The Kirk of Scotland was an institution of contrasts. Parish worship formed the heartbeat of communities across Scotland from the Gaelic-speaking populations of the Gà idhealtachd to the Scots congregations of the Lowlands. The geographic, cultural and linguistic differences of this landscape were refl ected in the day-to-day experience of local worship. Communities travelled across widely divergent parishes to attend services, some catching ferries in parishes interspersed with lochs, others walking the short distances from the hinterland of their urban burgh. The distances involved in attending sermon varied. Services in the larger, more northern, parishes were deliberately shortened in wintertime to allow parishioners to return home safely. The church buildings they attended were a combination of pre-Reformation cathedrals subdivided into smaller parish churches to the reclaimed family chapels that served the needs of smaller rural congregations. While the Kirk contained these wide variations in the physicality of worship, there was a narrow theological spectrum. Able to contain radical Calvinists on the one hand to those who supported a less predestinarian view of Protestantism on the other, the Kirk had developed into a patchwork quilt of an institution that was terrifi ed of Catholic conspiracy. While there was homogeneity in Scottish worship at its surface, the timing, nature and spatial context of Scottish Protestantism differed from region to region. The process of Protestant Reformation had responded differently to variations and contours in parish experience, creating worship practices that were tuned, both intentionally and unintentionally, to the different rhythms and necessities of Scottish communities. The political crises of the mid-seventeenth century entered into a varied and sometimes fractious context.