« lent06_gate.jpg | Main | shooting dogs »



Hi there

Well, I won't profess to know much about what the whole "emerging church" thing is all about (like Suzie Lev once said to me - "I wish it would hurry up and flippin' emerge!!"), but I will pipe up and say that there are definitely things emerging in Scotland! I moved up here from London a few months ago and I'm part of a year-old Vineyard church based in St Andrews and East Fife. My current role is "worship leader guy". There are also Vineyard churches in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a new one soon in Aberdeen. Of course, there are other church families up here but I've not been here long enough to know much about that, except for the fact that the Vineyard model of church certainly seems to be like water to a dry sponge around here.

I think that part of the problem is that Scotland has been trying to be part of what's happening in the UK, and have generally been frozen out of a lot of it. (example - Vineyard just held their national leader's conference - in Bournemouth!! lol! Couldn't be much further away!).

That's not to say there is no networking happening at all in Scotland. I'm new here so don't know much about it, but Clan Gathering is one thing that seems to be a big focal point, which is New Wine Scotland, held anually in St Andrews.

Anyway, I've introduced myself now, so let the networking begin!


How strange, the URL on my last comment is totally wrong. This one should work now.


emergent church people networking throughout scotland sounds like a great idea to me - i'd like to meet some people - continue a scottish conversation - encourage, bless, be helpful

BUT i am not a middle class, male, scottish, sensible, techiehead, academic, mission 21 kind of minister

so i'm not sure people would want to include me

just in case though i am open to invitations
and am leaving my details

Thomas aka Headphonaught

I'm there, Jonny... The Lord is moving in Scotland and I want to be part of that. The whole Edinburgh thing with Paul T aka wbp and Dreamday is so inspirational because people are actually doing/ making happen.

For me the future is plural...and everyone is invited to contribute (especially Julie!!!) Let's build the new with the old and work together to spread the Gospel.

Ary Lopes Junior

Gostei muito dos seus projetos. Que Deus o abençoe!

Simon Thompson

Of course some of us in Scotland are not Scots either, which does make us wary about starting anything. I have exchanged a few mails with Paul Thomson in Edinburgh, but most of my contacts in Scotland are churchy church. Having said that, the Edinburgh thing looks to be not so much emergent church as emerging from and away from church, and that could be said for me too.

Things like Clan Gathering are not options for me. I wouldn't last five minutes in the meetings. The fact that I know some of the organisers does not help.

Still, I would be very happy to make contact with more emergent types and see what grows naturally.

Simon Thompson

What a depressing comment that was! Sorry, I'm in a "nuffin' works" phase at the moment.

(Deep breath) I would be extremely interested in being involved in facilitating links and conversations up here. I think that Paul (wee beautiful pict) Thomson was thinking about some kind of tour around Scotland to see what's happening.

Three possibilities that I see are:

1) A meeting at Greenbelt would pick up a fair sized subset of interested parties.
2) A special event somewhere central, which would need some major content to justify the travel.
3) Web site.

Mike Kurtyka

I'm a maven (from The Tipping Point) so I love this topic. Check out:


The guy who runs it has done a great job with the church listings and especially the weblogs. This might start the viral networking that is needed.

Jenny Cheung

I'm employed as the creative director of an episcopal church in Glasgow. About 5 years ago, a couple of us started an emergent gathering called the River which ran once a month on a Friday night. A couple of years later, it seemed right to move the service to a 'normal' service time - ie put it in place of one of our evening services. We re-named it Deeper and it now runs on the third Sunday evening of each month. Whilst we still retain a lot of our regular congregation for these services, we are also finding that people from outwith our church family are coming specifically for them. There is a definite desire amongst people to meet with God in new ways, and the fact that we are attracting folk from other churches would suggest that it's not happening in the places where it is wanted. I think it would be great to have some networking going on in Scotland - especially amongst those of us doing emergent stuff in 'mainstream' churches. (I know that's a terrible choice of word, but I'm struggling for anything better).

paul t

Cheers Johnny - great post! I know you already and are sensitive tae this stuff I'm going tae jabber on about in this comment- but before I talk about new networks forming up in bonnie scotland ...
I have to explain first why I think - stuff that takes off in england bounces off us here in scotland... like balloons off a broken window. (so south can help north AND north can help south)

(i'm an expert in what doesn't work - I've been wracking my brains about this for 25 years - i think I've been in every revival, movement and downright christian cultural fad since the 70's - and as I look out on the land - we still have the highest rates of young male suicide, some of the worst health - phys/mental and native chronic alcoholism in europe)

why? partly it is a missional misunderstanding.. I think..
england and scotland- and the saints who grow up or become part of their respective creation and recreation have very different wounds and different gifts- (i would argue - they are actually complimentary - if we only knew it)

maybe if we understood this -
saints in england and saints in scotland might move from a tired auld toxic habitual relationship (that we have both been a party to- and dysfunctionally got something out of it) of:

parent-child to adult-adult

adult to adult - is the basis of a healthy peer-support network; real friendship

if I can generalise a wee bit more - in order to suggest how we can PRACTICALLY empower and genuinely help each other..

an english-anglican christian spirituality can roar like a royal lion at scots saints to let go of their ancient granite-stubborn addiction tae shame and SHINE! in a global age (we need this badly - this would be a great practical way to help us- we kill our own young here - we bind them with heavy burdens and impossible idealisms then shoot them when they dare to shine - och aye we do!)

and a christian spirituality that grows in the soil of wild caledonia can draw the poison out of the english heart away from bowing to it's religious aristocracy and rekindle their gift for comic resistance to religious and political dehumanisation (you need this badly - your bowing to your religious sacred cows - is killing/exhausting you and every apostolic effort you make towards moving towards Christ in creation - why do you think all your revivals keep peetering oot.. just ask what that 'thing' is behind you sucking every move of God and your generations dry - before they get even a few yards into the land)

one can rub off the dignity of Jesus the creator - the other the wild courage of Jesus the resistor!

we need each other

anyway a bit generalised I know - but do you get the drift?

That's why I'm mad set on going on a 'tartan saint' tour around scotland and help establish a 'tartan theology lab' a peer coast to coast peer learning support network using - txt, boats, internet, buses, cars - whatever helps us learn together- for encouraging post-congregational saints in a new land.

As soon as I find enough of a movement of saints bungee jumpin with their dreams of transformation and the ancient story of Christ burning in their bellies intae all 7 spheres of edinburgh's city: arts, social justice/health, law, media, education & science, and civil/gov - then I can take off further afield..

bit mad innit!
och well ye only live once..!

peace and energy from an amazing Christ in a new land! helping all of his bonnie saints - all colours and flavours - in england, scotland, ireland, N.ireland, wales - like a big tartan cloak across the land- helping each other shoulder tae shoulder turn oor eyes to Christ and not be afraid o the big giants; the big challenges we all face across the world in oor global age - aye!

paul t

now i can talk about how we might grow networks of saints IN and across a scotland - in the last comment, I wanted to talk not about new networks first but existing relationships - that of saints in/engaging with england - saints in/engaging with scotland

that they have different toxic pain and promise/gift - that have been come about in history/relation to each other and can redemptively heal and free each other
into Christ's heritage for each.. ie each has a dream

the scottish dream and the english dream (every nation has one ) are different - they have different tasks - in a global era..., perhaps we are coming to terms with this - kinda growing up I suppose...

what the heck has this got to do with new networks etc..

1st - new networks grow out of: pains and dreams; need for new tools, support and friendship in new strange lands
what weaves and strengthens them are- bindings of agreements or covenants
what seeds and catalyses them?: eruption of new stories, voices and direct action..

the particular config of pain and promise in scotland as opposed to england is why, i suggest, we need to do the following... retrace our theological steps a wee bit... and realise our present circumstances ARE NOT A MISTAKE

first - ponder that throughout biblical history - the holy spirit has been trying to blow his people INTO the land - in every generation (we call it by names like: exodus, revivals, movements, reformations, exile, etc..)

next realise that we, being human get scared of the land, it's promise and it's dangers - and do everything in our power to pull back - in every generation (jesus and other voices call this: stiffnecked unbelief, giving in to temptation, falling asleep, turning back from following him, turning aside to worship other gods, returning to egypt, burying gifts, shrinking back, failing to enter the land..etc..)

now - how about we view the 20th century as one long massive blow of the holy spirit generation after generation as the century proceeds - huffing and puffing his bonnie saints into the land; deep into the cities around us..

the 60s' - oh the boomers nearly made it out there, but they pulled back.. those that pushed into creation (many in arts and media and socila justice) had no support networks for their new experinece of a new christianity 'out in their fields' so it starved and collapsed as a movement; as many snapped back into the congregational cultural default - to the grief of holy Spirit, many more collapsed out in the new muddy trenches of late 20th C cultural change - and are still there today.

next another generation comes along, surely this time they'll make it across the jordan into the land. In the late 80's rave culture among the young explodes across the nation- nearly again - spiritual revival comes in a generation - but without any existing supports of saints in the land - and in a nation that has lost its christian canopy and shape - after 1 year of bliss - a nationwide movement of the young dancing out in roads, stations, streets, forrests, airport hangars - (like the shakers in a previous era) it gradually is herded by carrot and stick - into arms of the existing institutions of: pub, drug and entertainment industry. Previous eras - church would have named it - revival.

With NOS we thought we xers thought we could hold on to an (alternative-alt.worship) middle ground balance (O dear!) - but boom! it imploded - the personal integrity and ethical reality of the core leaders was severley eroded due to the spiritually destructive effect of their attachment to saving their congregation; using more and more extreme control measures in stopping'their congregation' from dispersing in a gale, the worst place is between the congregational pull and the opposing blowing of the Holy Spirit.

what about the next generation?
well how about this time - we get ready this time to go the whole way.. and support this next generation all the way in there..

1. first: we need to focus on growing our own indigenous tartan network of saints in every part of the land, in towns and cities that means: arts, education, law, gov, social justice n health and media
2. the place to start is: one saint at a time- ask: what is your dream? and what do you need to launch it?
3. back it up - by getting the resources, money encouragement, help with locating peer saints close by with dreams to transform in the same area/sphere.. AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

the auld covenant with congregation will fight to reassert itself -
ye can get the saint oot o egypt but it's another thing to get egypt oot o the saint!

eventually - a 'tipping point' may occur ?
why do i think that? already there are more christians outside than inside congregations in scotland (the 20th C saw to that- 4 generations of us)
and my bet is ;-) that they are dreamers like joseph- and sleepers (like russion cold war thing -waiting for reactivation)

Recent Scottish christian history isn't a big mistake or even just about abandoning a saint-dispora in every generation since ww1! Over the late 20thC God has (sneakily)sent his people into every part of the land, not just assistant to the president like Jo, but positioned in all kinds of roles and places and contexts.. getting them ready- a coast to coast nationwide body!
many of them don't know it - christianity is something they left behind years ago (tho the story and memory of christ still burns and embers deep inside)

and each one has a dream (now reconfigured: once they tried to use congregation as a vehicle for dream and failed or were abandoned by their brothers and sisters if they tried to live it out in their sphere: anything outside the magic sphere of the congregation or it's engine: worship service - isn't really where it's at)- but God has positioned them there - 1000's of them!

the future of the church is in the dreams of its saints

releasing those dreams into a land that groans and pines away for its saints to be there.. is something everyone can do - empowering the whole body across the whole land - every city, every region and toon and wee bit hill and glen.

christianity may be seen as a tomb by many in scotland - but the reality may be that Jesus may no longer be in the tomb - perhaps like the angels said to a mary blinded by her loss and her tears - he says to us weeping scots saints everywhere:

why are you hanging about in a tomb
- Jesus IS NOT HERE - he has gone ahead of you into galilee (the land; Edinburgh, glasgow, dundee, auchtermuchty.. ) and waits for you there - go and tell yer brothers the great news!
Jesus is no longer here, he has risen - OUT THERE!


Hi Jonny and co

Thanks for this post. It was just what I needed to hear!!

I would agree! Things are beginning to happen...and that includes a willingness to build bridges between different expressions of Jesus.

Also agree with Headphonaught...there is room for everyone, not just "middle class, male, scottish, sensible, techiehead, academic, mission 21 kind of minister" type of people.

I would love to see a dreamday Glasgow (as I am in Glasgow, but elsewhere too) event where we can begin to give people and groups permission to go out and be like Jesus in our land.

I am thinking a lot at the moment about empowered, hybrid networks. They are empowered because they have been given permission to go out and be missional in their communities. They are hybrid because they are not all the same. They may connect with different (multiple) expressions of Jesus throughout the week, but when it comes to their passion they will work with this particular network or team.

So what is the next step?

Lets try and get some people together for coffee and dreamin'!


paul t

Do it baby!


count me in XXXXXXXXXXXj

Ian Ansdell

Thanks to Mike Kurtyka for his suggestion ... as 'the guy who runs' Scottish Christian.com I've put up a message board at www.scottishchristian.com/emerging.

Please use it as you will ... I hope it's useful to help people get together.

Doug Gay

Just back in Glasgow after a long time away.
I'm interested in being part of what comes out of this.

I hadn't read Jonny's blog for a while until today and didn't know about the tour. By coincidence, we're planning a day looking at the Gibbs and Bolger book at Glasgow Uni on 3 June. Contact me if you want to come.

I'm also keen to hear about what else is happening and to be part of some kind of informal gathering to talk more about stuff in Scotland.


Jonny, thanks for your thoughtfulness in posting this! I promise I will now support England in the world cup! Not :>)

Seriously, helping us Scots network is brill. Cheers.

Scotland is definitely beginning to blossom with some fine experiments in emerging church. We've just had a superb evening in our little ex-mining community ex-servicemen's club. It is just such a humbling experience to sit and talk with folk who never darken the doors of the kirk and listen to their stories of faith. Amazing and wonderfully rich stuff. All this is done over a pint in the alternatvie worship style environment we are all growing to know and love so well.

Anyway, I could go on at length - hey I'm clergy! Rather, one of those wonderful cream and marshmallow hot chocolates at the Christian Aid Tent in Greenbelt 06 sounds like a goer for me! Anyone want to join me? If someone wants to get together before then just name the date, venue and time and I'll do my best.


Hi there

There's lots happening under the surface in Edinburgh. We are one example - an emergent-type gathering of Christians meeting in the public spaces for discussion and fellowship.

Coffee and Dreaming (and doing!) aplenty at www.coffeeshoptheology.blogspot.com



I just don't understand. Where is Jesus? We do not need to first know each other's dreams and network. We need to do what it says in Ecclesiastes: "Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." And here it is in all it's simplicity straight from Jesus' lips: " 'The most important commandment is this: `Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."

Ecc. 12:12 says: "...the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body."

There isn't a command to meet together to discuss how we need to be. To discuss our dreams. That will happen naturally if we just get on with what God is saying. The Gospel does not come through us realizing our God-given dreams, the Gospel comes through the preaching of the cross, obedience to what Jesus commands and through loving one another and laying down our lives for our brother.

julie wilson

a really nice person who is a pastor from up north i think emailed me today in response to a post i made a while ago on this blogspot - my computer deleted it without letting me know your name - if you read this please would you try again (i have instructed my computer to be friendly back to youxx) - thank you for your kindness peace julie

Paul Cathcart

Hi guys, I am desperate to do some networking in Scotland. The emerging Chrch is very much alive and well but is moving slower than it should because we simply don't tell each other what is going on! We need to network so that we can share ideas and resources, as well as encourage each other. I would love to hear from anyone doing new stuff or thinking of doing new stuff, drop me a mail and we can start to share some good news! TTFN

dave w.

Did all of this just die in 2006? I have just discovered this site and, after becoming interested,excited, even - despite being something of an ancient rebel, I was dismayed to see the last entry dated two years ago. Am I missing something? (apart from computer nous, which I know is sadly lacking - but I am old, so maybe I have missed the emergent scene,anyway)


dave hi... which site are you referring to? i'm a bit confused. there's plenty happening in scotland i think though i live in london. i was recently up in edinburgh as part of a church of scotland event and know some good people there. i have also heard that there is a fund just set up to invest in new mission stuff in scotland.

dave w.

Hi Jonny,

Thanks for replying. The site I'm on I found as a link from one of the American sites - emergentvillage?? It's entitled "emergent in Scotland jonny baker" - I think,or something like that. I now have it marked as a "favourite", so I'm not entirely sure of the name. Please do tell me more about what you know about the Scottish scene, especially with C of S connections. Any contacts you may be aware of, who would be open to connecting with an elderly, disillusioned ex-Brethren, ex-housechurch-type?


ah - ok - basically my site is a blog. i live in london and work to encourage mission in the emerging culture. this was just one post on my blog. you can track any i have written about scotland by clicking the scotland category on the left hand side column - http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/jonnybaker/scotland/index.html

but this isn't a site focused on new stuff in scotland. i just happen to have written a few posts about it... i did recently do something at a c of s event and know a few people there. as i understand it the c of s have set aside a fund to develop new things as well.

dave w.

Thanks again, Jonny. I heard that good stuff happened at the National Gathering but I'm still looking for Scottish contacts, who have heard about/are interested in discussing the "emerging scene". ---- Is there anybody there??


where in scotland are you dave ? we do have a scottish network beginning to gather that is not tied to any denomination or their money !! - send me an email and i'll include you in - we'd love to welcome you


where in scotland are you dave ? we do have a scottish network beginning to gather that is not tied to any denomination or their money !! - send me an email and i'll include you in - we'd love to welcome you

dave w.

Hi Julie, Hope this gets to you - I'm a bit of a novice with computers and technology in general. For instance, I don't know what URL stands for. I'm in Ayrshire, Kilwinning to be exact. Many thanks for responding. Glad to hear of the independent stance - I only enquired about the C of S connection, as we've been attending this kind of church of late and I was surprised to see an indication that there might be some sort of openness within C of S ranks to anything "emergent". Please do include me in any network etc.


hi dave,

you can email me at [email protected] and i will send you a link to the network - peace, julie


glad you guys connected - thanks...


thanks jonny for being so welcoming on your blog and allowing that to happen !! glad you are here and helping us to find each other xxj

dave w.

Thanks from me too - I've finally received confirmation that I'm not the only weirdo in evangelicalism - or thereabouts - in Scotland. In fact, I'm now thinking that maybe I'm not really that weird at all!! Who said (something like) "When an old culture is dying, the new one is created by a few people who are prepared to feel insecure"?


i can't remember but it is quoted in the post evamngelical by dave tomlinson i seem to remember... it's a great quote

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • jonny profile pic

    i have been blogging for twenty years in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

    about me | profile


  • instagram facebook twitter flickr vimeo links e-mail me


  • pioneer practice

    the latest book is a full colour coffee table type book which is the first published by new venture GETsidetracked - pioneer practice

    jonny baker book covers

    follow this link to other books, chapters, articles and music i have published.

worship tricks

  • series 1series 2series 3series 4


  • typepad monthly archivesmy first blog