Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney

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Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney
Ecclesiastical province Scotland
Subdivisions Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Chaplaincies, The Isles
Congregations 47
Cathedral St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen
Current leadership
Bishop Vacant, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney
Dean Canon Emsley Nimmo
Map showing Aberdeen & Orkney as a coloured area covering the area around Aberdeen, with Orkney and Sheltand
Map showing Aberdeen & Orkney within Scotland

The Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney is one of the seven dioceses of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The diocese covers the historic county of Aberdeenshire, and the Orkney and Shetland island groups. It shares with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen a Christian heritage that can be traced back to the twelfth century. It also incorporates the ancient Diocese of Orkney, founded in 1035.

The diocese has a strong companion link with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Samuel Seabury, the first Episcopal bishop outside the British Isles, was consecrated in 1784 by Robert Kilgour, Bishop of Aberdeen, and John Skinner, coadjutor bishop. Clarence Coleridge, suffragan bishop of Connecticut, was consecrated by a Bishop of Aberdeen in 1981; he was elected 13th diocesan bishop of Connecticut in 1993.

The see is currently vacant, following the retirement of Robert "Bob" Gillies, who had been consecrated in 2007. The current dean, Canon Emsley Nimmo, was licensed on 20 April 2008 at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen.

The diocese is considered the most conservative of the dioceses of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and was the only diocese to reject a change in the churches teaching to allow same-sex marriage in 2017.[1] One parish, Christ Church, Harris, announced that they would be leaving the SEC after it permitted same-sex marriage and would seek the oversight of Andy Lines, the bishop of the Anglican Mission in England, a missionary organisation operating outside of the Anglican Communion.[2] The first female bishop of the SEC, Anne Dyer, was appointed to the diocese in November 2017: her gender, support of same-sex marriage, and that she was not elected by the diocese itself (she was appointed by the house of Bishops after the diocese failed to choose its own bishop) caused controversy.[1][2][3] Two senior clergy in the diocese resigned in protest, including Emsley Nimmo.[4]

List of bishops

Below is a list of modern, non-papal bishops of the united diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. The earliest bishops of these dioceses as well did not recognize the later doctrine of papal de facto jurisdiction in non-Roman dioceses, much less the modern doctrine of papal infallibility[citation needed].

Bishops of Aberdeen and Orkney
From Until Incumbent Notes
1865 1883 Thomas Suther Died in office.
1883 1905 Arthur Douglas Died in office.
1906 1911 Rowland Ellis Died in office.
1912 1917 Anthony Mitchell Died in office.
1917 1943 Frederic Deane
1943 1955 Herbert Hall Died in office.
1956 1972 Frederick Easson
1973 1976 Ian Begg
1976 1991 Frederick Darwent
1991 2006 Bruce Cameron Installed diocesan bishop in 1992, elected Primus in 2000.
2006 2016[5] Robert (Bob) Gillies

List of deans

The following have served as Dean of Aberdeen and Orkney:


Name Location Ref Founded History/notes
St Andrew's Cathedral Aberdeen [10] 1817 Raised to cathedral status 1914.
Carpenters Arms Fellowship 4 Everyone Aberdeen [11] Fresh Expression, affiliated to the Anglican Church through Church Army
St Clement's Aberdeen (Mastrick) [12] 1960s
St James the Less Aberdeen [13] pre-1855
St John's Aberdeen [14] 1720 Congregation dates to 1720. Building 1851
St Margaret of Scotland Aberdeen [15] 1867 Building 1870
St Mary's Aberdeen (Carden Place) [16] 1863 Building 1864
St Mary's Aberdeen (Cove Bay) [17] 1864 Shares building with Cove Congregational Church
St Ninian's Aberdeen [18] 1936
St Devenick's Aberdeen (Bieldside) [19] 1894 Current building 1903. Member of the Evangelical Alliance
St Machar's Aberdeen (Bucksburn) [20] 1874 Building 1880
St Thomas' Aboyne [21] 1909 Linked with Ballater and Braemar
St Andrew's Alford [22] 1869
St Mary's Auchindoir [23]
St Kentigern's Ballater [24] C19th First met in chapel and iron building; current building 1907
St Ternan's Banchory [25] 1851
St Andrew's Banff [26] 1722 Present building 1833
St Ninian's Chapel, Braemar Mar Lodge, near Braemar [27] 1895-1898 Originally (until c. 1959) private chapel to Mar Lodge. Services currently not being held
All Saints' Buckie [28] c. 1689 Used a variety of chapels during C18th persecution. Current building 1876
St James the Less Cruden Bay [29] C18th United with Ellon. First church 1765, current building 1843
St Luke's Cuminestown [30] C18th Building 1844
St Mary-on-the-Rock Ellon [29] C18th United with Cruden Bay. First chapel 1816, current building 1871
St Peter's Fraserburgh [31] 1721 First chapel destroyed 1745, rebuilt late C18th, current building 1891-1892
St Drostan's Insch [32] 1894 Shares minister with All Saints' Woodhead
St Mary's Inverurie [33] 1841
St Anne's Kemnay [34] 1938 Linked with Inverurie
Christ Church Kincardine O'Neil [35] 1866
St John the Evangelist, Longside Longside [36] 1716 Linked with Peterhead and Old Deer. First chapel 1728, rebuilt 1801, current building 1853-1854
St John the Evangelist New Pitsligo [37] 1835 Current buliding 1870s
St Drostan's Old Deer [38] 1851 Linked with Longside and Peterhead
St Matthew's and St George's Oldmeldrum [39] 1863
St Peter's Peterhead [40] 1699 Numerous meeting places during C18th persecution. Current building 1814 (oldest building in this list)
All Saints' Strichen [41] 1861
St Congan's Turriff [42] 1738 First chapel burnt 1746, chapel 1772, chapel 1825, current building 1862
Westhill Community Church Westhill [43] 1972 Daughter church of St Devenick's Bieldside, independent 1986. Own building 2014. Evangelical Alliance
All Saints Whiterashes [44] 1858 Linked with Inverurie
All Saints' Woodhead, near Fyvie [45] 1849 Meets monthly
St Colman's Burravoe, Shetland [46] 1898-1900
St Olaf Kirkwall, Orkney [47] 1876
St Magnus' Lerwick, Shetland [48] 1861 Building 1864
St Mary's Stromness, Orkney [49] 1885 Building 1888. Linked with Kirkwall since 1943

Recently closed:

Name Location Ref History/notes
St Peter's Torry [50] Now converted to sheltered housing
St John the Baptist Portsoy [51] Dependent of All Saints, Buckie; sold 2016 due to declining fabric
Chapel of Christ the Encompasser Fetlar, Shetland [52] Maintained by Society of Our Lady of the Isles - use ended 2015 when the increasingly frail nuns moved to Unst

See also


  1. ^ a b Farley, Harry (5 January 2018). "Scottish Episcopal Church clergy rebel after 'divisive' appointment of bishop to conservative diocese". Christian Today. Retrieved 6 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Farley, Harry (27 November 2017). "Splits emerge among Scottish Anglicans after gay marriage vote". Christian Today. Retrieved 6 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Davies, Madeleine (5 January 2018). "Aberdeen & Orkney letter questions new Bishop". Church Times. Retrieved 6 January 2018. 
  4. ^ "Resignations Follow Aberdeen & Orkney Appointment". Scottish Anglican. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney announces his retirement.
  6. ^ 'ADAMSON, Very Rev. Alexander Campbell', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014; online edn, April 2014 accessed 8 Sept 2017
  7. ^ "Denis Philip Bovey". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  8. ^ 'STRANRAER-MULL, Very Rev. Gerald', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 7 Sept 2017
  9. ^ "Churches - The Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney". The Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  10. ^ "St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen". St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  11. ^ "CAF4E". www.caf4e.com. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  12. ^ "St Clement's Church – Aberdeen". stclementsaberdeen.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  13. ^ "Home". www.stjamesaberdeen.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  14. ^ "St John's Scottish Episcopal Church". St John's Scottish Episcopal Church. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  15. ^ "Welcome to the website of St. Margaret of Scotland, Gallowgate, Aberdeen". www.stmargaretsgallowgate.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  16. ^ "St Mary's Episcopal Church, Carden Place, Aberdeen". stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  17. ^ "St Mary's Espiscopal Church, Cove Bay, Aberdeen". www.st-marys-cove.webeden.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  18. ^ "St Ninian's Church | Friendly, welcoming and inclusive church. 696 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 1SJ". stniniansaberdeen.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  19. ^ "St Devenick's". stdevenicks.org. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  20. ^ "St Machar's Church, Bucksburn: Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney". stmacharsbucksburn.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  21. ^ "St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Aboyne". www.stthomasaboyne.org. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  22. ^ "St Andrew's Church – Alford". standrewsalford.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  23. ^ "St Mary's Church: Auchindoir". stmarysauchindoir.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  24. ^ "St Kentigern's Church: Ballater". stkentigernsballater.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  25. ^ "Welcome to St Ternan's Banchory | St Ternan's Banchory Scottish Episcopal Church". www.stternansbanchory.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  26. ^ "St Andrew's Church: Banff". standrewsbanff.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  27. ^ "St Ninian's Chapel, Mar Lodge: Braemar". stniniansbraemar.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  28. ^ "All Saints Church: Buckie". allsaintsbuckie.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  29. ^ a b "St Mary-on-the-Rock; St James-the-Less – Episcopal Communities in Ellon and Cruden Bay". stmarystjames.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  30. ^ "St Luke's Church, Cuminestown – A Church in the heart of a farming community". stlukescuminestown.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  31. ^ "St Peter's Church, Fraserburgh". stpetersfraserburgh.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  32. ^ "St Drostan's Church: Insch". stdrostansinsch.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  33. ^ "St Mary's Church – Inverurie". stmarysinverurie.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  34. ^ "St Anne's Church: Kemnay". stanneskemnay.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  35. ^ "Christ Church, Kincardine O'Neil". Christ Church, Kincardine O'Neil. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  36. ^ "St John's Church: Longside". stjohnslongside.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  37. ^ "St John's Church: New Pitsligo". stjohnsnewpitsligo.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  38. ^ "St Drostan's Church: Old Deer". stdrostansolddeer.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  39. ^ "St Matthew's and St George's Church: Oldmeldrum". stmatthewsoldmeldrum.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  40. ^ "St Peter's Episcopal Church, Peterhead, Scotland". stpeterspeterhead.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  41. ^ "All Saints Church, Strichen". allsaintsstrichen.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  42. ^ "St Congan's Church: Turriff". stcongansturriff.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  43. ^ "Westhill Community Church". Westhill Community Church. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  44. ^ "All Saints: Whiterashes". allsaintswhiterashes.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  45. ^ "All Saints Church, Woodhead of Fyvie". allsaintswoodhead.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  46. ^ "St Magnus', Lerwick and St Colman's, Burravoe – Episcopal Churches on Shetland". episcopalshetland.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  47. ^ "Home". www.stolafs.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  48. ^ "St Magnus', Lerwick and St Colman's, Burravoe – Episcopal Churches on Shetland". episcopalshetland.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  49. ^ "St Mary-the-Virgin Church,: Stromness". stmarysstromness.aodiocese.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-05. 
  50. ^ "Geograph:: Aberdeen churches past and present". www.geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 
  51. ^ http://allsaintsbuckie.aodiocese.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/getPart.pdf
  52. ^ "Society of Our Lady of the Isles". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 
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