St Mary Magdalene's, Dundee

The Scottish Episcopal Church

The Scottish Episcopal Church has its roots deep in the history of Christianity in Scotland. It is very much an integral part of today's world-wide Anglican Communion, but is independent and has always been separate from the Church of England. After the Reformation, there were strong disagreements in Scotland about whether Presbyterianism or Episcopalianism was the appropriate form of church organisation and worship in the national church. The Scottish Episcopal Church originated in 1689 with those who refused to accept the overthrow of King James VII (James II of England) in the previous year.

Scottish Episcopal Church logo For the next century, the Episcopal Church in Scotland continued in its allegiance to the Stuart dynasty, and was consequently persecuted. But by the nineteenth century, the laws against Episcopalians were repealed, and the church grew rapidly in the Victorian era.

The Scottish Episcopal Church has seven dioceses, each with its own bishop and cathedral. St Mary Magdalene's, Dundee is part of the Diocese of Brechin, stretching from the Tay Estuary in the south up to the outskirts of Aberdeen in the north. St Paul's, in Dundee, is the Cathedral of the Diocese. The incoming Bishop of Brechin, the Very Rev Andrew Swift, was elected Bishop on 2 June 2018; he will be consecrated at a service in St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee on Saturday, 25 August 2018. The Scottish Episcopal Church has no archbishop: rather, its bishops elect one of their number as Primus, currently the Most Revd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness.

The Anglican Communion has some 85 million members across the world in 44 member churches, of which the Scottish Episcopal Church is one. Indeed, the action of the Scottish bishops in consecrating the first Bishop of the American Episcopal Church, in 1784 at Aberdeen, is seen as the moment when the Anglican Communion was founded.