Chalmers Lectures 2017

2017 Chalmers Lectures: Reforming the Kirk – the Future of the Church of Scotland

In this series of three lectures, Glasgow-based Practical Theologian and Kirk Minister, Dr Doug Gay offered a candid, forthright and bold analysis of the state of the Church of Scotland and the choices facing it.

He explored what it means to be 'presbyterian' in today’s Scotland, in which even kirk members are ambivalent about their identity. Recognising the significant challenges facing the church in the coming decade, he offered a manifesto for enacting structural reform, including key economic reforms, within the Kirk and argued that change is essential to address deep seated problems of decline and dysfunction.

All lectures were broadcast live from St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh from 6.30pm on each occasion

“The Church as it is currently structured is struggling, but the need for the gospel to be outlived and expressed in new and relevant ways is as urgent as ever."

Lecture 1 — "Walls Without Church?"

The first lecture (1st February) explored 'what just happened?' tracing the decline of the Kirk as a national institution since the 1960s.

Lecture 2 — "Call and Response"

The second lecture (8th February) explored the relationship between the church’s understanding of its own calling and its response.

Lecture 3 — "Grand Designs"

The final lecture (15th February) made the case for radical structural reform of the Church of Scotland over the next decade.