochbervie vacant Church in Kinlochbervie - - 1389131.jpg
Laide Congregation Laide (Rossshire) Rev. Donald A Ross Laide Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland - - 61987.jpg
Larne Congregation Larne Rev. J. Goldby
South Harris Congregation Leverburgh Rev Kenneth D Macleod Church building - - 781398.jpg
Lochcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh Congregation LochcarronKyle of Lochalsh Rev. Barry Whear
Zoar Chapel London - Whitechapel Rev. John Macleod
Ness Congregation Ness Rev. A. W. MacColl
North Tolsta Congregation An Cnoc Rev. D. Campbell Church at An Cnoc (Knock) - - 502621.jpg
North Uist Congregation North Uist (Bayhead) Rev. Donald Macdonald Bayhead Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland - - 443958.jpg
Perth Congregation Perth vacant
Portree Congregation Portree (Skye) Rev. Iain Macdonald
Raasay Congregation Inverarish (Raasay) vacant Free Presbyterian Church, Inverarish, Raasay - - 388589.jpg
Applecross and Shieldaig Congregation Shieldaig Rev. Wilfred A Weale Shieldaig Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland - - 1801549.jpg
Staffin Congregation Staffin Rev. Wilfred A Weale
Stornoway Congregation Stornoway Rev. James R Tallach. Free Presbyterian Church - - 1244070.jpg
Bracadale Strath Congregation Struan vacant Free Presbyterian Church at Bracadale - - 1512946.jpg
North Harris Congregation Tarbert Rev. B. Jardine Tarbert Church - - 1363467.jpg
Uig Congregation Uig (Lewis) vacant
Duirinish Congregation Vatten (Skye) vacant Free Presbyterian Church - - 830320.jpg
Ullapool and Lochinver Congregation Ullapool Rev. A. E. W. MacDonald


  1. ^ Peterkin, Tom (16 December 2002). "Spinster's £1m to Wee Wee Frees". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Cramb, Auslan (13 April 2006). "The 'sinners' set sail for the Hebrides". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Murray, Iain (1984). The Life of John Murray. Banner of Truth Trust. p. 35. 
  5. ^ The Importance of An Approved Translation Of The Bible
  6. ^ APC Background Statement
  7. ^ Ward, Rowland; Humphreys, Robert (1995). Religious Bodies in Australia: A comprehensive Guide (3rd ed.). New Melbourne Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-646-24552-2. 
  8. ^

External links[edit]