Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR) is a voluntary co-ordinating body, comprising individuals from various professions and backgrounds. We promote the recording of sites of all places of worship in Scotland, for the benefit of everyone interested in understanding and protecting this rich heritage of the people of Scotland. We share an interest in bringing to a wider public an understanding of all the places and buildings that have been used as places of worship in Scotland, regardless of faith, denomination or present condition.
SCHR has set up the Places of Worship in Scotland project 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 date back to the earliest phase of Christianity in Scotland. Others are medieval ruins, some are from the post–reformation years, while a majority date from the period of population growth in the 19th Century. Now, as church attendance is in decline, many religious buildings lie redundant and uncared for, while some have been reused as offices, pubs or housing, others have been demolished and the sites redeveloped.
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. The buildings and their history are important for today and SCHR considers it important to promote this aspect of the environment, locally and nationally.
The Gazetteer is being compiled by a team from the SCHR committee, a small staff and many volunteers. The purpose is to form a national record for use by local communities, schools, congregations, local societies, family historians and researchers, planners, tourist bodies and government departments. It will be a record 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.