We are part of the national Church of Scotland which is the largest of the Presbyterian denominations in Scotland. The High Kirk would therefore be an evangelical church in the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions.
The Church of Scotland has been described as “Reformed and Presbyterian, national but free” - that in a nutshell is the modern Church of Scotland. How it grew into its present shape is a story over 1500 years old...
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND
The early years
As long ago as about 400AD St Ninian began the first large-scale Christian mission to Scotland from Whithorn in the far south-west, converting many Pictish people to the new faith, long before Scot-land was a single country.
The great heroic figure of the early story is St Columba, the Irish prince-in-exile who crossed to the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland later in the sixth century. He established a community of monks who spread the Gospel far and wide through Scotland and the north of England.
The Middle Ages
In the centuries that followed, as Scotland began to find its identity as a nation, and hundreds of years of tension with her English neighbours to the South unfolded, the Church adopted the Roman - not Celtic - practices of work and worship. Saintly figures like Queen Margaret encouraged and supported its work and influence, and the papacy allowed Scot-land to be independent of England for church purposes.
The Reformation in Scotland came to its head in the 1560s, and was modelled on John Calvin's Geneva. His pupil John Knox is famous for head-to-head debates with Mary, Queen of Scots, the Catholic Queen who returned from France and tried to remain loyal to the Roman system.
By the end of the 16th century, the Protestant Church of Scotland had developed into a Presbyterian Church, with a system of courts (today General Assembly, presbytery and Kirk Session), and a strong tradition of preaching and Scriptural emphasis.