Scots gay minister takes up first post

Scott Rennie, the first openly gay minister in the Church of Scotland’s history was introduced to his new congregation in Aberdeen on Friday.

The appointment of Revd Rennie, who lives with his gay partner, went ahead despite objections from evangelicals in the Kirk.

Earlier in the year a petition opposing Revd Rennie’s appointment attracted 12,000 signatures from ministers and congregation members.

However, the Kirk’s General Assembly voted to uphold Revd Rennie’s appointment by 326 votes to 267.

The Church of Scotland has now decided to ban any more gay ministers from being appointed for two years while a commission debates the issue.

A joint statement from ministers Revd David Court and Revd William Philip, who opposed the decision to appoint Revd Rennie, warned the General Assembly at the time that it risked alienating the Kirk’s “grassroots” members.

The ministers, of churches in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively, said that the General Assembly had publicly proclaimed “as holy what God, the Bible, and orthodox Christianity all down the ages, and all over the world, unambiguously call sin.

“This is about far more than just sexuality. The very nature of the Christian gospel is at stake”, they added.

Revd Rennie’s induction comes as the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) prepared to meet in London this week to discuss the future of the Anglican Church in the light of debates over the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics.

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