THE Church of Scotland has produced a new guide for Gaelic speakers and learners, which will also help to support worship leaders who want to use the language.

The booklet, described as a guide to biblical and ecclesiastical language, will also aim to help anyone who wants to undertake Bible study or follow sermons more easily.

It states that its goal is to encourage people to “bring their gifts to the church and use their Gaelic for the preaching of the Gospel and the work of the Kingdom.”

While it takes the form of an online document, it can be easily downloaded, printed and read in a physical format.

Sections include advice on using different translations of the Bible, a glossary of relevant words, and notes on potentially difficult grammar.

The guide has been compiled by the Kirk’s Gaelic language development officer, Dr Duncan Sneddon, and has been supported by a range of academics and Gaelic speakers.

Sneddon said: “There are a lot of people who speak Gaelic quite well or even fluently, but aren’t confident in their grasp of ‘church Gaelic’.

“‘Church Gaelic’ or ‘Bible Gaelic’ is increasingly distant from the everyday spoken language, for younger people in particular.

“This handbook should help people gain confidence in using their Gaelic in worship and Bible reading.

“I’m also happy to take suggestions for future editions, so if there’s something you think would be useful that isn’t in there, let me know.”

Parts of the Bible were first translated into the Gaelic language in the 17th century, with the first full translation being produced later on, in 1807.

During lockdown, some churches, such as Fort William Duncansburgh MacIntosh, successfully moved online for popular Gaelic Bible study and services.

The new booklet arrives following a study released last month by the University of the Highlands and Islands, which warned that the Gaelic language will decline unless people start to use it more often in everyday settings.