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The Queen is not the supreme governor of the Church of Scotland, as she is in the Church of England. The sovereign has the right to attend the General Assembly, but not to take part in its deliberations. The Oath of Accession includes a promise to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government".

pic of Queen and the Moderator in 2002
The Queen attends worship with the Moderator in 2002
The Queen maintains warm relations with the Church of Scotland, where she worships when in Scotland, and from which the chaplains of the Royal Household in Scotland are appointed.

The Church of Scotland (the Kirk) is not State-controlled, and neither the Scottish nor the Westminster Parliaments are involved in Kirk appointments.

The Kirk's status as the national Church in Scotland dates from 1690, when Parliament restored Scottish Presbyterianism, and is guaranteed under the Act of Union of Scotland and England of 1707.

In matters of doctrine, government, discipline and worship, the Church of Scotland is free of State interference, operating under a constitution largely contained in the Articles Declaratory which were recognised by Parliament in 1921.

If you would like to read the Articles Declaratory or download the acts and regulations of the General Assembly since 1929, please visit our extranet site for more information about Church law.

Extranet site icon Click here to go to our extranet site.

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In this section

An overview to the organisation and structure of the Church

Take a trip through 1500 years of Scottish church history

Our governing style and presbyterian structure at local, regional and national level

Annual Review 2008
Some of the work and projects being carried out across the Church.

The General Assembly
An overview of the annual supreme court meeting of the Church of Scotland

The Moderator
A guide to the role of the chairperson of the General Assembly

Queen, State and Kirk
An overview of the Church's status as the national Church in Scotland since 1690

Women in the Church of Scotland
History and roles today of women in the Church

Emblem of the Church
A guide to the 'official' seal or emblem of the Church of Scotland


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