As you know here in Scotland we are restricted with regulations to meet with the Government rules.

I want to share this open letter to the First Minister of Scotland. It totally affirms our thoughts.

An Open Letter to the First Minister of Scotland
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Bute House
6 Charlotte Square
Edinburgh EH2 4DR

8th January 2021

Dear First Minister,

We write in connection with the decision announced on Monday 4th January to prohibit attendance on
the public worship of God on the Scottish mainland. In common with others, we feel duty-bound, to
protest against this decision.

Since March 2020, we have taken all necessary steps to protect public health on the advice of the civil
authorities. No instances of spreading the virus have been identified with any place of worship as far as
we are aware. We are prepared to continue co-operation now and in the future. But we do not concede
that the First Minister, or any other civil ruler, has an absolute authority to prohibit all attendance on
the public worship of God, nor any jurisdiction or authoritative control over the regulation of the affairs
of Christ’s Church.

We therefore cannot co-operate with such regulations without very clear evidence being provided that
our public worship assemblies are an immediate danger to public health. In the absence of such
evidence, we view the law as immoral and unjust. The law of the Head of the Christian Church, the
Lord Jesus Christ, requiring us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of
some is,” (Hebrews 10:25) ought not to be set aside and ignored by the Church or the civil authority.

We must also draw attention to the fact that the regulations announced and the underlying claim of
complete jurisdiction over the Church in the matter of calling and attending public worship assemblies,
are in breach of the constitution of the Church of Christ in this nation, as witnessed by the Church’s
Claim of Right of 1842 and as recognised by the constitutional safeguards embodied in the Treaty of
Union. We reserve the right, under these and other civil and legal protections, and in the exercise of our
intrinsic rights and privileges as ministers of Christ, to conduct public worship assemblies among our
people. We are now considering taking legal action to have this legislation reversed.

Further, the approach of the Scottish Government in the complete prohibition on attendance at public
worship is in direct conflict with the legislation of the UK Government on the same matter. When it is
deemed safe by the civil authorities to attend public worship in one part of our United Kingdom (where
the safety of worshippers is recognised) and not in another part of it (where no evidence is offered that
worshippers are unsafe or a threat to public health), the citizen’s confidence in the Governments’
decision-making processes, so necessary to preserve in times of crisis, is seriously undermined. We
respectfully ask why has no specific information been provided to the Christian Church in Scotland,
identifying the dangers supposed to be involved in attending public worship in Scotland? At the very
least, this is required so that preventative action can be taken, and public worship safely conducted

We would furthermore draw attention to the fact that the public worship of the God of the Bible, the
living and true God, in which his Lordship and providence over us all is publicly acknowledged, is an
essential activity for every individual, community and nation. The Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
The health of precious souls is even more important than the health of people’s bodies, ‘for what shall
it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36).

The public preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, must continue in Scotland during
this emergency. This legislation has given a sinful priority to many activities of far less importance, and
even to supermarkets and other businesses to remain open on the Sabbath Day in breach of the law of
We therefore urge the Government to lift the complete prohibition on attending public worship
immediately. This would avoid the situation where Christian ministers and people are obliged to act
according to their consciences in the light of the Word of God, and where they would be left with no
option but to obey God rather than man. It would be an extremely dangerous act on the part of the
Scottish Government to implement this prohibition on public worship and thereby criminalise Christian
worshippers and ministers.

Yours sincerely,
Rev David Campbell
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Edinburgh
35B Barnton Avenue West, Edinburgh, EH4 6DF
Rev Allan MacColl
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Dingwall
FP Manse, 10 Achany Road, Dingwall, Ross-shire, IV15 9JB
Rev Keith M Watkins
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Isle of Harris
FP Manse, Ferry Road, Leverburgh, Isle of Harris, HS5 3UA
Rev Alasdair B MacLean
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Perth
5 Fortiviot Cottages, Pomarium Street, Perth, PH2 8JF
Rev Iain Macdonald
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Portree
FP Manse, Achachork, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9HT