English worship service in Budapest
St. Columba's Church of Scotland in Budapest is an ecumenical, international congregation that gathers for English-speaking worship in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
Our ministry has been multifaceted ever since our founding in 1841, when Church of Scotland missionaries arrived with two goals: to serve as partners with Hungarian protestants (Calvinist and Lutheran) in bringing about spiritual revival, and to evangelise among the local Jewish population. When it was discovered that Scots were working on the the first bridge connecting Pest and Buda, the missionaries took on a third goal of serving as chaplains to such Scots living abroad.
These three goals have evolved, but are still relevant today. We still cooperate with local churches, still appreciate people of other faiths, and we are still a congregation that foreigners find welcoming.
As stated in the draft resolution put before the Synod in April 2016, “Based on the modified second clause of the Paragraph 13. (1) of the II. Act of 1994 on the Constitution and Governance of the Church, the Synod acknowledges the Budapest Reformed Scottish Mission Congregation (in English: St Columba’s Church), supervised by the Church of Scotland (CofS) and integrated into its International Presbytery, as the congregation of the Reformed Church in Hungary.” The Budapest Reformed Scottish Mission Congregation is recognized as a mission congregation through this resolution. Read the full resolution voted upon by the RCH Synod
On a recent Sunday, worshippers came from about 15 nationalitites, and many church backgrounds. The uniting factor is an ability to understand at least some English.
As a Church belonging to both the Church of Scotland and the Reformed Church in Hungary, we are blessed to serve as a bridge between the local Hungarian population and Budapest's international community.
By international community, we mean tourists as well as students, embassy staff, refugees, and employees of multi-national cooperations. After Sunday worship, we enjoy a coffee and tea fellowship, and often the coffee is followed by lunch. Anyone is welcome to stay and enjoy. In addition to worship, we offer smaller group activities.
In celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Scottish Mission in Budapest in 2016, the RCH spotlighted the history, mission, and work of the congregation through a series of timely interviews, articles, and more.