Communion Tokens

01 May 2019

News Type:
Find of the Month
On display in Dunrobin Castle Museum

After the Reformation, members of a congregation had to have a token in order to receive communion. These were issued to members of the church by church elders who decided which members were worthy, with the minister having the final approval.


A large number survive in Scotland, most dating to the 19th century, although we have a number of earlier examples. Most have initials for the church, though some have verses. They were issued by both the Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal church and the Free Church, with pewter most common, but also lead, brass and white metal ones known. Many local museums hold collections of tokens. Nairn Museum also has a press on display from 1791 for making the tokens for the parish of Ardach. [NOTE Oct 2020: Looking again at the token, it is probably Ardclach, which is in Nairn parish]

Communion Token press on display in Nairn Museum

Further information

Dunblane Museum website information on Communion Tokens

Brook, Alexander F.S. 1908. Communion Tokens of the Established Church of Scotland. Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Copy available online.

Communion tokens on display in Ullapool Museum


Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
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