Weekly Update - 5th May

Dear sisters and brothers

During the coming month two major events will take place, both of which are of great significance but both of which are also seen by some to be outdated.   This coming weekend sees the coronation of King Charles III, and later in the month the annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will be held.

The relationship of the sovereign with the Church of Scotland is very different from that with the Church of England.  King Charles is known as the “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England and ultimately is the one who appoints Archbishops, Bishops and the like.  The Church of Scotland has no hierarchy and King Charles is simply a member of the Kirk – albeit one who has sworn to maintain the Church of Scotland and the protestant religion in Scotland.  As such the sovereign sends a Lord High Commissioner as an observer to the annual meeting of the Kirk’s highest court: the General Assembly.  The Lord High Commissioner will bring the greetings of the King to the Assembly and will report back to him regarding what took place.

As I said, some would regard these titles and traditions as out of date and irrelevant.  I, of course, would want to argue forcefully for the continuing relevance of the Church, whilst leaving arguments about the Crown to others.  However, these traditions and ceremonies, which date back over hundreds of years, do have the ability to connect us with our history (which is not always a pleasant one: one of the reports at this year’s Assembly will be about the Church of Scotland’s historic involvement in the slave trade).  That sense of history helps us to lift our eyes from the immediate and see ourselves as part of something much bigger.  Another report to the Assembly will continue to give bleak statistics on the decreasing numbers of ministers, members and finances which could ultimately threaten the very existence of the Church of Scotland.  Once again, we might be forgiven for questioning the relevance of the Church.

It is important for us, as a nation, as a Church, and as individuals, to recognise that we are not only part of our nation’s history, but part of the salvation history that belongs to God.  Kings and Queens may come and go; even Churches may come and go – but we have a Saviour who is seated upon the throne of heaven and who cannot be moved.  He was crowned King of Kings when God raised him from the dead and his will is being done until he returns again.   Another report to the Assembly will attempt to clarify the “calling of the Church” in these difficult times.  It reminds us that the Church is called by Jesus Christ to become like him through worship and prayer, so that we might be sent to bear witness to his love and grace.  It is therefore incumbent upon every member of the Church, whoever they are, to gather together for worship, to pray and to help one another follow Jesus, so that we might together help each other love our neighbours in His name.  By doing this we will not only “maintain the Church of Scotland” but make it relevant to our nation as we take our place in the long history of God’s work in the world.

You can find out more about the General Assembly and read the reports here: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about-us/general-assembly/2023

On Monday there is a large community wide event happening in our area which brings together a number of community organisations including the church.  The cafe will be open in Cairncry from 10am and from 10.30 till 2.30 there will be various things happening including stalls from different organisations in the gym hall, crafts and art tings run by the Community Arts Space, events at the Community Garden and a community litter pick.  Do come along if you can.

On a personal note, many of you knew about and were praying for Sarah’s recent operation and we were grateful for your prayers.  We continue to pray for you.

With love from us both

Ian & Sarah


Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929


Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587


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