The Scottish Government is the executive government of the devolved Scottish Parliament. The government was established in 1999 as the Scottish Executive under the Scotland Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Scotland in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution; the government consists of cabinet secretaries, who attend cabinet meetings, ministers, who do not. It is led by the first minister, who selects the cabinet secretaries and ministers with approval of parliament; the Scottish Government holds executive over devolved and not explicitly reserved matters of the Scottish Parliament, which are powers not reserved to the United Kingdom Parliament by Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, the subsequent revisions of the devolution settlement by the Scotland Act 2012 and 2016. Devolved matters that were decided upon by the Scotland Act 1998 included; the government is led by the First Minister. The Scottish Parliament nominates one of its members to be appointed as First Minister by the Head of State.
He or she is assisted by various Cabinet Secretaries with individual portfolios, who are appointed by the First Minister with the approval of Parliament. Junior Ministers are appointed to assist Cabinet Secretaries in their work; the Scottish Law officers, the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General, can be appointed without being a Member of the Scottish Parliament, they are subject to Parliament's approval and scrutiny. Law Officers are appointed by the head of state on the recommendation of the First Minister. Collectively, The First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries, Junior Ministers and the Law Officers are known as the "Scottish Ministers"; the Scottish Government uses a government structure that has a dual executive structure of a Cabinet that invokes collective decision-making, as well as non-cabinet members as Junior Ministers. The title Cabinet Secretary means a member of the Government who partakes in Cabinet, whereas Junior Ministers assist Cabinet Secretaries but are not part of the Scottish Cabinet.
The Cabinet Secretaries and Junior Ministers are: The Scottish Cabinet is the group of ministers who are collectively responsible for all Scottish Government policy. While parliament is in session, the cabinet meets weekly. Meetings are held on Tuesday afternoons in Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister; the cabinet consists of the cabinet secretaries, excluding the Scottish Law Officers. The Lord Advocate attends meetings of the cabinet only when requested by the first minister, he is not formally a member; the cabinet is supported by the Cabinet Secretariat, based at St Andrew's House. There are two sub-committees of Cabinet: Cabinet Sub-Committee on Legislation Membership: the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, the Minister for Parliamentary Business, the Lord Advocate. Scottish Government Resilience Room Cabinet Sub-Committee Membership: Cabinet Secretary for Justice, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing,the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment and the Lord Advocate.
For several years prior to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games there had been a third sub-committee of Cabinet: Glasgow 2014 Legacy Plan Delivery Group Membership: Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Community Safety, Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Minister for Enterprise and Tourism, Minister for Environment, Minister for Housing and Communities, Minister for Public Health and Sport, Minister for Schools and Skills, the Minister for Transport and Climate Change. Scottish Government includes a civil service that supports the Scottish ministers. According to 2012 reports, there are 16,000 civil servants working in core Scottish Government directorates and agencies; the civil service is a matter reserved to the British parliament at Westminster: Scottish Government civil servants work within the rules and customs of Her Majesty's Civil Service, but serve the devolved administration rather than British government. The permanent secretary is the most senior Scottish civil servant, leads the strategic board, supports the first minister and cabinet.
The current permanent secretary is Leslie Evans, who assumed the post in July 2015. The permanent secretary is a member of Her Majesty's Civil Service, therefore takes part in the permanent secretaries manageme
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign and highest court of the Church of Scotland, is thus the Church's governing body. It meets each year and is chaired by a Moderator elected at the start of the Assembly; as a Presbyterian church, the Church of Scotland is governed by courts of elders rather than by bishops. At the bottom of the hierarchy of courts is the Kirk Session, the court of the parish. There were Synods at regional level, with authority over a group of presbyteries, but these have been abolished. At national level, the General Assembly stands at the top of this structure. General Assembly meetings are held in the Assembly Hall on the Mound, Edinburgh; this was built for the Free Church in the 19th century. Prior to this, from 1845 to 1929, the General Assembly had met in the Victoria Hall at the top of the Royal Mile, a purpose-built meeting hall and church whose 72-metre spire towers above the present Assembly Hall; when the Church of Scotland merged with the United Free Church of Scotland in 1929, the Mound premises were chosen as the Assembly Hall for the reunited Church of Scotland.
Today the former Victoria Hall building is in secular use as The Hub. The Church of Scotland General Assembly meets for a week of intensive deliberation once a year in May. Ministers and deacons are eligible to be "Commissioners" to the General Assembly. A parish minister would attend the Assembly once every four years, accompanied by an elder from that congregation; the Assembly has youth representatives and a few officials. Prior to each Assembly, a minister or elder is nominated to serve as Moderator for that year. At the start of the Assembly the Moderator is duly elected, although the election is considered a formality; the Moderator presides from the Moderator's chair. Alongside him/her, the clerks to the Assembly and other officials are seated. Behind the Moderator is the throne gallery, which can only be reached through a separate stairway not directly from the Assembly Hall; the General Assembly can meet elsewhere. A meeting of the Assembly was held in Glasgow to mark the city's status as European City of Culture.
When the Scottish Parliament was instituted in 1999, the Assembly Hall was used by the Parliament until the new building at Holyrood was completed in 2004. During these years, the Assembly met in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the Usher Hall; the General Assembly has its own Standing Orders. One particular example is Standing Order 54, which requires any proposal requiring additional expenditure to have been first considered by the Assembly's Stewardship and Finance Committee; the General Assembly has three basis functions: legislative and judicial. The ongoing administration is delegated to councils and committees, which have to report annually to the Assembly; the Assembly decides the Law of the Church. Thus each Assembly may amend the Law of previous Assemblies; this is moderated and controlled by means of the "Barrier Act" which forces the General Assembly to take account of the views of all Presbyteries if the proposal is one, far reaching, thus referred to Presbyteries and subsequently the next General Assembly.
Each Presbytery has to nominate Commissioners annually and these are chosen in rotation from the ministers and elders in the Presbytery's bounds. Elders who are commissioned need not be members of the Presbytery. In addition each Presbytery may appoint'youth representatives' who are young people in the congregations of the presbytery. Youth representatives are appointed by the'Youth Assembly'. Youth representatives have the status of corresponding members of the Assembly; those elders who have, in the past, served as Moderators of the General Assembly are commissioned by their presbyteries in addition to the normal number of commissioners. They have, due to their experience in the Church, a heavy influence on the deliberations of the Assembly, which some commissioners and a range of Kirk members, find to be controversial; the General assembly appoints'corresponding members' who may speak and propose motions but may not vote. Apart from youth representatives these are guest commissioners from a wide range of partner churches around the world, any of the Church of Scotland's Mission Partners who may be resident in Scotland during the Assembly.
The General Assembly does pass legislation governing the affairs of the Church. The Assembly discusses issues affecting society. Attached to each report is proposed "deliverance", which the Assembly is invited to approve, reject or modify. Presbyteries may put business before the General Assembly in the form of "overtures" which are debated and may be made into the Law of the Church; as a judicial body, the Assembly delegates most of its powers to the "Commission of Assembly" or to special tribunals. The General Assembly acts as a Court, in matters spiritual cannot be appealed to any higher court; this is set out in the Acts Declaratory and the Church of Scotland Act 1921. The Assembly elects a Moderator to preside; the Queen is represented by a Lord High Commissioner, who has no vote. The Assem
St Columba Church of Scotland, Glasgow
The Church of Scotland congregation of St Columba in Glasgow dates back to 1770. It was established to cater for the spiritual needs of the large number of Gaelic speakers from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland settling in Glasgow in search of employment; the church still has a service in Gaelic every Sunday, as well as weekly services in English. The current church building in Glasgow's St Vincent Street was opened on Saturday 17 September 1904, is built in the Gothic Revival style, it was designed by architects Tennant and Burke and is now protected as a category B listed building. Because of its size and association with Gaeldom and the Gaelic language it is popularly known as the Highland Cathedral. Past ministers have included two former Moderators of the General Assembly: the Very Rev Dr Norman Macleod in 1836. List of Church of Scotland parishes Presbytery of Glasgow Gaelic-speaking congregations in the Church of Scotland Official website
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland was formed in 1893 and claims to be the spiritual descendant of the Scottish Reformation: its web-site states that it is'the constitutional heir of the historic Church of Scotland'. It is referred to by the pejorative term the Wee Wee Frees. Although small the church has congregations on five continents; the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is Reformed in doctrine and practice, says that all its actions are based on the Word of God: the Bible. The subordinate standard of the church is the Westminster Confession of Faith. In 1892 the Free Church of Scotland, following the example of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland, passed a Declaratory Act relaxing the stringency of subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith, perceived as paving the way for unification with the United Presbyterian Church; this was met by a protest from Rev Donald MacFarlane of Kilmallie, joined by one other minister, the Rev Donald MacDonald of Shieldaig.
The result was that a large number of elders and some congregations in the Highlands, severed their connection with the Free Church of Scotland and formed the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, along lines they considered to be more orthodox. By 1907 this body had twelve ministers. A few years after the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland was formed, the Free Church of Scotland united with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland to form the United Free Church of Scotland, with a somewhat larger minority remaining outside the union and retaining the name Free Church of Scotland; some wondered if the two churches would merge, but this did not happen because the grounds on which the separation was based had been the Establishment Principle, rather than the Declaratory Act, which had only been rescinded post separation by the Free Church of Scotland. The two denominations took a different view of the 1892 Declaratory Act: the Free Church of Scotland did not regard it as having been a binding measure while the Free Presbyterians did.
In 1905 the Free Presbyterian Synod debated proposals for union with the post-1900 Free Church minority. The Synod declared that it would consider union with a church which held ‘the infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the whole doctrine of the Confession of Faith, both in her profession and practice’; the Synod’s assessment of the post-1900 Free Church was that ‘although she made ample profession in words’ she ‘came far behind in her practice’. One major issue was the Free Church's employment of Dr WM Alexander, who had written a book which the FPs and some post-1900 Free Church conservatives believed to be ambiguous about the status of the Bible, as a lecturer in its college. A 1917 Free Church Reply to a FPC Statement of Differences stated underlined the fact that Dr Alexander had in 1905 withdrawn the book from circulation, expressed regret'for any reflections which the book was fitted to cast on the infallibility of the Word of God' and in 1906 publicly reaffirmed his belief in the inerrancy of Scripture in these words:'I cherish as more precious than life itself the absolute infallibility of the Word of God'.
However a motion was carried at the 1918 FPC Synod which characterized the Reply as containing'evasive statements and suggestions of compromise'. Some of the Free Presbyterian ministers preferred union with the post-1900 Free Church minority to maintaining a separate Free Presbyterian witness. In 1905 Revs John Macleod, Alexander Stewart and George Mackay were accepted by the Free Church. In 1918, Revs John R Mackay, Alexander Macrae and Andrew Sutherland followed suit; the two denominations are confused, though not as as in the past: they were of a predominantly Highland background, continue to share support for the Westminster Confession of Faith, express a conservative outlook. However, the Free Presbyterian Church considers it a sin to use public transport to go to church on the Sabbath, while the Free Church does not; the Free Church permits the use of modern Bible translations, while the Free Presbyterian Church prescribes the exclusive use of the Authorized Version in public worship, as the only version recommended for use in family and private devotions..
In 1989, a splinter group formed the Associated Presbyterian Churches "following the perceived failure of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland to put into practice chapters 20 and 26 of the Westminster Confession of Faith", following the suspension of Lord Advocate Lord Mackay of Clashfern as an elder for attending the Roman Catholic funeral masses of fellow judges. The Moderator of Synod at the time was a minister from the late Aaron Ndebele, an Ndebele; the FPC continues to oppose many aspects of the Roman Catholic church including the mass. It protests from time to time against figures in positions of authority and the Royal Family attending mass, it wrote to Prince Charles to complain of his presence at a requiem mass for a cousin in 2013. The Free Presbyterians believe that the denominations in Scotland adhering to the Westminster Confession of Faith should unite with it after repentance over historical retreat from the Confession; the FPC Catechism says:'All Presbyterian Churches in Scotland claiming to represent the Reformed Church and who have caused or who maint
Free Church of Scotland (since 1900)
The Free Church of Scotland is an Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterian denomination in Scotland. It comprised that part of the original Free Church of Scotland that remained outside the union with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1900, it remains a distinct Presbyterian denomination in Scotland. The Free Church was and still is sometimes colloquially known by the term The Wee Frees though, in 21st century Scotland, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination after the national church. Since this term was used in comparing the Free Church with the United Free Church, the Free Church of Scotland now deprecates the use of the term; the church maintains its strong commitment to the Westminster Reformed Theology. Its polity is Presbyterian. A complete psalter in modern English was published in 2003, its offices and theological college remain on The Mound, although the denomination no longer holds the original Free Church College buildings. The Free Church continues to be evangelical in character, presenting its understanding of the Christian message, namely that Jesus Christ is sole Lord and Saviour.
In 1900 the Free Church of Scotland united with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland to form the United Free Church of Scotland. However, a minority of the original Free Church remained outside this new union; the protesting and dissenting minority at once claimed to be the legitimate Free Church. They met outside the Free Assembly Hall on 31 October and, failing to gain admission, withdrew to another hall, where they elected Rev Colin Bannatyne as Moderator and held the remaining sittings of their Assembly, it was reported that between 16,000 and 17,000 names had been received of persons adhering to the anti-unionist principle. It has been estimated that the number of Free Church communicants dropped from a little under 300,000 in 1899 to just over 4,000 in 1900. At the Assembly of 1901 it was stated that the Free Church had twenty-five ministers and at least sixty-three congregations, with most being found in the Gaelic-speaking districts of Scotland; the initial problems were obvious: the congregations soon grew in number, but were far apart.
However, the revenue of the church increased. After the union of 1900, the United Presbyterian Church and the continuing Free Church not only contested the legacy of the Free Church of 1843–1900, but claimed its assets. After attempts at agreement failed, the matter ended in the Scottish courts; the litigation was decided in favour of the Free Church by the House of Lords in 1904, on the basis that in the absence of a power to change fundamental doctrines in the trust deed, a dissenting minority retains the property. As it was not possible for the Free Church to use all the property, Parliament intervened securing for the church the congregational property she could use plus a significant share of central assets. In 1906, a Free Church College was re-established in Edinburgh and by 1925 there were 91 ministers and 170 congregations in 12 presbyteries; the general magazine of the Free Church is The Monthly Record and there are magazines for young people. Two of the professors in the Free Church College began a theological journal the Evangelical Quarterly in 1929, but in 1942 control passed outside the church to Inter Varsity Fellowship.
Today the College offers degrees in conjunction with the University of Glasgow. Post-1945, the Free Church engaged with the wider evangelical cause, but after its growth in the early decades, it began a statistical decline that, except for a short period in the 1980s, continued throughout the 20th century. In the 1980s and 1990s there were allegations of sexual misconduct against Professor Donald Macleod, principal of the Free Church College. No misconduct was proven against Professor Macleod. A faction hostile to Macleod pursued the charges to no avail. There was considerable dissatisfaction with the handling of the charges, claims of a cover-up. Anti-Macleod minister Maurice Roberts of the Free Church Defence Association publicly reiterated the accusations, denounced the General Assembly for its "wickedness and hypocrisy", he was suspended for contumacy. His supporters demanded his reinstatement and refused to disband the FCDA. In January 2000, 22 FCDA ministers were removed from their pulpits.
These and other ministers formed the Free Church of Scotland. From 2005 to 2010 the Free Church of Scotland saw an 18% drop in its membership. Following the split, the Free Church Continuing sought a declarator from the Court of Session as to ownership of the central funds and properties of the church. In a landmark decision, Lady Paton dismissed their action without granting absolvitor; the Continuing Church said they would appeal Lady Paton's decision, but chose not to proceed. In March 2007, the Free Church filed suit to reclaim the church manse at Isle of Skye. Lord Uist ruled; the Continuing Church had to pay the expenses of the Free Church. The Continuing Church appealed to the Inner House of the Court of Session. Rev Prof Colin Archibald Ban
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat