Isle of Lewis CofS says no to gay clergy

Every Church of Scotland congregation on Lewis, the largest island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, is opposing moves to allow practising gay clergy being ordained as ministers.

Lewis Presbytery, the body representing Church of Scotland congregations on the island, is already opposed to same-sex marriage because it is against biblical teaching.

The Church of Scotland is considering whether or not to reverse its traditional stance against appointing homosexual ministers.


Elders and ministers, who represent their congregations at the presbytery, voted unanimously against proposals to appoint practising gay ministers.

Lewis Presbytery is concerned that the proposals may lead to biblical views being excluded from the church.

A spokesman for the presbytery also warned that the move risks causing “further disunity” within the denomination.


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.

A number of congregations have already left the Church of Scotland as a result of this decision.

In December 2012, St George’s Tron Church in Glasgow was forced to leave its building after it split from the Church of Scotland over the issue of homosexual clergy.

Against scripture

Last year, an Aberdeen congregation and its minister chose to leave the denomination.

Gilcomston South’s minister Reverend Dominic Smart resigned from the Kirk and began holding separate services in a hotel.

Rev Smart said he had no choice: “The decision by the Church of Scotland represented a clear and deliberate move away from the authority of scripture as the word of God and our supreme rule of faith and life.”

He added: “We’ve experienced a great deal of unity and strength from within the congregation and we’re looking forward to moving ahead and doing something new.”