The Scexit Files: The Tablet, 1 Dec. 2026
The Reverend I. M. Jolly is not his normal sunny self: “We’re doomed, I tell ye … doomed.”
The minister’s eyelids have been fluttering like moths since the Church of Scotland was stripped of its status as the official religion in Scexit Scotland. “And to think I supported Indy,” he groans.
“The referendum asked ‘Do you believe’ …,” the wistful clergyman recalls. “So, of course, I answered YES,” he admits, “… at least on Sundays.”
He’s not the only one who is searching for answers. “There’s huge instability in the belief sector nowadays,” explains Mungo Ninian, Professor of Faith Marketing at Strathclyde University. “The big spiritual brands are totally undercut by local upstarts.”
“Look at the rise of The Church of the Better-day Scots.” A glance at the map shows that the ‘Scotman’ sect is spreading like wildfire as the search for a post-Scexit saviour figure intensifies.
Crowds gather for a vigil at Melrose Abbey, praying for the return of Robert the Bruce to guide the nation to the true path. Meanwhile, the so-called Braveheart wing waits for a sign of Wallace. “There have already been several sightings at a car park in Pollokshaws.”
As the movement expands across the country, Professor Ninian is also following a number of niche-faiths. “There’s even a fascinating sub-sect that worships Bruce Willis.”
It’s all part of a rise in Scottianity, the burgeoning identity-based faith. Under Scots law, a religion does not need a god as such – a belief system is enough. Start-up faiths therefore, tend to combine spirituality, nationality and economics, often with a touch of canny puritanism.
Handmade Scottianity chastity kilts are already an unexpected post-Scexit fashion icon. “We all know that skirts rise in boom times, but now we’re seeing kilts constrict after the economic downturn,” Professor Ninian explains. “With the job market so tight, it makes sense that our sporrans tighten too.”
And it’s not just the lost souls of society who’ve turned to Scottianity. The middle class has begun to embrace new beliefs and rituals. Last month, The Tablet was invited to witness a new Scottianity marriage ceremony up in the heathery wilds of Perthshire.
As the bride and groom emerge from the bothy, the Faith Facilitator beams for photographs with the happy trio.
A familiar face beams out among the throng. “Och, for Salmond’s sake … fancy seeing you,” cries the new Bishop Jolly, benevolently.
Much has changed since The Tablet last interviewed the former kirk minister. “Y’see, when I converted, I was put on a fast track to promotion. The sales techniques we learn are an absolute revelation. I now have a thriving flock and the kilts are selling like hot bannocks.”
In fact, it’s all go for the new bishop. “Tomorrow, we’re preparing the crib for St Nicola’s Day. We’ll all partake of the communion dram and oatcake and there’ll be Black Bun and Clootie Dumpling. You’re most welcome to come and join us.”
Rev. Jolly certainly has no time for regrets. “Must dash. The wedding reception’s at our cock-a-leekie soup kitchen.”
With so many new souls to save, Professor Ninian believes that it’s the ‘have-a-go’ identity entrepreneurs who are truly seizing the post-Indy opportunities. As a prophet in search of a profit, Rev. Jolly gives the thumbs up as he vrooms away in his saltire-topped, bishop’s BMW.
“Merry Scotmas!” he cries. “We’ve boomed, I tell ye … boomed.”
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