True Revival

Glory in the Glen
Land of Many Revivals
Scotland Ablaze

Hi there! Welcome to the True Revival website, devoted mainly to the study of evangelical revivals / awakenings both within my home nation of Scotland and all around the world. I’ll be adding to the site from time to time.

It’s extremely important to differentiate between true revival and what is often made to look like a genuine revival.

Revival isn't just an unusually exciting meeting, even when there's a deeply charged atmosphere. Not even a whole series of ‘revival meetings’, where people try to create a revival scenario by stirring preaching and creating an emotional atmosphere. And an awful lot of hype. That’s a big tell-tale sign. When God is truly moving in power, there’s no need for hype.

That, on the contrary, is what is often referred to as revivalism. Man-made revival. We’ve seen marked evidences of revivalism, especially during the past few decades in many Western nations.

True revival is a sovereign move of God, and it’s God that initiates it. We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to. If man could create a revival - do you not think we'd see revival all over the world in the present day?

So revivalism is very distinct from revival. As someone succinctly said, Revival is 'prayed down', not 'worked up'. There’s a lot of truth in those few short words.

In simple terms a revival is ‘an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit’. My own working definition. ‘Revival is divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual life. It is a sovereign outpouring of the Holy Spirit on earthly communities - God revealing Himself in awful holiness and irresistible power, turning the hearts of both saint and sinner alike towards Himself, and with lasting effect’.

To me that sums up the essence of revival.

My three published studies of historical revivals in Scotland are
"Glory in the Glen",
"Land of Many Revivals" and
"Scotland Ablaze". Click on the links for more information on these titles.

My other recent book, however, follows a different track...... Entitled “Rousay Remembered : The Endearing Island Childhood of Phebe Marwick", the book is a collection of stories relating to my elderly mother’s childhood.


Imagine a time and place when toy dolls were hand-carved out of wood, when bairns walked barefoot to school, and sums were done on slate-boards. A time when an apple or orange was a very rare treat and snacking between meals involved chewing raw turnip.

Imagine a time when your home was self-sufficient in wool, flour, chicken, pork, cheese and so much more, and other items were bartered for. A time when the grocer-van and ambulance were pulled by horse; and long summer mornings were spent herding cattle (fields having no fences).

Enter the childhood world of Phebe Marwick, who grew up in the Wasbister district of Rousay in the inter-war years. Take a step back into the past with her, as she relates many inspirational stories from a long bygone era. Much more than an event-filled childhood memoir, this engaging title offers uncommon insight into the vibrant social history of one of Orkney’s northern isles.

It’s a very easy-to-read little book, and the stories are all really short – usually just half-a-page in length – one or two short paragraphs. Almost every story is illustrated with a black & white drawing from Mary Arneil, a retired Head of Art at a prestigious Girls School in Edinburgh. There’s an incredible 130 illustrations in total! As well as that, the book is lavishly adorned with both old black & white photos from my mother’s youth, as well as a heap of recent colour photos showing the beautiful and varied landscape of Rousay.

Lavishly produced in paperback format, price is £11.50 including postage. Contact the author at to purchase.