The Scots Kirk is the only congregation of the Church of Scotland in France. It primarily seeks to offer English-language Presbyterian worship and pastoral care to an international congregation. The current minister, inducted by the Presbytery of Europe on 31 August 2006, is the Reverend Alan Miller.
The congregation is particularly recognizable for a former minister, the Reverend Dr Donald Caskie, who was known as the ‘Tartan Pimpernel’ for his exploits during World War II. The War spared the site, but the original building didn’t survive to the present day.
The origins of the congregation date back to the 1850s, but the current church building is modern. The congregation has worshipped on the same site since 1885, when they purchased the former American Episcopal Church building in rue Bayard.
In 1924, during the Olympic Games held in Paris, the athlete Eric Liddell chose to preach at the Scots Kirk instead of running on a Sunday. His story is told in the film Chariots of Fire, but the building used as the Scots Kirk in the film was actually the former Broughton Church in Edinburgh.
During the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles both the American President Woodrow Wilson and UK Prime Minister David Lloyd George worshipped at the church.
Following World War II (when the church was unoccupied), the lack of maintenance led to structural problems and the church had to be rebuilt in the late 1950s. Queen Elizabeth II laid the foundation stone for the (since replaced) new sanctuary in 1957. The rebuilding work, however, proved to be unsatisfactory. Major structural faults were soon discovered and by the 1980s the building was again in urgent need of replacement or major repairs. It was decided to completely rebuild, albeit with flats above the new church building. The current church building was opened by the then Moderator, the Right Reverend John D. Miller, in 2002.