Scottish Episcopal Church affirms its commitment to unity

June 7, 2019

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has today (7 June) adopted a new ecumenical policy in its working with the Church of Scotland – a call to the fundamental, spiritual expression of the unity we seek for all of God’s creation.

The policy commits the Scottish Episcopal Church to the support of the principle that, at local, regional, national and international levels, churches must act together except where deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately.

Intentionally, the policy is substantially the same ecumenical policy adopted by the Church of Scotland in 2018, and reflects our shared journey and our shared call to the mission of God in Scotland. The General Synod welcomed the Rev Sandy Horsburgh from the Church of Scotland’s Ecumenical Relations Committee to address Synod about the growing relationship between the two churches through the Our Common Calling process.

Through the Our Common Calling process, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland are growing together in faith, and this work is part of our participation in the mission of God across Scotland.

The Rt Rev John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh says “The Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland already share so much in common – our new joint Ecumenical Policies reaffirm our conviction that God calls us to be one in Christ. I believe that the process we call Our Common Calling will enable us not only to reach new agreements but to share together in life and mission. This is very exciting. It isn’t just about healing past divisions but also about finding new and creative ways of serving Christ together.”

The Rev Sandy Horsburgh, Convener of the Church of Scotland Ecumenical Relations Committee said “The church is most truly the church when each one of us recognises that we are all parts of the whole church of Christ, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

“Our growth together is built upon and nourished by a renewed appreciation for the gifts, insights, traditions and practices of each church, and especially on the recognition that both our churches share a calling to minister to the whole people of Scotland. We are seeing, in a number of ways, how we will be so much more effective in answering that call when we answer it together.”