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Free Church of Scotland



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The Free Church of Scotland or Wee Frees is the general name given to groups of worshippers who broke off from the official Church of Scotland. All these Scottish churches are Presbyterian, based on the ideas of John Knox, and do not have permanent leaders such as Popes or bishops. The breakaway groups, like the Church of Scotland itself, base their beliefs on the Bible, but differ in how it should be understood. As a general rule, all the Wee Frees read the Bible in a fairly literal way, more so than the Church of Scotland.

The main free churches are:

  • Free Church of Scotland (1843–1900) This was formed by a large group from the established Church of Scotland in 1843. Eventually, in 1900 most of them joined with the U.P. and rejoined the Church of Scotland.
  • Free Church of Scotland (since 1900; known as the Wee Frees)
  • Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) Founded in 2000, regards itself as the true continuation of the Free Church of Scotland.
  • United Free Church of Scotland (founded 1900 from the U.P. and the earlier Free Church of Scotland)
  • The United Presbyterian Church of Scotland (1847–1900; known as the U.P.) This included even earlier and smaller churches such as the United Secession Church and the Relief Church.
  • Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (the Wee Wee Frees, 1893; have Elders)
  • Associated Presbyterian Churches (breakoff from the Wee Wee Frees in 1989)