The first in a series of lectures on the state of the Church of Scotland was presented by the Rev Dr Doug Gay at St Giles’ Cathedral, and also streamed live on the web, on 1 Februry 2017.
You can view the lecture above and there is a transcript on the Church of Scotland website.
‘There have been some very important conversations about reform within the Church of Scotland since the year 2000 and some significant reports and proposals – some of which have led to change, some of which have been set aside. But given the scale of the challenges we are facing, I do not think we have yet done enough’, said the Rev Dr Doug Gay.
‘Between 2005 and 2015 there was a 30% drop in membership which meant that we declined faster than any other major denomination in the UK. The Church of Scotland has lost the equivalent of an average sized congregation each week for the last ten years’, he said.
Concluding the lecture he asked ‘Have we asked too much and given too little? And if so, are there ways in which we are being called to reform our life and work, which might help to change that?’
Commenting on the lecture, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, chairman of the Chalmers Lectureship Trust, said:
‘Last night Dr Doug Gay laid the foundation upon which he will build in the next two weeks.
‘He identified some of the traditions of our Presbyterian culture of which we should be proud but he also pointed to areas of weakness which are in need of review and reform. Tune in or join us at St Giles for the next two instalments – these could be foundational to the reshaping of our ministry and mission in the next decade.’
The next lecture in the series is on February 8, at 6.30pm, is free to attend and will be streamed live from the Church of Scotland’s website home page. It will explore the relationship between the Church’s understanding of its own calling and its response.
For more details of the lecture series exploring the state of Church of Scotland see the Church of Scotland website.