An Aberdeen minister and his congregation who left the Church of Scotland over its ordination of homosexual clergy have been temporarily allowed to meet in their former building.
Gilcomston South’s minister Revd Dominic Smart has held separate services with a breakaway congregation after leaving their building, which is owned by the Church of Scotland.
Now Aberdeen Presbytery have allowed Revd Smart’s congregation to move back into their former building on Union Street on a temporary basis.
Revd Smart said: “We are very happy about the decision the Presbytery have made and I am impressed that they have found a creative solution to the problem.”
The Revd George Cowie, convener of the Special Committee which was considering the Gilcomston situation, said: “It is deeply sad when people choose to leave the Church of Scotland.
“We believe that the Church of Scotland is a broad church and that it can accommodate people who hold differing views. In this case, however, the situation has not involved conflict, scandal or litigation.
“All parties have shown respect for one another and it has been a good Christian witness for us to engage with one another in this manner.”
The congregation, now called “Gilcomston Church” are looking to join another denomination and will look for a permanent venue.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland approved the appointment of an openly gay minister to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen in 2009.