Greyfriars Kirk: where the National Covenant was signedAnyone reading Scottish history comes to realise what a key player the Church of Scotland has been since it was reformed in the 16th century. It was not all plain sailing from then on, however, especially after the crowns of Scotland and England were united in 1603.

Attempts by Charles I and Charles II to control the Kirk (to use the Scots term) met with protest, including the signing of the National Covenant at Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh in 1638.

Many years of bloody struggle continued amongst factions with different views. Known as the Covenanters they continued to proclaim their faith, even resorting to holding open-air services.