Associated Presbyterian Churches

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Associated Presbyterian Churches
APC Church Stornoway.jpg
The APC church building in Stornoway.
Classification Protestant
Theology Calvinistic
Polity Presbyterian
Associations World Reformed Fellowship[1]
Origin 1989
Separated from Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Congregations 9 active congregations in Scotland, and 1 in Canada. [2]
Members ~350 attendees
Official website
Timeline showing the evolution of the churches of Scotland from 1560

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.[3]


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:[4]


The largest of their congregations are in Inverness and Stornoway on the island of Lewis. The church has nine 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. [5]

International organisations

Associate Presbyterian Church is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship.[1]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. "APC NEWS".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "History «  AP Church".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "What we believe «  AP Church".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "APC NEWS".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>