Rev Nico Weeber has been invited to preach at St Andrew’s Scots Kirk as sole nominee for the position of Minister at our Church. The plan is that he will preach on Sunday 5th December and those members present at Church on that day will be able to vote as whether to accept him as their future Minister.
About St. Andrew's Scots Kirk
We welcome you to St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk, a vibrant, growing parish of the Church of Scotland, located in the heart of Colombo. Our Mission is to provide a Presbyterian form of worship to which Christians of all denominations are welcome. Please email us if you want to meet in person to learn more about our church. See the contact us page for our mailing address, phone number, and email addresses. Our church doors are open every day of the year.
We invite you not only to explore this website but, more importantly, to worship with us whenever you are able. Our regular Sunday services take place at 9.30 a.m. If you are unable to be with us in person, please do read through our Orders of Service and sermons; you can access these directly through this page. We post Orders for Sunday services every Saturday and they are left online for a period of three months.
We also invite you to join us for our excellent special services and concerts that take place during the year; and for coffee and refreshments following the Sunday service, to assist with our mission projects, and for other fellowship activities. Details for all activities are posted on the Events page.
Finally, if you worship with us regularly, we invite you to consider supporting us financially to continue our Ministry at St. Andrew’s. We receive no financial support from the Government and so we rely on the generous support of everyone who worships with us.
Please help us to continue to carry forward the Presbyterian tradition of St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk. Come and worship.
Locum Minister at St. Andrew's Scots Kirk
Rev Roshan Mendis is the first Sri Lankan Minister to be appointed to St Andrew’s Scots Kirk.
Rev. Roshan felt a deep calling to serve the Lord and pursued his theological education at the Dutch Reformed Church Seminary and Bible Institute, and thereafter at the Reformed Theological College, Australia before being ordained in 1990. In 2005 he received the Academic Excellence award from the Alliance Graduate School, Philippines receiving a Diploma in Marriage and Family Ministry.
Rev. Mendis served the Dutch Reformed Church as a Minister for 23 years, and has also served on the Board of Governors of the Colombo Theological Seminary, and Methodist College. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka and the Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka.
In 2013, he resigned as a Minister to join his alma mater S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and was appointed as the Associate Chaplain of the school.
During the past few years, Rev. Roshan has assisted St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk as a visiting preacher in the absence of a permanent minister.
He is a gifted preacher and musician and has served the Church in Sri Lanka as an ordained Minister for 32 years.
If you would like to speak with a Minister, we could connect you, so please reach out to our Church Officer.
Interim Moderator - Church of Scotland
Greetings from Scotland!
As some of you will know I am the new Interim Moderator for the Congregation of Saint Andrews Colombo, and it is my hope and prayer to serve you and guide you forward over the challenging times that we in the church and the world.
A little bit about me
As you will see from the photograph, I have been a Minister of the Church of Scotland for many years and served in Congregations in Scotland. I then became a locum serving your church after the Rev John left in 2013, then travelled onto our Churches in Bermuda, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands as locum.
I have had a long held interest in the Church of Scotland as it was planted across the globe. Initially these locations were to suit Scottish business and families who travelled for work and reward. Then slowly they became churches far wider than just Scottish in style, embracing a wide variety of cultures,languages and denominational background. I believe that to be a great bonus, enriching the church at home and overseas. We are part of God’s creation, part of His people on earth. Let us seek ways to discern his will
I hope to be with you sometime in 2023, to share worship with Rev Roshan, and together praise God and learn to be in His Service
Blessings to you all
Rev Norman Hutcheson
History of St. Andrew's Scots Kirk
Amongst those who came to Sri Lanka two hundred years ago to seek their fortunes, was a community of tea planters from Britain, many of whom were Scottish. In fact, it was a Scotsman, Thomas Lipton, who first developed the tea trade in what was then known as Ceylon. The Lipton brand of tea is well known to this day around the world. The early planters left their mark through the names of some of the present day plantations in the Hill Country – for example, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Culloden and Invergordon. They also left their church buildings in Kandy, Haputale and Colombo, which were spiritual homes away from home.
Worship at St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk, in Princes Street, Fort, Colombo, began on 21st October 1842. It was a member congregation of the Presbytery of Ceylon, part of the Church of Scotland, hence the name “Scots Kirk”. The congregation enjoyed good relations with its Presbyterian brothers and sisters in the Dutch Reformed Churches of the city. (The Dutch preceded the British in colonizing Ceylon.) The church experienced good times of growth but had to endure some difficult times especially when one minister departed and another was still to make the arduous sea journey out from Scotland.
Under the ministry of the Rev. Alexander Dunn, the church moved to its new premises at 73 Galle Road, Colpetty, in 1906. The site at Fort was required for other purposes and the city was beginning to spread south through Colpetty. With more than 100 years of history behind this beautiful early 20th century Church, St. Andrew’s has become an iconic building in the heart of the busy city of Colombo. The church building, designed by the Architect Edward Skinner, ARIBA, and built by Walker Sons & Co, with its beautiful stained glass windows, Gothic inspired columns and attractive marbled floor.
In 2007, St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk became a “sanctioned charge”, that is a full member, of the Presbytery of Europe (now known as the International Presbytery) of the Church of Scotland and an associate member of the local Presbytery of Lanka.
Today, more than half the congregation is from Asia with the other half coming from the other four continents of the world. A congregational (and pastoral) roll, rather than a membership roll, is maintained because so many of those attending are sojourners in Sri Lanka, here for the season of a contract with government, embassies, high commissions, the United Nations, other non-governmental organisations and a variety of commercial companies.
Ensuring a Safe Church for All
The Church of Scotland through the guidance of the safeguarding policy attends to the wholeness and well-being of each individual. Through its congregations, working together with the Safeguarding Service and statutory agencies, the Church seeks to safeguard the welfare of all people who come into contact with the Church and its services.
The Gospel proclaims that it is the responsibility of everyone within the fellowship of the Church to prevent harm, be it physical, sexual or emotional, and we will always seek to reduce risk.
The Church’s commitment to safeguarding reminds us that God cares passionately about welfare and well-being of all people.
Governance of St. Andrew's Scots Kirk: The Kirk Session
The Church of Scotland has a Presbyterian structure where Elders and Ministers share responsibility for governing the church at all levels. Both Elders and Ministers are ordained; Elders are known as “ruling elders” and Ministers are known as “teaching elders”. The Elders and the Minister of a congregation together form the Kirk Session, which the Minister chairs (or “moderates”).
St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk has a Unitary Constitution, which means that the Kirk Session deals with all matters related to the temporal and spiritual life of the congregation.
When a congregation has no permanent Minister, another Minister is appointed as Interim Moderator to lead the Kirk Session and congregation until a new Minister is appointed. St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk is presently in this situation. The current Interim Moderator is the Rev. Jim Sharp – who lives in Geneva, Switzerland, but is in regular contact with the Kirk Session and visits Colombo from time to time.
The current elders of the Kirk Session are:
Elders – both men and women – are ordained for life. Each may have a particular area of responsibility – such as Christian Education, Mission, Communications, Staff, Fabric and Finance, and are involved in the Pastoral Care of the congregation.
The Kirk Session oversees all church organisations. The Minister has a particular responsibility for the Christian education of the young and not so young.
If you have any queries or issues you want to talk about, please do not hesitate to contact the Session Clerk.
St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk is one of fifteen congregations which form the Presbytery of International Charges (better known as the “International Presbytery”) of the Church of Scotland. The Presbytery oversees the Ministers in its congregations and provides support to these congregations. The Presbytery meets twice a year, over a long weekend; the Minister and an Elder from each congregation attend these meetings.