List of Church of Scotland synods and presbyteries

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The Church of Scotland has a Presbyterian structure, which means it is organised under a hierarchy of courts. Traditionally there were four levels of courts: the Kirk Session (at congregational level), the Presbytery (at local area level), the Synod (at a regional level) and the General Assembly (the Church's highest court). However, the synods were abolished in the early 1990s.

Scottish local government was reorganised in 1975, creating a new system of regions and districts to replace the long-standing counties and burghs. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland also ordered a major reorganisation of presbyteries in the mid-1970s, redrawing presbytery boundaries to make them broadly contiguous with the then-new local government boundaries. An example was the union of the former Presbyteries of Cupar and St Andrews, creating a new Presbytery of St Andrews (which also included the Parishes of Newport-on-Tay, Wormit and Tayport, previously in the Presbytery of Dundee). This new Presbytery's boundaries mirrored the North East Fife District Council.

Following further local government reorganisation in the 1990s (replacing regions and districts with a single-tier system of councils), it was proposed to further considerably reduce the number of Presbyteries (possibly to as few as seven). This proposal was rejected by the General Assembly. Since 2003 several presbyteries have voluntarily sought permission to merge, as described below. Despite these mergers the existing Presbytery numbering system is being retained, albeit now with some gaps.

It is the presbyteries which have oversight of parishes and pastoral responsibility for parish ministers, and the Kirk Sessions of the individual parishes are subordinated to them. A parish minister is answerable to the Presbytery, not to the Kirk Session. The following is a list of presbyteries, arranged according to historical synod, and with the presbytery code number from the Church of Scotland Yearbook.


Synod of Lothian[edit]

Synod of The Borders[edit]

  • 4. Presbytery of Melrose and Peebles [3]
  • 5. Presbytery of Duns [4]
  • 6. Presbytery of Jedburgh

Synod of Dumfries and Galloway[edit]

  • 7. Presbytery of Annandale and Eskdale [5]
  • 8. Presbytery of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright [6]
  • 9. Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer

Synod of Ayr[edit]

  • 10. Presbytery of Ayr [7]
  • 11. Presbytery of Irvine and Kilmarnock [8]
  • 12. Presbytery of Ardrossan [9]

Synod of Clydesdale[edit]

Synod of Argyll[edit]

  • 19. Presbytery of Argyll [15], created by the 2004 merger of:
    • Presbytery of South Argyll
    • Presbytery of Dunoon
    • Presbytery of Lorn and Mull

Synod of Forth[edit]

  • 22. Presbytery of Falkirk [16]
  • 23. Presbytery of Stirling [17]

Synod of Fife[edit]

  • 24. Presbytery of Dunfermline [18]
  • 25. Presbytery of Kirkcaldy [19]
  • 26. Presbytery of St Andrews [20]

Synod of Perth and Angus[edit]

  • 27. Presbytery of Dunkeld and Meigle
  • 28. Presbytery of Perth [21]
  • 29. Presbytery of Dundee [22]
  • 30. Presbytery of Angus [23]

Synod of Grampian[edit]

Synod of The Southern Highlands[edit]

Synod of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness[edit]

  • 39. Presbytery of Ross [30]
  • 40. Presbytery of Sutherland
  • 41. Presbytery of Caithness [31]
  • 42. Presbytery of Lochcarron and Skye
  • 43. Presbytery of Uist
  • 44. Presbytery of Lewis

Presbyteries not formally part of any Synod[edit]

  • 45. Presbytery of Orkney [32]
  • 46. Presbytery of Shetland
  • 47. Presbytery of England
  • 48. International Presbytery [33] (known as Presbytery of Europe until 2016)
  • 49. Presbytery of Jerusalem

External links[edit]