Rev Greenshields adds: “There was a time when we believed we belonged to a Christian nation, living in a Christian UK and Europe. That day has gone. We live in a secular culture in Scotland.”
Dr Greenshields drew attention to dwindling congregations across the nation.
According to church data, Church of Scotland membership fell by a third in the past decade, with an average church member being 55 years and middle-class.
“The Church of Scotland that at least nominally had over 27% of the country as active members now [has] under 10%,” the moderator relates.
Historically, the Scottish Kirk, dating back to the Ulster Plantation, has been known as the ‘Mother Church’ of Irish Presbyterianism.
A Kirk report confirmed a 34% drop in membership between 2011 and 2021, but the church has put meaningful measures in a bid to reverse the trend.
“We need to face up to a new reality – the road ahead will not be easy, it will need hard work, innovation, faith and renewed gospel commitment,” the moderator adds.