News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

moderator-iain-greenshields banner.png
Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
World News

Kirk leader says secular Scotland ‘feels little need for God’

by Kelly Valencia

The new Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields has said he believes Scottish society “feels little need for God”.

Writing in the August edition of the Church of Scotland's in-house magazine, Life and Work, the Kirk said Scotland was “one of the most secular countries in Europe”.

“Christendom has gone,” Rev Greenshields said.

“What do I mean by that? There was a time when we believed we belonged to a Christian nation, living in a Christian UK and indeed Europe. That day has gone. We live in a secular culture and Scotland is one of the most secular countries in Europe!”

Rev Greenshields also drew attention to the dwindling congregations across the nation.   

According to the latest data from the General Assembly, Church of Scotland membership has fallen by more than a third in the past decade, with the average church member being 55 years old or older and middle-class.

“The Church of Scotland that at least nominally had over 27 percent of the country as members now only boasts 7 per cent — and that is members when most churches are lucky if one third of that number have any serious commitment to the church,” Rev Greenshields continued.

The report said a 34 percent drop in membership was recorded between 2011 and 2021. The Church of Scotland has already put measures in place to try to reverse the trend.

He added: “The General Assembly brought to us the facts and figures, in terms of ministries and buildings, and we need to face up to a new reality — the road ahead is not going to be easy, it will call for hard work, innovation, faith and a renewed commitment to the gospel.”

Rev Greenshields, who is the son of a police officer, was installed as Kirk in May and will lead the Church of Scotland until 2023.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email