Two more churches mull Kirk departure over gay row

A further two churches are openly considering leaving the Church of Scotland (C of S) as the fallout continues from its decision to permit openly homosexual clergy.

Stornoway High Church’s congregation will vote on their future at the end of this month in a secret ballot.

Their interim moderator, Revd Andrew Coghill, said last month he could not remain in the C of S following the denomination’s departure from Biblical teachings.


St Kane’s Church in Aberdeenshire is also considering its relationship with the Kirk.

In a letter to the congregation St Kane’s session clerk Elsie Foubister said: “We affirm that sexual relations between people of the same gender are contrary to the will of God, and that whilst they should be pastorally cared for, they should not hold any position of leadership without evidence of repentance and change in their lifestyle.

“We grieve over the apparent departure of the Church of Scotland from these scripture truths.”


Last month the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly voted in favour of allowing homosexual men and lesbians to serve as church ministers.

The decision applies to clergy who have declared their homosexuality and were ordained before May 2009.

The future ordination and training of gay and lesbian clergy will be decided in 2013 when a theological commission publishes a report on the matter.


Earlier this month a minister from a church in Aberdeen said the Kirk’s governing body had “marginalised the Bible by approving the practice of same-sex relationships for ordained ministers”.

Revd Dominic Smart of Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen said it was with “great sadness” that the church elders felt they could “no longer be part of the Church of Scotland”.

The church would “take such measures as will allow us and the congregation to leave the denomination”, Revd Smart added.

Last month Revd Roddy MacRae became the first minister to announce his intention to leave the Kirk because of its vote to allow homosexual clergy.

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