Harman Patil

Associated Presbyterian Churches

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Classification  Protestant
Polity  Presbyterian
Theology  Calvinistic
Origin  1989
Associated Presbyterian Churches
Associations  World Reformed Fellowship
Separated from  Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

The Associated Presbyterian Churches (APC) is a Scottish Christian denomination (with a congregation in Canada), formed in 1989 from part of the community of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.



The division occurred because of a continuing difference over liberty of conscience (as defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith), which came to a head over the attendance of Lord Mackay of Clashfern at a Requiem Mass which formed part of the funeral of a colleague, former Lord Justice Clerk Lord Wheatley. As Mackay was Lord Advocate for Scotland, it was expected that he attend the funeral of a deceased member of the judiciary; Wheatley was also a friend of Mackay. However, Mackay was also an elder in the Free Presbyterian Church, and its leadership found his attendance intolerable, as it regards Catholicism as spurious and the Mass as superstition. As a result, Mackay was suspended from office. Some in the church disagreed with this punishment and a split ensued, not only over the Mackay affair but also the ongoing issue of freedom of conscience. The people who formed the APC believed that liberty of conscience was not being given sufficient place in the Free Presbyterian Church, and that the disciplinary action taken by the Free Presbyterian authorities against Lord Mackay was inappropriate.


The Associated Churches website states: "We believe that it is correct to allow Christians to make their own decisions on matters that are not fundamental to the faith."

The church recognises:

  • Westminster Confession of Faith
  • Westminster Shorter Catechism
  • Five Solas of the Reformation
  • Five points of Calvinism
  • Demographics

    The largest of their congregations are in Inverness and Stornoway on the island of Lewis. The church has eight active congregations in Scotland and a single congregation in New Westminster, Canada. The denomination claims a further nine churches, however, these 'congregations' do not hold services but meet with other APC churches or with local Free Church of Scotland congregations.

    International organisations

    Associate Presbyterian Church is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship.


    Associated Presbyterian Churches Wikipedia

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