This brief introduction to the law of the Church of Scotland is intended to give new Ministers an overview of the place of Church Law within the Church of Scotland, explain how law is formed and used (with focus on a practical, recent example), point to some key elements useful for Ministers , and explore process issues with an emphasis on practical application.
The relevant material is all available online through the links below. It may be helpful for those attending the course to download these items and have them available on a computer during the course.
It would not be practicable to print all this material; electronic formats are sometimes more challenging to navigate but offer scope for considering larger swathes of material more rapidly. It will be particularly helpful for those attending the course to ensure they have a PDF reader, and the expertise to use it, which enables word to text searches to be carried out with reasonable ease. Options are available for Windows, Linux, Mac and Chrome operating systems.
There is some variety among the current arrangements for constituting local congregations. A summary with link to more detailed information is provided by the Law Department
Acts and Regulations
Westminster Confession of Faith
This helpful recent article on the Confession may also be worth reading. The Westminster Confession can be accessed from many sites. The Church is presently reviewing the place of the Westminster Confession for these reasons; other views supporting its retention are also expressed.
Church Law – in under twelve minutes
Rev Dr George Whyte provides an introduction to Church Law in less time than it takes for a standard a coffee break…
The Church and civil law
It will be helpful to have watched the video talks by George Whyte and Mary Macleod before attending this Church Law course.
There is a course outline.
The Legal Questions Report from the 2018 Blue Book (General Assembly Reports) is also required.