Church hounded from hotel over its traditional beliefs

A church in Aberdeen was blocked from holding a Sunday service in a hotel function room because of the church’s beliefs about sex and marriage.

The Gilcomston Church has recently broken away from the Church of Scotland in opposition to the ordination of gay clergy.

They had booked a function room at the Copthorne Hotel in Aberdeen to hold their first Sunday service as an independent church on 10 March.


But hotel management broke off the agreement after it received complaints and threats because of the church’s beliefs.

Revd Dominic Smart said the hotel had to make a commercial decision, but he criticised opponents for putting the hotel under pressure.

Revd Smart said: “We were just going to have a church service. So much for the tolerant society. It made us feel hounded.”


The Gilcomston Church has now come to an amicable agreement to lease its old church building, so it no longer needs to hire a hotel function room.

Revd Smart resigned from the Kirk in February because of the Church of Scotland’s approval of the appointment of an openly homosexual minister to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen in 2009.

But Aberdeen Presbytery have allowed Gilcomston Church back into their premises on Union Street until they can find a permanent venue.