About The Bonar Trust

Charcoal drawing of Edinburgh

Message from the Trustees

Thank you for your interest in the work of The Bonar Trust.

As trustees we are passionate about the need to train gospel workers who will share the good news of Jesus Christ with the people of Scotland. We believe that offering excellence in training for ministry is critical for gospel growth and the primary purpose of the Trust is to provide funding for such ministry training. A more detailed explanation of the vision behind this is given in the next section.

We would like to take this opportunity to ask you to consider playing your part with us in fulfilling this God-given vision. The work of The Bonar Trust can grow only if people like yourselves commit to giving to the Trust. Details of how to give can be found elsewhere on this website.

We are always delighted to hear from anyone who has an interest in our work. Please do get in touch if there is anything further that you would like to know about The Bonar Trust.

Robin Sydserff, Alan MacKenzie, Neil Macdonald, Rachel Sloan, Norman Martin & David Jackman
Trustees (who are Directors for charity law purposes)

Robin SydserffAlan MackenzieNeil MacdonaldDavid Jackman


2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the last significant national revival in Britain and Ireland. Once again, our great need is for a significant work of God to revive our Church and nation. What marked the period leading up to the 1859 revival was a renewed commitment to prayer in churches, clarity in the preaching of the gospel, but also strategic thinking, networking and vision of men like Thomas Chalmers, Robert Murray McCheyne, the Bonar brothers, Andrew and Horatius, and their successors.

And in our day, while we need to pray for revival, expressing our earnest dependence on God, and recover that clarity in gospel proclamation, we also need to get on with the work of ministry on the ground, planning and preparing for what God might do in the future.

To that end, the broad vision of The Bonar Trust is to train the next generation of servant leaders for the Church in Scotland – to instil in people a passion for evangelism, confidence in the authority of God’s Word and an ability to teach it to others, and a commitment to the pursuit of personal godliness.

The Trust will seek to do this in a number of ways, but principally through the promotion and development of ministry training programmes in churches or networks of churches. Training programmes like this are a tried, tested and proven way of equipping people for ministry.


The Bonar Trust takes its name from Horatius Bonar, “prince of Scottish hymn writers” and first minister of Chalmers Memorial Free Church, now St Catherine’s Argyle Church in Edinburgh.

In 2009 the congregation of St Catherine’s launched The Bonar Trust. St Catherine’s has a long heritage of training people for ministry and this commitment was at the root of the church establishing the Trust. The congregation wanted to play its small part as a church, building not only on its heritage, but on its current strengths and strategic location in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

In August 2010 The Bonar Trust made its first grants to support people embarking on a Ministry Associate Programme.