The Church of Scotland grew out of the Protestant Reformation, which took place in the 16th century. At that time, people in many countries across Europe began to claim:
- The freedom to read and respond to the Bible for themselves
- The freedom to have a direct relationship with God, without the mediation of a priest or the church authority
- The freedom to set their own consciences against the demands of religious institutions
In Scotland, the influence of Martin Luther and John Calvin gave rise to the Scottish Reformation which was led by, among others, John Knox. Throughout the 17th century this developed into the Presbyterian system of church government as we recognize it today.
Over the years, Presbyterianism has found its way to all parts of the world where Scots have settled and taken their distinctive form of worship and church government. In Bermuda, the first religious service conducted on the island after settlement was recorded as being conducted in the Presbyterian tradition.
The work of Scottish missionaries has resulted in the establishment of vibrant Presbyterian churches in Africa, India and the West Indies, whose witness today we are privileged to share.
For more information, please visit the Church of Scotland website.