A bold step towards Church union in Scotland was taken on 22 February when representatives of the Protestant Churches in Scotland met in the Scottish Episcopal Church's offices in a first step to draw up a basis for a plan for union.
Representatives of the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Scottish Congregational Church, the United Reformed Church and the Methodist Synod in Scotland met as a follow-up to an invitation issued by the Scottish Episcopal Church.
The goal of these discussions is to present to the participating Churches at their Synods and Assemblies in 1998 a draft proposal for a plan for union. The draft proposal will give the Churches a chance to react to the ideas and to say where to go from there.
The discussion group, called Scottish Churches Initiative for Union, will be looking at where the Churches are going and what are the issues which face them in the future.
In particular, they will be looking at two areas of possible development: the concept of a 'maxi-parish'; and the ministerial opportunities offered by the whole people of God.
Now that the Scottish Episcopal Church ordains women to its priesthood (a decision taken in June 1994), doctrinal issues have been cleared to a point where there is not really any doctrinal obstruction to union. The next meeting of the initiative will be in April.