Frances M Henderson

A paper given at the Study Day at Rhu (where John McLeod Campbell had been minister) in 2013 by the Revd Dr Frances M Henderson, minister of Hoddom, Kirtle-Eaglesfield, and Middlebie in the Presbytery of Annandale and Eskdale.

How real was the Prodigal Son’s repentance? This question Campbell also asked about his congregation and we may do so about ours today.  Campbell saw two approaches: the ‘hollow and hypocritical’ nature of his people’s repentance, and with this their worship was self-seeking, to ensure eternal life; and the overscrupulous approach that is full of anxiety. He saw lacking a core Calvinist doctrine, the assurance of faith, which led to a lack of joy. For Calvin, faith led to repentance. The writer goes on to discuss what should be our liturgical response to repentance, but notes that the Reformers never quite settled on how to convey this in public worship. A petition for pardon was the common response, but in the Order of Excommunication (1569), the minister said ‘I absolve thee’. She finds three types of absolution in the Book of Common Order: declaratory, precatory, and the petition for pardon, but never in its pure form. The author suggests that Adoration, Confession, and Absolution are not three separate prayers but in some sense simultaneous; but is our liturgical ordering adequate? What if we were to begin with a resounding declaration of forgiveness.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p17

Kirkpatrick and Rachel Dobie

This article reports on a scheme to record the church plate held in Church of Scotland parishes following a resolution by the General Assembly of 2001. Kirkpatrick Dobie is Consultant on Sacramental Vessels to the Committee on Church Art and Architecture (CARTA) and the Revd Rachel Dobie, who helps administer the project, is a former President of the Church Service Society. The project had the support of the Scottish Goldsmiths’ Trust and the National Museum of Scotland. Mr Dobie, being himself an expert in Scottish silver, gives a detailed account of the various styles discovered, and there are several illustrations.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p26

Douglas Galbraith

This address was given at the annual service in commemoration of Michael Bruce of Kinnesswood, a student for the ministry who died at the early age of 21 and who is thought to have provided the final versions of some of the Scottish Paraphrases. The address, by the Revd Dr Douglas Galbraith, Secretary of the Church Service Society, is based round Exodus chapter 35.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p35

James Stewart

The editor, the Revd James Stewart, in the first of a series, gives an account of the first 50 years of the life of the Church Service Society as it approaches its sesquicentenary, including the Society’s origins, some of its scholars, and the publication of succeeding editions of Euchologion, the book of services with an ancestry in the Reformation books for worship and an outcome in the modern editions of the Book of Common Order.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p41

Douglas Galbraith

The Secretary of the Society, Douglas Galbraith, gives an account of the project based in the University of Edinburgh to bring together the part books of the Reformation Wode Psalter, which were scattered over several libraries, to make a full score. So that these would be available for choirs and congregations, individual psalms and other material were put on the Society’s website, where a psalm could be listened to and a score printed for use. They could also be played on instruments.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p49

An account of the study day in 2013, when members of the Scottish Church Society also participated. The theme was the controversy over the understanding of the Atonement associated with the name of John McLeod Campbell, minister at Rhu 1825-31, and led to an examination of the place and practice of confession and absolution in worship.

Reference: Volume 48 2013, p52


The editor underlines a theme that emerges in the issue, the need for a clear awareness of where we have come from if we are to know where we are going. David Beckett is quoted, on 'Presbyterian leaders who know all too well how to improvise but have never learned to play the tune'.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p1
PDF icon Whither the Church's Worship402.65 KB

Rachel J.W. Dobie

The Church of Scotland has an ambivalent attitude to children. The writer's experience in the Board of Parish Education and as Sunday School Adviser. An account of the place of children in the church in the immediate and the more distant past. Westerhoff's four stages of faith. An assessment of today's practice, where imaginative initiatives are found but where also difficulties are experienced in carrying this into Sunday worship. The Sunday School in its traditional form may have had its day. The paper urges further work.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p2

Iain B. Galbraith

The paper outlines some of the trends, styles and influences at work in stained glass in Scotland from its revival around 1820 to the present time. The ancient history of glass. Its expansion in conjunction with Gothic architecture. Glass as mirror of the world and bible of the poor. Scotland and glass: the Reformation (an editorial note questions the assumption of destruction); the Age of Enlightenment as not producing suitable buildings for glass; its re-emergence with the Gothic Revival (but which went beyond the medieval style); pioneers in Scotland. Many examples are given and their styles analysed (Pre-Raphaelitism, the Aesthetic Movement, the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau etc. The effect of war on the subject matter of stained glass. Some contemporary artists are named.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p14

Alison M. Robertson

This paper was given at the Study Day in Kippen in 2011 by the founder of the bodies described. Referring to the spread of themes found in stained glass windows, the paper gives the functions of the Symposium and Trust as 1. conservation (or originals, of artistic integrity, of concept), 2. knowledge-sharing (research and filing, inventories, signatures on windows), 3. recording (film, NADFAS, Scottish War Memorials Project).

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p25

The Very Rev Dr Finlay A.J. Macdonald (Additional material, Douglas Galbraith)

This is an descriptive outline of an event in St Giles' Cathedral on 30th october 2012, attended by members of civic and faith communities and with the aim of expressing solidarity with the people of Syria. It was attended by some 200 people. An initiative of the Church of Scotland, greetings from Syrian church leaders were transmitted through Dr Macdonald Dr Andrew McLellan, and contributions to the event were made by a lecturer in Contemporary Islam and by a Middle Eastern music ensemble; there were readings from the Bible and the Qu'ran.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p33

Revd James Hay Hamilton

This is an edited and updated version of an article which appeared (February 1980) in Continuo, the former magazine of the Glasgow Society of Organists. The writer was the Revd James Hay Hamilton. It refers to a form of service known as 'The Use of Colmonell'. The music is reproduced. It is found that the trust set up to continue this Use does not currently function.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p39


An extract from Memoirs of a Highland Lady (Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurcus). It illustrates the situation of worship in Scotland prior to the founding of the Church Service Society. It is followed by a poem about going to church from 1872.

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p44
PDF icon Before 1865711.4 KB

John Davidson

(Selections from The Literary Remains of John Davidson, Lewis Smith, Aberdeen, 1872, p.7) 

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p45
PDF icon The Church 262.93 KB

Multiple Authors

No summary currently available

Reference: Volume 47 2011/12, p46
PDF icon Reviews5.13 MB