About Scotland’s Churches Trust
The Sacred Places theme promoted by Scotland’s Churches Trust focuses on the wish of both visitors and local communities to be able to access our wonderful range of church buildings in a meaningful way – whether the visit be occasioned by spiritual or heritage motivation or both.
Scotland’s Churches Trust can advise and assist member churches on visitor welcome, and with its range of “how-to” brochures (see Publications), provide information on research, presentation, security and other live issues.
The Trust, with its network of Local Representatives, encourages the opening of doors, the care of tourists and locals alike, and offers specific services such as the provision of grants for organ playing. The Trust assists in the preservation and upkeep of churches with advice and assistance on maintenance and repair. Repair grants, considered by a team of professional experts, are awarded to congregations to maintin their buildings in use for public worship.
What is Scotland’s Churches Trust
Scotland’s Churches Trust aims to advance the preservation, promotion and understanding of Scotland’s rich architectural heritage represented in its churches and places of worship of all denominations. Its purposes are:
- to advance heritage and religion by the preservation and upkeep of churches and other places of worship including churchyards;
- to encourage churches and other places of worship to open to welcome visitors, tourists and pilgrims ;
- to advance education and promote understanding of the public about the history, art, architecture and traditions of churches and other places of worship and their position as a focal point in the community; and
- to provide grants or donations to other charitable or religious individuals, bodies or organisations with aims or objects analogous to the foregoing purposes or, more generally, with the common purpose of maintaining churches and other places of worship.
The Trust has been formed as a Scottish Charitable Trust (SCIO number: SC043105)
following the merger of Scotland’s Churches Scheme and the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust and is based at 15 North Bank St, Edinburgh EH1 2LP.
Scotland possesses a surprising and delightful diversity in the range of buildings designed for worship, deriving in part from its complicated and rich church history.
The Trust incorporates the former Scotland’s Churches Scheme which was established in 1994. In 2012, the Scheme merged with Scottish Architectural Heritage Trust which had been formed in 1978 to assist congregations in the preservation and upkeep of their buildings. The present Scotland’s Churches Trust has more than 1300churches in membership operating an ‘open doors’ policy.
These churches are spread across Scotland and across all the religious denominations. They contain a significant part of the nation’s heritage with the major proportion being ‘listed’ buildings, many being Category A.
Scotland’s Churches Trust successfully promotes access to the nation’s ecclesiastical heritage, with many of our buildings – large and small, urban and rural – in membership. The success to date, over a relatively short period, is hugely encouraging and has the potential of further raising the awareness of our spiritual heritage and making it more accessible to a wider audience.
Scotland’s Pilgrim Journeys
Scotland’s Pilgrim Journeys (SPJ) is a faith tourism and heritage project developed and delivered by Scotland’s Churches Trust. Scotland’s Pilgrim Journeys bring together the travels of Scotland’s Celtic Saints and Medieval traditions of pilgrimage, with modern faith journeys.
In time a network of Pilgrim Journeys will criss-cross the whole of Scotland, encompassing many local routes and sites. Scotland’s network is part of a growing international renaissance of pilgrimage connecting us with the islands of Britain and Ireland, with Europe and with other continents.
You can follow the initial six Journeys by road transport, by bicycle on recommended routes, and by walking the parts where safe paths are available. Each Journey is divided into meaningful stages which enables different parts to be enjoyed in different ways, as your time and choices allow. Each stage also has its own interpretative themes which can be followed in either direction, by simply reversing the route information.
For information on the individual Journeys, click on the links below:
St Andrew Journey (Iona to St Andrews)
St Columba Journey (Inveraray to Tain)
St Ninian Journey (Edinburgh to Whithorn)
St Cuthbert Journey (Edinburgh to Durham)
St Mungo Journey (Culross, Glasgow to St Asaph)
St Margaret Journey (Edinburgh to St Andrews)
How to contact us.
Scotland’s Churches Trust
15 North Bank Street
Edinburgh EH1 2LP