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CFS Trustees

Covenant Fellowship Scotland is registered with OSCR as
Scottish Charity SC043628.

Trustees of the charity are:

Rev Professor Andrew McGowan 
(Chairman)
Rev Richard Buckley
Rev Mike Goss
Rev Ian Murdo Macdonald
Mr Kenneth Mackenzie
Rev Mark Malcolm
Rev Ann McCool
Rev Hector Morrison
Rev Colin Strong

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Covenant Fellowship Scotland was launched on Thursday 18th December 2014 in Glasgow.  That same day the following article was published in their ‘Agenda’ slot by The Herald newspaper:

herald newspaper logo

Disruption or Reformation?

Today in Glasgow, members of the Church of Scotland will launch a ‘Covenant Fellowship’ in protest against the current direction of the Church.  

The Church of Scotland is in the midst of a severe crisis.  The General Assembly of 2014 approved a piece of legislation (called an Overture) which will permit the appointment of ministers and Deacons who are in civil partnerships.  Given that this is a serious departure from the doctrine and practice of the Church, it had to be approved by a majority of the Presbyteries.  That has now been achieved and the Overture will return for final approval to the Assembly of 2015.  The Overture stands contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture, contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Church’s doctrinal standard and contrary to the Declaratory Articles, the legal constitution of the Church.

If approved, this Overture will extend even further the disruption of the Church of Scotland.  Many well-known congregations in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stornoway and elsewhere have already left the Church, or been split in two.  In addition, many individual members, elders and ministers have left.  This disruption has been most damaging to churches in the Highlands and Islands.  A further significant number have indicated that if this Overture passes, they will follow.  

Unfortunately, the one message that members of the Church of Scotland are hearing is that the only way to protest against the trajectory being chosen by the Church is to leave.

This is not the only way!  Why should those of us who are orthodox in our beliefs leave the Church of Scotland, when we are the ones who stand firmly on the historic truths upon which the Church was built?  Why should we walk away and hand the Church over to a ‘prevailing party’ which is leading it away from the paths of God?  As loyal members of the Church of Scotland, it is both our right and our duty to call the Church to repentance and to protest from within, even as a minority.  

It has been said that, if we remain in the Church of Scotland, we are tainted by the decisions of the General Assembly.  We do not accept this.  We refuse to be complicit in any act of disobedience to God’s Word and will not accept the trajectory which the Church has chosen, whatever the General Assembly of 2015 decides in respect of the Overture.  The Church might well choose to follow the consensus of opinion in our liberal, western society but we remain convinced that we are not entitled to play fast and loose with God’s Word.  

Today, members and adherents of the Church of Scotland are being asked to express support for a Covenant Fellowship.  It is intended that the Covenant Fellowship will draw together those who believe that the Scriptures, in their entirety, are the Word of God and must provide the basis for everything we believe and do.  We invite everyone in the Church who feels the same way to stand with us.

This is not a single issue protest.  The Overture is merely a symptom of a Church which has lost direction and is desperately in need of reformation.  The Covenant Fellowship will work and pray for the reformation and renewal of the Church of Scotland, in accordance with the Word of God and by the empowering of his life-giving Spirit.  The hope is that the Covenant Fellowship, which begins today as a protest against recent events, will grow to become an effective campaign group within the Church on behalf of those who believe in Christian orthodoxy.  Such groups have been effective in other mainstream denominations, such as the Reformed Alliance in the Netherlands.

Instead of further disruption, we call people to stand with us on the foundation of God’s word and to work for the future reformation of the Church of Scotland.


The Rev Professor A.T.B. McGowan

(Professor McGowan is Minister of Inverness East Church of Scotland)