Devoted Service Rendered
The lay missionaries of the Church of Scotland
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‘Devoted Service Rendered – the Lay Missionaries of the Church of Scotland’ tells the story of an almost forgotten ministry of the Church of Scotland: of the men (and a few women) engaged to conduct worship and offer pastoral care to remote, marginal and impoverished communities during the 19th and 20th centuries. With neither the formal education nor the social status, accommodation or stipend of a minister, the missionaries offered dedication, loyalty and commitment for two centuries. This book seeks to celebrate their achievements, which were often ignored or undervalued by the church as a whole. ‘Devoted Service Rendered’ hence traces the mission policy Church of Scotland through all the social change and population movements of the 19th and 20th centuries and concludes with an account of team ministry as promoted since the 1970s. The work of the Glasgow and West Coast Mission and the Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, independent missions associated with the Church of Scotland, is also described.Particular attention is given to the role of the missionaries in the mining communities of central Scotland, to Scotland’s travelling people (‘the tinkers) and "navvies", and in the Highlands and Islands; and hence it offers insight into the ways of life of these very different societies, now almost vanished. No other general history of the Church gives as much attention to Shetland. The specialist ministries of lay missionaries in early industrial chaplaincy, in Glasgow’s Lodging House Mission, in St Francis in the East Church House and at the Compass Christian Centre are not forgotten.The book is based on formal records of the Church of Scotland, never previously made available, and on the personal accounts of former missionaries and their families; an appendix also makes key original documents available, together with a register of all known lay missionaries since 1930.
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