Glasite Church

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Authorized form of name

Glasite Church

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  • Sandemanians
  • Kail Kirk

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Description area

Dates of existence

1725-

History

Reverend John Glas (1695-1773), while Presbyterian minister at Tealing (Forfarshire) in 1725, set up a society of nearly one hundred people for monthly celebration of the Lord's Supper and closer religious fellowship.
In 1729 he published "Testimony of the King of Martyrs", embodying his opposition to interference of the Solemn League and Covenant. In 1728, the Synod of Angus and Mearns suspended him as minister, which was confirmed in 1730 by the General Assembly.
He set up a church in Dundee whose members became known as Glasites and, in 1733, built their first meeting house in Perth where he was helped by his son-in-law Robert Sandeman. Other churches in Scotland followed and then in England; Robert Sandeman exported the faith to America where its followers became known as Sandemanians.
Central beliefs of the Glasites include the view that Christ's Kingdom is purely spiritual and wholly separate from the state, "the agape" (Love Feast), the osculum pacis (Kiss of Peace) and ritual washing of feet. Glas also introduced the idea of a simple meal at the church for worshippers, hence the church gaining the nickname of the Kail Kirk.
The last of the Sandemanian churches in America ceased to exist in 1890. The London meeting house finally closed in 1984 and the last Elder of the Church died in Edinburgh in 1999. Many Glasites joined the general body of Scottish Congregationalists, and the denomination may now be considered extinct.

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