Green Shoot Signifying New Beginning Hansjorg Keller Ytpz Mhso2c Unsplash

About

What is Church Music Scotland?

Church Music Scotland is continuing the work formerly done by the RSCM Scotland team, including:

  • support and guidance for clergy, worship leaders and musicians
  • singing days around the country
  • training for musicians and clergy
  • Young Scottish Voices
  • the annual Dunblane Summer School
  • events for singers, organists and other musicians.

Behind the scenes, we’re setting up governance structures to enable Church Music Scotland to work legally and effectively.
We’re now a Community Interest Company (see below).

We’ll write to our newsletter subscribers shortly with details of our planning for the current year. 
Don’t miss out: sign up here.

Sign up for our free Newsletter and our Facebook page so you can keep in touch with our events. 

 

Who are we?

Company and Directors

A community-led, social enterprise

Church Music Scotland is a Community Interest Company, that is, a private company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, and instituted for the good of the community, specifically those engaged in Church Music in Scotland: worship leaders, clergy, musicians. 
 
Its music team includes:
  • Matthew Beetschen (chair)
  • Lorraine Fraser (secretary)
  • Stewart Munro (treasurer)
  • Robin Bell
  • Ian Munro
  • Dr Jane Pettegree
  • Kirsten Reid
  • Alistair Warwick

Our Honorary President

We are absolutely delighted to announce Dr. George McPhee MBE, Director of Music at Paisley Abbey, has accepted our invitation to be our Honorary President. Over his distinguished career there is no-one better placed in Scottish Church Music to help guide and support our vision of developing greater understanding of the role of music in worship.

George writes:

Having been delighted to accept the role as Honorary President of the newly formed Church Music Scotland, I am delighted to support it as an important educational addition for all those interested in organs, singing and choirs north of the border.

We are anxious to reverse any hint of declining standards in the face of, for example, closures of buildings, and we also hope that, no matter the background, we can point to the joy and relevance of worthy music making in church.

What happened to RSCM Scotland?

Why did this happen?

For about 20 years, church music in Scotland was well served by the RSCM Scotland team, who toiled tirelessly for the work of the Royal School of Church Music in Scotland. With local knowledge, they were able to deal with the very different character of church life in Scotland, including its church identity, legal, and educational characteristics. 

Having relied for decades on its volunteers to do its work locally, in 2023 RSCM Council abandoned the Area teams structure, making redundant the Regional Manager posts, and centralising everything to its administrative centre in Salisbury. Although the RSCM continues as a membership organisation, without a team of volunteers its capacity to put on events in Scotland has been severely diminished.

The former RSCM Scotland team wished to continue its work, and submitted a proposal to RSCM Council that it should become a branch like RSCM New Zealand and other countries around the world. This proposal was considered by Council but ultimately rejected.

This decision by RSCM Council left the former RSCM Scotland team with no alternative but to set up this new organisation: Church Music Scotland. While we are deeply saddened by the RSCM’s actions, we bear the RSCM no ill will, and we will co-operate with them in the good work that it continues to do through its membership and publishing activities.

Nevertheless, this decision provides us with an opportunity to reach out in a more focussed way, to help and guide worship leaders, clergy and musicians of all traditions and confessional identity to use music creatively and effectively in worship, to build up the Church at this time and in this place, through the gift of music.