The Places of Worship in Scotland project is the main activity of Scottish Church Heritage Research, and was originally set up to complete an illustrated Gazetteer, for publication on the Web and in book form. Places of Worship range from early Christian sites, through small rural churches to cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, temples and meeting halls. Some of these, such as Iona, date back to the earliest phase of Christianity in Scotland. Others are archaeological sites, some surviving only as place names,there are medieval ruins and buildings from the post–reformation years. The majority date from the period of population growth in the 19th Century and even today many new places of worship are being built. However, as church attendance is in decline in many areas, a number of religious buildings lie redundant and uncared for, or have been sold for other uses, reused as offices, pubs or housing.
SCHR recognises a need for a contemporary record of all these buildings and related places because the social and historic information associated with them should not be forgotten. Records of interiors are particularly valuable, as they represent the life of the church. The buildings and their history are important for today and SCHR considers it important to promote this aspect of the environment and heritage, locally and nationally.
The Web site is being compiled by a team from SCHR, assisted by volunteers. The purpose is to create a national record for educational use by local communities, schools, congregations, local societies, family historians and researchers,in fact anyone with an interest in Scotland. It will be a record of the environment, heritage, exterior and interior of all the sites and buildings, rural and urban, used by communities of all faiths and which form part of the collective experience of the people of Scotland.
If you would like to contribute information or photos to our database of sites please click here to access our form.
To view our annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023, please click here.